You just Cannot Buy Memories

April 12, 2013

I just had dinner with 3 of my best friends…at a restaurant that I have always wanted to try. It is “Red Medicine” – “Vietnamese” in Beverly Hills. We almost gave up on it as they do not have valet parking and have no directions of where to park….after circling the block twice…. we called…and they said Try the lot behind “Luther Bank” across the street…which was almost empty and no charge….and NOT readily visible…..

As “hot” as they have been …for a Friday night at 7:45- they were only like 2/3rds full at the most…..

Dave was talking about the most memorable experiences in Life…and how all of them really have never involved money…just friends or family……

We all agreed – which made me think of the time …way back in the late 50’s or early 60’s and Dad was driving our family back from our summer home in Cable Wisconsin…it was late at night…as Dad had not found a cheap motel yet that would accommodate all of us and our dog and cats…(which were usually smuggled in)

we were driving through Buffalo NY – to see Niagara Falls – a woman was shot dead – and the city seemed to be in bedlam – Dad whose only swear word was “Jesus”…said “Jesus we have to get out of here…”

and that is my memory of Niagara Falls way back when….

And then there is the memory of the canoe trips my Dad took us on…where you are flown in by chartered plane…left off in the wilds of Canada or Alaska – and follow one of the old (1796 in this case)…”Voyageurs Routes” …usually 200 miles….by canoe…without a soul in hundreds of miles from where you were left off by the pontoon plane….if you did not appear at your destination within 30 days the Canadian Mounties would come looking for you….

my older sister and I were on this particular one….it was from the Hudson Bay Arctic Watershed down the Fond du Lac River to Stony Rapids on Lake Athabasca in August of 1963…my sister was 21 and I was 16….

well it was late in the afternoon as I recall when we set off…and the first rapids we came to had been described as a “fast log chute” by the Voyageurs

…the only problem the sun was totally in our eyes – so you could not see the dangerous submerged rocks…which we managed to HIT …at the very start..our canoe filled with water….my sister and I bailed out as much as we could – as Dad held the canoe back from being sucked down the rapids….after we did…my sister said “You are Crazy…I am NOT shooting this… and was able to walk on slippery rocks to the shore…

I should mention that after our canoe swamped all of the canned goods sank….our back packs and tent and dried food…which were packed in rubber bags that were wrapped tight…floated down the river with our paddles….

well Dad and I somehow zoomed down the log chute…gathered our paddles what was left of our supples that floated….set up camp…and my poor sister finally appeared mosquito bitten – swearing –

she was having her period – and all of her kotex was wet…I will NEVER forget her trying to dry them over the fire…..on a stick as though they were marshmallows…..

and I will never forget her quoting Lewis Carrol’s “Jabberwocky” poem (I thought she had gone over the deep end)….when we once again encountered rough rapids…not knowing if we would make it out….our dad “Hawkeye” was ALWAYS right….which he actually always was…well except when he told my sister that a woman’s intuition was never right….but on this trip…she WAS …

and to his death he refused to acknowledge that she WAS right……..(sigh)

this experience I will NEVER forget…it brought my sister and I closer together than we had ever been….(remember we at 16 and 21 were just trying to come into our own identity…I often wanted to kill her …well not really)…I was jealous of her and wanted her boyfriends…..and why could I not rat my hair up… spray it to death…..and wear a FULL dress and slip into Jay deSibour’s hot cherry red convertible…with my hair held in place with my Isadora scarf…………

but this canoe trip stripped away everything but survival and love for each other which exists to this day ..some 50 years later….

one of my more pleasant memories was when a dear friend said we HAD to streak (nude) across Highway 111 (?) outside of Palm Springs …..we all were a bit lit from our New Years celebration….all I remember was following my friend nude….he had a wonderful expressive ass..was wearing white socks….I took a picture that has been lost except to memory..

Dave is sooo right…memories are of laughter with close friends/family ….so so wonderful to share …

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