Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Where I grew up...

Wow, its funny that this was the challenge question, because right now my uncle is going to buy my grandmother's home and keep it in the family. I grew up on the SOUTH SIDE of Chicago. Better known as the wild HUNDREDS. My address was 10740 South Sangamon. It was a huge bungalow with two huge evergreen trees in the front yard amongst a huge bush. Our house was yellow and green, the porch was decorated with beautiful geraniumns in huge flower pots and in the pack yard we had a big peach tree. I loved that house. It is the home where I took my first steps, learned how to ride a bike, I learned how to skate in the basement, and it where I snuck my first kiss from Sydney Talman. shhhh don't tell my dad. I was only 5! HEHE! This house was full of love and adventure. I grew up at this house and sooooo did so many others. You see this was my grandmothers house. We lived with my grandmother all our lives... When my grandfather passesd away, my grandmother begged my mom to move back home, and my mom did. She never left my grandmothers side, until the day she died...

Everyone came to Grandma T's house! It was like a daycare, restaurant, and night club all in one. It was a vessel that everyone passed through to get food, share laughs, get advice, and most of all LOVE. Our house was truly a HOME. I grew up in a very Christian and loving home! We ate home cooked meals every day....with the exception of the occassional pizza, chineese food, and Saturdays when we went out to eat! I lived for Sundays! Everyone came over ....my grandmother would cook like the president was coming over....every single Sunday. It started with breakfast which would consist of the following: bacon, sausage, ham, grits, eggs, hash, smother potatoes and onion, pancakes, toast, french toast, omelettes, and HOMEMADE BISCUITS....then lunch, we would have soup, salad, turkey sandwhiches and my grandma's homemade sun tea! But the dinner was the TREAT: Granny would make:Turkey, ham, roast beef, greens, candied yams, baked chicken, smothered pork chops, buttered beans and hamhocks, homemade dressing, peach cobbler, cocunut cake, homemade dinner rolls, and sweet potato pie. This is not a JOKE! My grandmother cooked like this EVERY SUNDAY OF HER LIFE before she got Alzheimer's disease. Everyone would come over. My cousins in I would have a blast. Often times, we would put on a talent show for the adults. I can remember raiding my mom's wigs (I don't know why my mom wore wigs in the 70's and 80's her hair swung down to her waist) and we would be the Superemes or Sonny and Cher. We loved to put on a talent show. My cousin Mara could really sing and she would blow the house down. She still can sing! Not me, every dog in the world would be HOWLING....lol .

I used to love Fridays too. My grandmother would have a Fish Fry and sell plates, boy did my grandmother make a killing! She was a hustler. She would sell Catfish, Perch, and jack Salmon with green, spaghetti, cornbread, and corn! Most of times it was to the church members. My grandmother used to give her plates away to the hungry. She had a heart of gold. I remember that all of my uncles and aunt and their wives and husband would come over to play cards on Fridays...Bid Whist to be exact. I used to laugh because my uncles would get TOASTED and argue over who was cheating in the game... I have to admit, my cousins and I used to drink coolaid and act like we were getting drunk and stumble into the walls, pretending we were our uncles. My uncle who just passed away was so funny! He was so animated. He talked with his whole body. He was sooooooo cool! He always had to slap somebody or he wanted them to slap him 5. My cousin Tonya can really imitate Uncle Bud....
She would have you in stitches.

Then there were the bad things about the house....
I swear this house was haunted! That is really why we moved. You are going to think I am lying, but this is the honest to God truth. My sister and her boyfriend were playing in the house. Playfighting, and Tony her exboyfriend was getting a little too rough, my sister broke and ran in the kitchen, and he went to follow behind her and his shirt raised up like someone pulled it up and his whole body lifted about a foot off the ground and nobody was holding him. He thought it was my sister. My grandmother never turned around to see what was going on but she said "George doesn't like all that playing around". George Kennedy is my grandfather and he had been long dead. He died before I was even born. Tony never came around for a LONG TIME after that! LOL If you think I am pulling your leg, email me and I will gladly give you my mother's number so that you can call her and confirm, because it happened before all of our eyes...

Something was up with our basement too. I just got a bad vibe everytime I went down there. Didn't help that my brother called it the Devil's den either. He was such a little terrorist. I soaked it all up too. He always tried to scare me. He was sooooo bad! He used to tell my cousin Tonya and I spooky stories and then lock us in the basement. I got so scared I urinated on my self and he my grandmother tore his butt up too....

