Friday, September 16, 2011

A signature of America, lost love & no roses

This gun shop advertising 5,000 firearms in stock, in rural, southern Minnesota, is located by a town with fewer than 1,000 residents. It has been there for decades. Some people, no doubt, shudder at the thought of the right of an individual to own firearms. Some political systems fear the concept. No matter how a person or a state feels about this constitutional guarantee, it is reality in many regions of America and part of life the way it goes on, day-to-day, in this neck of the woods. It is a signature of free people, a signature of America. The photograph, incidentally, marks the first one I have used with a post that was taken with my Blackberry. I did have a "real" camera with me, but I guess I was feeling lazy and I also wanted to email the photo immediately.

A tale of love & revenge

As I have mentioned before, I bought my first camera at age five. Actually, it might have been around the time of my sixth birthday. The money had to have come from somewhere.

From that time on, it was not unusual for me to carry my trusty camera here and there, usually to birthday parties or similar events, to record the momentous events in my life and the embarrassing moments of others.

About now, you might ask, what has this got to do with loves lost or lost loves or whatever. Getting to it. I am getting to it.

During a class trip of sixth graders -- all around age twelve, give or take a few months -- at the close of the school year, I carried my camera to capture the events of our magical adventure.

This group I grew up among, you might recall from previous posts, was made up of small town and country kids from rural, southern Minnesota. Our idea of a hot date at that point in time was sitting side-by-side Saturday night at the local theater, possibly having pop or ice cream after the film, then country kids riding home with their parents while city kids hung out until the town shut down for the night.

You might also know, if you have been raised in such an environment, that every class of students had its own group of girls publicly acknowledged as among the most beautiful "women" in the world. Our class had six such princesses of the universe. No boy dared approach any of them unless summoned. Any boy blushed various shades of red should one of these girls notice him looking at her. You get my drift.

Well, as these young majesties lined up for me, the kid with the camera, to take their photograph on this class trip, my creative forces came to a peak. I had them sit down in a line, place arms around one another and lean to one side as far as possible. It looked silly, but everyone loved the idea.

At the last moment, I grabbed the hand of one poor girl who was not among the most beautiful in the galaxy, but who was one I had my eye on, pulled her to the end of the line and placed her among the others. She resisted at first, but I was stronger. I pulled her along. The smile she gave me was radiant. No one among the class lovelies objected. After all, it was my camera. In that manner, Kathleen became a "made member" of the class queens and my first real girl friend.

For the next few weeks, she and I sat side-by-side in the theater on Saturday nights, eating our popcorn and holding hands. I bought her what we called a "friendship ring." Actually, I bought two, when my first purchase turned out to be too large for her finger.

All good things must come to an end.

One Saturday night, while I was sitting with some friends waiting for Kathleen to arrive from the country, her brother tapped me on the shoulder. "Why is Kathleen sitting with Jerry?" he asked with a smirk and a taunting tone to his voice.

I turned and looked. She was. To make this all the worse, Jerry was only a fifth grader.

I shrunk down in my seat.

A minute or two later, Kathleen tapped me on the shoulder. "Here," was her only word as she handed me my two friendship rings. I was humiliated in front of not only the sixth graders in the theater, but also the fifth graders, the seventh graders, the .... well, you get the picture.

Kathleen and Jerry lasted two or three weeks, if I recall correctly. Jerry dumped her like she had dumped me. It took me a few years, but I got my revenge on Jerry. I dated his sister when I was in tenth grade. She was in twelfth grade -- an actual senior. And, by then I had a driver's license, a car and a favorite parking place.

As for Kathleen, I did not need to get revenge. I did not understand then what happened to her next, and I still do not, but she was ejected by the other sixth grade beauty queens from being among their numbers. She was literally shunned by them, virtually ostracized by them, which meant, since these girls ruled the school hallways, everyone who worshipped them also black listed Kathleen.

On the other hand, I was asked by Sharon -- one of the original magnificent creatures -- to sit with her at the next Saturday night movie. This began an "affair" that lasted with us as a couple for nearly the entire seventh grade school year. Our romance ended when her parents -- like so many others -- fled the farmlands for the big city, and took her away from me forever.

