Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And The Sign Said...

Theme Thursday has snuck up once again and this week's theme is Sign.  Maybe it was a Sign that that this week's theme was Sign. I have been reminiscing a lot lately about my time spent with my cousins growing up. How they always made me feel good. They made me think, use my creativity and my sense of humor. So I decided to share yet another quirky cousin outing with you. Here is my take on Signs after you read my tribute to both my quirky cousins and The Five Man Electrical Band go read the rest of the Signs at Theme Thursday.

And the sign said Long-haired freaky people need not apply" was playing on the radio as the cousins sped down the coletche road. They sang along with the Five Man Electrical Band they screamed out the song through the open windows of the green Pontiac Lemans.

Gladys sat on the hump between the seats watching her eldest cousin, Bee, drive and sing. The rest of the gang was crammed into seats with the wind blowing dust and the hot July air into their faces. They were going to Hidden Valley to get some giant Sweet tarts and an ice cold bottle of Grape Nehi.

This was one of Gladys’ favorite outings. They would all pile into the car and sing along with the radio while they made the drive down the winding dirt road to the little store. It was an hour long trip but well worth the wait. Oh it wasn’t that the store was all that special, even though it was to Gladys, it was that they were all together going somewhere. She watched all the big kids and imitated exactly what they did. If they chewed gum, she chewed gum. They sang and she sang. They wore their hair in a headband she did too. She watched what they ate, how they ate, what they wore, how they wore it and what they said and how they said it. She tried her best to be just as grown-up as they were.

“I tucked my hair up under my hat and went in to ask him why…” Gladys thought the words were “I tucked my hair up under my hat and went in the tide…” and she sang them loud and proud. That is when the whole car went quiet. The cousins and siblings all looked at her and began to laugh. Gladys didn’t know why they were laughing. Was it her voice? Was it the way she imitated the Five Man Electrical Band’s voices? Was it her way too cute outfit of paisley clam diggers and white shirt tied at the waist just like the older kids?

Yob, her middle cousin, asked “why is he going in the tide?” Gladys rolled her eyes at Yob like he was the stupidest boy in the world even though she idolized him and said “to get a job.” Wendy piped up from the backseat and said “what kind of job is he going to get in the tide?” Gladys thought a moment and said “maybe he’s gonna wash clothes” because the only kind of Tide she had ever seen was the powdered kind that you put in the washing machine. They looked at one another confused and biting back laughter and pressed on. “So if he is going to wash clothes is he getting a job at a laundry mat?” Gladys once again rolled her big blue eyes and said “well, where else would he work?” Gladys had an answer for everything and it was always right.

And the sign said, "Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray"

But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn't have a

penny to pay

So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign

I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."


Gladys sang on ignoring her snickering family. She sang at the top of her lungs and they let her. Gladys could identify with this song, what with being found under a rock and all she was different. She was a freaky person. She liked that the guy in the song found a place he felt welcome. She sat there on the hump and thought she felt the same thing, she felt accepted and welcome.

They pulled up in front of the Hidden Valley General Store. They unloaded from the car and walked up the wooden steps onto the cool porch. They looked at the empty rocking chairs and at the dark windows. They rattled the doors and peered into the windows.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

Then Gladys read the sign “CLOSED FOR THE 4TH”.

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

closed for the love that song...nice tale.