Many strange things happened on Sangamon street, but my grandmother always used to say, that you can't let just anybody in your house, because many people travel with bad spirits (My grandmother was native American and shared many of their beliefs). She was also very superstitious! We could never throw our hair away, we used to have to burn it! My grandmother was a psychic, I will never forget she went to my cousin Dionne and told her to be careful because she had death all over her and 2 days later she died of a drug overdose. I told my grandmother then at the age of 13, if I am going to die, don't tell me ok.....just let me drop dead. LOL

She would also get this cough, and we knew someone was going to die!!! Everytime she got this whooping sound cough someone in our family died! So, there are good memories and bad memories associated with Sangamon St. However, the good outweigh the bad.

One of the funniest stories I am going to share with you is about a girl named Penny that used to pick on me all the time. I had really long hair and my mom used to put all types of beautiful ribbon in my hair and the girl used to steal them. I would never say anything, because she was older and I was so scared of her. One day I came home and Penny took my ribbons and my mom told me if I came home one more time without my ribbon she was going to beat my tail! So, I told Penny that I was going to get in trouble if she took my ribbon and I couldn't give her my ribbons anymore. She told me she was going to kick my you know what after school. We got out at 2:30, I darted out of the class room and out of the building at 2:25pm. The teachers, the staff nobody could catch me. I ran all the way home! About 15 minutes later, I heard the doorbell ring, and my BROTHER answered, it was PENNY!! And all of her gang. She told my brother to tell me to come outside. I started crying and I told my brother that she came there to beat me up....why o why? did I tell Marcus that. He told everyone in the house. I will never forget my uncle Maurice and my uncle Roger was there and everyone was snapping. Telling me you never allow no one to chase you to your house and to go outside and beat this girl up....my dad held my mom back, because she wanted to talk to the little girl, but my everyone else wanted me to beat her up...I waas soo scared ...i was only 8 and PENNY was 11. I walked out of that door , walked over to my neighbors house where Penny was ....and she started screaming and yelling and I held on to the gate with one hand and beat her with the other. I beat the living you know what out of that girl. I closed my eyes and just started to hit and when I knew anything my brother came over and picked me and told me to look. Penny was on the ground and I had been hitting at the air, because I knocked her out with the second punch......LOL From that day forward, I have never been scared of anyone or anything. I was so terrified of her, because she had all these scars over her face.....OBVIOUSLY she couldn't fight if she had all of those scars.....LOL duh!

From that day forward, I became known as the girl he BEAT THE BULLY. Everyone wanted to be on my team and I ran the block.....LOL . I was never a bully, but if you push my back up against the wall, I am coming out of that corner swinging and I am this way to this day....That single moment shaped my life. I am the nicest person in the world, but don't cross me. The worst place you can get on is my bad side. My husband says I am the fiestiest 5 foot tall woman he has ever met......LOL

I don't take any crap and don't think anyone should be anyone's doormat. I have since learned that I don't have to do it physically, because I used to fight all the time. NOw I can talk it out.....

If I can give any advice today it is ....
Treat people the way you want to be treated
Never allow yourself to become anyone's doormat....
and the most important advice
Never tell your older brother that someone has come to your house to fight you and you are tooo scared to fight, because the whole family will make you go outside and fight, almost giving you a heart attack from fear....LOL

Until next time...

6 comments:

Jan said...

I love your blog entry!! I felt like I was right there.

MNScrapbookmom said...

Greatest entry that I have read in a long time. Hi Dana...I am an avid reader of Bonnie Rose's "a life unrehearsed". I found a link to you on her site and had to stop in. Thanks for the laugh today, I sure needed it !!!

j said...

Awesome stories, Dana! You need to get these in a scrapbook, pronto!! Felt like I was right there with you. Thanks so much for sharing!!

BonnieRose said...

this is a great blog entry Dana girl.
Don't lose it. Use this to make an album a tribute album to your growing up years.. what you wrote is just full of good stuff.
hugs

Brown English Muffin said...

I started reading this post on Tuesday evening and as I watched the minutes tick over I knew I had to leave to pick up baby C...but I just didn't want to stop.

I left my browser window open so I could get straight back to it this morning...I had a cup of coffee in hand and I sat down to continue reading as if it was a book in front of me!!

That means it was a good read!!!

I cannot beleive your granny coooked Turkey, ham, roast beef, greens, candied yams, baked chicken, smothered pork chops, buttered beans and hamhocks, homemade dressing, peach cobbler, cocunut cake, homemade dinner rolls, and sweet potato pie.

If I ever tried to cook that much for Sunday dinner I'd have to start the Sunday before!!! LOL

And I thought it was just my family that didn't throw away hair!!! I hate the smell of it burning so I usually flush it down the toilet...but now the toilet is getting clogged as I am sure nothing can break down hair...so I have started throwing it out!! My mother would kill me!!!

Kansas Queen said...

I love how graphic you can write because I felt like I was on Sangamon street with you. What a blessing to remember all those things and your grandmother sounds like someone I would have loved to know.