After that, I concentrated on football and hunting for two or three years. I had concluded women were too complicated and beauty queens were too expensive.

Don't Come Knocking

You're everything I could want
There's no house you couldn't haunt
You're the key that could keep me in
You're the sense, under the skin

I won't bring you roses
I'll bring myself instead
Time only is time
For what is meant
Not what was said

Don't come knocking don't come knocking
Don't come knocking at my door
Don't come knocking, knock, knock, knocking
Don't come knocking no more

You're a dream I could wake up in
You're a fight I shouldn't try to win
You're the door, I'll always leave open
You're the heart that's always hopin'

Off a tree-lined avenue, in a college made of stone
I'll sit there not dreaming, I would rather live alone

Don't come knocking don't come knocking
Don't come knocking at my door
Don't come knocking, knock, knock, knocking
Don't come knocking no more

All the stars in the sky
They can't light our way, oh no
All the maps, and all the charts
All the dreams…
Dreams …won’t… leave… you…

Don't come knocking don't come knocking
Don't come knocking at my door
Don't come knocking don't come knocking
Don't come knocking at my door
Don't come knocking, knock, knock, knocking
Don't come knocking no more


Kaya said...

Good morning, Fram,

I thought I would read a few minutes and write a comment later in evening because soon I have to leave for a work. And.... I couldn't stop reading this story. I am still have a few minutes to write and I will come later to write more.

Ok, I even wanted to print this story to read it from time to time. I like memoirs like these. When I began to read your story I was immediately transferred into my junior and high school years. We also like to go to the theaters ( we didn't know anything about popcorn it will come later) and after that to walk on the main street meeting other kids and having fun just being together. Every year I had a crash and a new boyfriend. I wasn't very reliable girl friend but later in the high school came a new boy into our school and for a long time we became very good friends.

I love the words of the song.

About the guns I have very contradictory opinion. And about this later.

Right now I would like to say it's a very good post and very interesting.


Fram Actual said...

I believe I recall you writing about the "new boy" in one of your early Russian language blogs, Kaya.

The arrival of a new boy or a new girl in school always created turmoil for a while during my childhood. Usually, all the girls were enamored with a new boy and all the boys fell in love with a new girl. It is enjoyable to recall those days.

Films were a primary source of entertainment in small town America when I was growing up. My town was so small there was only one theater, but it showed three new movies every week. When I was old enough to drive and could head out to neighboring towns, my movie attendance often was four or five a week, and usually with a girl.

Bono and Edge from U2 wrote the song for the film, "Don't Come Knocking," and Bono and Andrea Corr are singing the version here.

The film itself has something in common with "The Last Station." It moves slowly at times. But, to me, it is an absolute classic and among my favorites. Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange, a couple in real life, are the primary actors. She is originally from Minnesota, incidentally, and, until recently, they owned a summer home along the St. Croix River.

I am glad you liked this post, Kaya.

Kaya said...

Good evening, Fram,

I listened to the song again and i sang also with U2. It's a great song and I like it a lot.

You're everything I could want
There's no house you couldn't haunt
You're the key that could keep me in
You're the sense, under the skin

These are the words which touched my heart the
most. And of course "Don't come knocking at my

We also had only one movie every week in the biggest theater in Vilnius. I wish we would have three. I saw every movie I could. Some were pure junk and some were great.

Jessica Lange was and is my favorite actress. I found here one of her movies Francis and bought it. Very tragic and great movie.

Ok, what I wanted to say about guns is I am for a having a gun but I am against selling machine guns to everybody ( heavy weapon guns or something like that). Does somebody really need this type of a gun?

And, Fram, you have a long memory. Yes, that is true that I wrote about the new boy in my high school in my early Russian blog. He was my first love.... I probably fell in love with his songs, his voice and his guitar.

Do you know it's sometimes so nice to dive into your memories and be there for a while.

I like to read memoirs a lot. It's like leaving somebody's life....

That is why I read your post this morning with one breath and of course got late to work and it's all your fault, Fram. I am teasing.

