I won’t say I’m old any more. I’ll say “well-seasoned”. Well, in my state of being well-seasoned my mind continues to pop up ancient jingles. Sometimes they are followed by memories associated with them. For instance, the phrase “would you rather be a mule?” Thanks to Google, I found the line to be from a 1944 Bing Crosby song, “Swinging On A Star”:
Would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jarOr would you rather be a mule… https://www.youtube.com ›
And be better off than you are
The phrase reignited an early school memory. In my mind’s eye I was in the first grade, but if it was really 1944 then it must have been in the fourth grade. Somehow I was singing (aloud) to myself in the classroom and sang “Or would you rather be a queer?”
For some reason there was an indrawn breath and the voice of my teacher said reassuringly, “she doesn’t even know what that means.”
She was right, and I didn’t find out until much later, but the memory hung on. That happens often–something that doesn’t hang together much has a spot in my head avaiable for correct construction years later (as in well-seasoned).
Another re-visited edifying memory involves an occasion when my immediate family were living on Austin Drive in Charlotte. (You need to know my mother was as bad a housekeeper as I am), and I remember the four of us standing outside on the front porch of the the 2-bedroomed asbestos-covered house greeting a visiting couple who stayed at the bottom of the front steps. My folks remained standing on the front porrch while greeting them, and the couple stayed on the front walk.
After a very brief time the couple left and I asked, “Who was that?
My father answered “just some social climbers”, a puzzling remark until recently, when I realized that was a joke….