Monday, February 12, 2007

Clancy, the Gourmet Weiner Dog, Fabian, and Me

Did you ever dream of simply running away from home and seeing the country? Well, believe it or not Big Jim and I did exactly that on June 21, 2004. Now, we travel the USA in a much loved Winnebago with Clancy, The Gourmet Weiner Dog, telling stories, writing, meeting colorful people and working, for brief interludes, in amazing places.

As we travel the back roads, I am usually crocheting a scarf or hat and working out ideas for the newest story in my head. Sometimes new ideas come faster than my stitches, causing me to rip them out and begin again, so Big Jim calls me the Yarntangler!

Several years ago I wrote a weekly newspaper column called Ramblings. They actually paid me $10.00 a week to write about anything I wanted as long as it had local interest. No, I did not become rich or famous by doing it but I always enjoyed the concept. So I'm going to revive that title and offer up a glimpse of what we see from our big front window as well as things that happened along roads taken in the past. If I ever figure out how to do it, I'll even post a few pictures.

I'll ask your indulgence in advance if I'm a bit hokey sometimes. I tend to let whimsy take over now and then. Some (not my painfully honest sister) even tell me that's part of my charm!

Since I've just published my first book for young people (The Tree at the Top of the Hill), you'll find that RAMBLINGS will remain family friendly and that soon there will be stories the kids will enjoy along the way.

Here's a taste of what it's going to be like:


When I was a pre-teen I lived in Levittown, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. My girlfriend had relatives in Philly and often went to visit them. One cousin lived next door to FABIAN! (You all remember Fabian-right - pompadour plastic hairdo, those smoldering eyes, and x rated lips?) Well, Fabian had just become a household word in homes with impressionable young girls. Fabian had actually been on Bandstand!

So there they sat, my friend and her cousin, watching the house and suddenly He came out! (Apparently the cousin had never noticed him before when he was just the older guy next door). He was dressed in rolled up dungarees (for you youngsters these came before jeans) and a T-shirt. He went into the garage, pulled out a push mower and began to cut his mother's lawn!

Fabian cutting grass!

Well the two 12 year old girls were not slow at all; they ran next door and offered to help him. He said "uh… sure" and gave them each a rake. They raked the entire yard while he sat there watching them with a big Fabian smile on his face. Finally, he went in the house and came back with Cokes for all of them. That's when my friend had her brainstorm. She ran back to her cousin's house and returned with a package of paper sandwich bags. She got him to autograph the entire package. He didn't know what she was up to but I'm sure he figured it was worth it since he'd not had to rake the whole lawn.

Soon the teen idol left to do teen idol stuff. That's when my friend began collecting all the grass clippings in big grocery bags. She brought them home the next afternoon and brought them to my house along with the sandwich bags. We sat on my patio filling sandwich bags with the now drying grass clippings and sealing them with a stapler.

On Monday she took about half the sacks to her jr. high and I took the other half to St. Mikes. We sold the bags of grass clippings for 25 cents a bag! (yeah I know-later quarter bags of grass were highly prized in different circles!) We each made about $8.00 that week and sold out all our bags.

Never dawned on either of us to keep one for ourselves. I wonder what that bag would be worth now? Maybe Fabian would buy one!

I haven't seen my friend since 1961 I wonder if she went into marketing? Come to think of it I haven't seen Fabian in quite a while either. I wonder if he still cuts grass.

See ya down the road,



Anonymous said...

Well there she goes again! Just when I think she can't surprise me... or delight me more... she does!

Marcie... I wanna run away and play too! Do it for me to please!

Much love

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Marcie, you _are_ definitely a storyteller. Congratulations on your new blog. It's going to be as popular as... ummm, as popular as... Got it... as popular as Fabian used to be! :)

Good luck,

Fab Grandma said...

This is one of the best stories I have heard in a long time! Thanks for sharing it.