Fram Actual said...

I would have liked to have heard you sing, Kaya.

It is an unusual song, I think, and I like it very much -- and the film, too. Watch it sometime. If I had to pick one word to describe this film, it would be "perfect." On top of that, the ending is happy, which is the only kind I go for these days.

I have never watched the film about Frances Farmer. From what I know about her life, the story of what happened to her makes me angry and sad.

There is a common misunderstanding about fully automatic weapons (machine guns), Kaya, which is perpetuated by the media both through ignorance on the part of reporters and prejudice toward gun owners. A special license plus a transfer fee is required to purchase and to (legally) own such a weapon. In other words, it is pretty expensive. Ammunition also is very expensive these days, largely due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Therefore, very few people actually own these weapons.

Also, the media often calls semi-automatic weapons (the trigger must be pulled for each shot) automatic weapons, and they are not. The media often calls any number of rifles "assault rifles." They are not, because, by definition, an assault rifle must have the capability to be fully automatic, and very few actually are such. The media began to misuse this terminology (I believe intentionally) in the early 1990s.

Semi-automatic weapons have been around more than one hundred years, and have been commonly used by hunters since day one.

I agree with you about ownership of machine guns, but the general theory among gun owners is that if you give up one type of weapon, the anti-gun crowd will simply demand more and more to be given up. For most gun owners, this is like the line drawn in the sand at the Alamo.

I believe I remember most of what you wrote about your school days, your first husband, your father, your steps in Warsaw to the consulate there. Your story was fascinating, Kaya.

Anytime you are late for work, blame it on me. Actually, I would enjoy that.

Wind said...

I came here again and again, to listen to you and to your song.
Hello, Fram!
Are you ok?
I like stories very much and if there were someone to tell me stories every night I would be happy.

You know, I don't like memories.
I don't know why...

My story about my first love/boyfriend was pretty the same with yours, only I had 17.
I have been Miss High School that year...but I don't like to remember.I didn't have this song to help me at that time, (when that guy left me, without a word).

Anyway, I didn't have a gun, either.
I would have blew his brains out
(it is a corect expression in english?) ha ha

I wish you a good day, Kaya and Fram!
My best regards from Romania.

Fram Actual said...

Well, Wind, I am happy to see you here today. And, I like stories, too, both telling them and listening to them.

As for memories, there are both good and bad memories, and both play on an individual's emotions. Sometimes, the emotions are ready to be played with; other times, even good memories can create sadness because they represent people, places or things lost and gone forever.

One instance in my case is that it does more emotional harm than good to visit the town where I grew up because so much has changed. I miss the way it was, and care not at all for the way it is.

I often say I am not certain if I have felt "actual love," but my first real brush with it came when I was sixteen and lasted until I was twenty-one. Whatever I felt, it was pretty deep.

Yes, your English is very descriptively accurate, Wind. I, for one, will make every effort not to arouse your wrath.

Bitch said...

Hi everybody!
Fram, Kaya and Wind!
I had a great time listen to your
And by this way I could listen a bit
more to Kaya's life...
I hope that nobody had a problem
with my intrusion..
Fram, you are a great story teller!

Send my greetings from Greece!!!!

Fram Actual said...

Greetings and salutations, "B.... of Greece."

Yes, you are very welcome to visit here, to read here and to comment here. At times, it does get interesting (at least, I think so). Generally, though, it is quite slow. I especially like it when people provide their opinions and thoughts and feelings about what I have written -- and, offer advice and suggestions.

So, please visit, leave messages and pass along your thoughts about what you see and read.

And, thank you, for the compliment about my story telling. But, please, do not hesitate to disagree. That is how I learn about individuals and the world -- through discussion.

Wind said...

Hello, Monika,Fram,Kaya...
Anita is still missing, isn't it?
She used to like this kind of stories/ memories.

She will come back like everybody else from this Club...

I think it is a busy month for everyone.

Have my best regards from Romania!

Fram Actual said...

Hello, Wind ....

Nice to see you stopping by for another visit.

Yes, it appears the Norwegian one is very busy.

Something special ....