City Girl in the Country: Saturday Mornings
January 14, 2011 in Nostalgia
Weekends were completely predictable. Saturday morning, rise and shine. If you woke before she did, you could get in an episode of The Super Friends; really early and you would catch Wonderama or Davey & Goliath. Otherwise, forget it, no chance. My sister and I knew what the morning held in store. She would have her coffee—percolated on the stove in the corningware pot—and her cigarettes. Then, she would get dressed and put on a groove, like some Marvin or Stevie, or Donna. Mom loved Soul and R&B, and she could dance—for that I owe her much. If anything, she certainly made it fun. It was her equivalent of “whistle while you work,” and we knew when the music started it was time. I have got to hand it to her; she was a pied piper. We never complained about helping her, not once. In fact, I loved to watch her—she was something else then, my mom. A goddess.
It would begin with the blast of a record, full volume on those old school monster speakers, and she would shake it all the way around the house, picking up here and there, scrubbing, and shining it all up, handing us the Pledge and a broom. We would dance together while we cleaned, swirling around our rags like scarves, and getting up on the couch to clean the window over it. We would whistle and call out to each other, while we showcased our best moves. The couch was striped velour—you guessed it—in rusts and browns, and we had a tan recliner in the corner that we would sometimes land in coming out of a fast twirl. How we never busted our eyes open I will never know. The television was one of those giant wooden boxes all trimmed out like a piece of furniture, and it all sat upon beige carpet that we would write in after we vacuumed stripes into it. The room had bookshelves (all the records were here) and the phonograph sat atop of them in the space between the column and wall. It opened with an archway into “The Front Room” that faced the street and was wall-to-wall windows—one large one centered between two smaller ones. That was where the dance floor was—faux wood linoleum, looked just like it did in the discos. Mom loved to go to the disco. Sometimes we would dance so wildly that the record would skip and we’d look at each other like, “uh-oh!” and laugh and sway a little slower, because we knew the next thing would be Vinny and his old, grumpy face at the bottom of the stairs wagging his decrepit finger and telling us we were making “tooa–mucha–noisa”. My sister Karen and I watched Soul Train and later Solid Gold religiously, so we had all the moves down. Those pretty women in all those skimpy colorful sparkly dance outfits! How we worshipped them! We would bump and grind and act all sexy, making duck faces and then freeze—strike a pose (having no idea what was “sexy”). Monkey see, monkey do. We were just having fun and falling in love with music. Mom did the best she could then; it was just the three of us and she did a fine job of keeping it tight. This was 1977—I was seven-years-old, Travolta was a god, Carter was in office and I would remember a lot.