1950s – haibun memory

There were no cell phones. No super highways. No air-conditioned cars. We rode with the windows down and used paper maps. That summer we drove from Waukegan, Illinois to Cape Cod. My mother often sat with her feet up on the dashboard and her full skirt pulled way above her knees. She hated the heat. “We’re finally there,” my father said as he pulled off the road. I was in the back seat, playing with my Revlon doll. There were small cabins scattered around the driveway and you could barely see the ocean at the end of the dirt road. A man ambled over and my father asked “How much?” I don’t recall the amount or the cabin number we stayed in, but I do remember clearly what the man said next. “Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds stayed here last night.”

sand dunes on Cape Cod
wind swept over many years
memories lost to time

Lady Nyo (Jane) hosts dVerse Haibun Monday and asks us to write about a memory from childhood. Given the recent deaths of Carrie Fisher and one day later, her mother Debbie Reynolds, it seems appropriate to write about this particular memory. In terms of a timeline, Revlon dolls were made by Ideal, beginning in 1955. Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds were married from 1955 – 1959. Haibun: a paragraph or two of prose (not fiction) followed by a haiku. Photos:  Cape Cod National Seashore near Provincetown. How serendipity that I now live in Boston and since 1998, have spent one or two weeks every year in Provincetown, Cape Cod.

54 thoughts on “1950s – haibun memory

  1. Misky January 9, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Perfectly timed, and I can so relate to those memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 11:57 am

      I think there are quite a few of us on dVerse who grew up in the 50s and 60s. I walked to school by myself; then from 3rd to 7th grade took the city bus to downtown and transfered to another bus which finally took my to my school — all alone. It was a different time. But then, I think each generation of grandparent age folks say this about “their times.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grace January 9, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    I remember those years without the gadgets and super highways too ~ Thanks for sharing your childhood memories Lillian ~ I lived in the Philippines back then and it was really nice to be gifted with imported US dolls like Barbie, my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 11:59 am

      Oh yes….I had a Barbie doll later. I think Ideal’s Revlon day was the precursor of Barbie. While the Revlon doll had a “figure,” meaning breasts, it was much “thicker” overall than the Barbie…a much more realistic doll.

      Like

  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 9, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Actually I grew up without gadget too.. not so much that had changed in the 60s or even the 70s when I grew up.. what a perfect timing to tell it (and I can understand why it came back as a memory)… I would say I remember Carrie Fisher more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      Me too. Eddie Fisher became a “blip” on the celebrity screen….far overshadowed by Richard Burton. Debbie Reynolds never allowed herself to be overshadowed by a man….she was truly the “Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

      Like

  4. ladynyo January 9, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    LoL….This brought back so many memories. We went to Cape Cod in the summers, from NJ….not such a long trip as yours. We were in Chatham. I loved your haibun, Lillian, and your haiku. Loved Cape Cod, and my father came up on the weekends. You nailed it: the 50’s were a time of paper maps, a dime for a pay phone, no ac, and lots of crab traps! That was an idyllic time…..the best of childhood memories….Wonderful submission, Lillian

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      oooh yes….a dime for those pay phones that hung on walls in stores and in booths on the street. We walked by one a few years ago, on a land excursion part of our Alaska cruise. I think we were in Talkaneeta, walking to the train that would take us on our excursion. A MUCH younger woman looked at it and said, “What’s that?” Truly! LOL

      Like

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      The National Seashore is truly beautiful — protected land. Let us hope that with the new administration, these jewels of our country remain intact. Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      Thank you, Victoria. It’s been fun to take peeks into people’s childhoods with this prompt 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Kruschke January 9, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    Wonderful and timely memory. It made me think about how I miss paper maps. We spent last week in California navigating by GPS on my phone and I felt disconnected somehow because I didn’t have the big picture of where we were in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      Exactly! My husband, geologist by formal training, still uses paper maps whenever we are hiking or exploring new places. We just like looking at paper maps and then tracing our footsteps…fun to see those highlighted lines and realize we were there and there and there and there…..even more fun when the paper map includes the shading for hills, rivers, mountains etc! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael January 9, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Well living as I am in the summer right now and its has been very hot and will be so all this week I’m beginning to dislike the heat…but thank goodness for air con…makes you wonder how we managed way back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      Well I can tell you, people like my mom got very very cranky in the summer!!! And we sweat a lot more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael January 11, 2017 / 3:08 am

        People like us Australians at present are cranky with all the hot weather we are having. Thanks for stopping by Lillian…

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian January 11, 2017 / 10:00 am

        So glad we enjoyed Australia in November — weather was beautiful! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael January 11, 2017 / 2:25 pm

        Well 9 months of the year it is…..beautiful one perfect the next..I’m glad you enjoyed your visit..

        Liked by 1 person

  7. frankhubeny January 9, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    That must have been a long drive. I remember the days before air conditioning and yet it is something I take too much for granted today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      So very true…..I think that’s what we like about hiking — IE the old Railway Trail in Bermuda….being in the real outdoors, rather than driving through it looking out at it from the other side of a piece of glass window. 🙂

      Like

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Well…..the car was not but the memory sure is! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Thank you. Glad to take you along to Cape Cod with me! 🙂

      Like

  8. Bodhirose January 9, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    Yep, just the way I grew up…without all the gadgets and ac everywhere like we do now. We did not go to Cape Cod however! 🙂 I wonder if drive-in movies were something that you had where you grew up, Lillian? We loved the drive-ins when we were little and even had some dates there when I got older. I also grew up loving Debbie Reynolds’ movies and later of course her daughter Carrie. May they rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:18 pm

      I don’t remember drive-in movies except as a teenager…the scene of some amount of kissing with my high school boyfriends and most times, static sounds from those hang-in-your-window speaker things! Afterwards we went to the drive-in where we ordered our cherry or chocolate coke and fries from a speaker and then rolled the window up a bit so the waitress (always girls) could come and connect our tray onto our car. Memories….:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bodhirose January 11, 2017 / 12:18 am

        Oh yes, I remember those drive-through “fast food” places too. We would often end up there after a movie with a date for a burger or fries. I used to love those cherry cokes! We also had the girls that would bring out our food and hook them to our windows. Wow, doesn’t it just blow your mind as to how much has changed in our lifetime?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. little learner January 9, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    What a wonderful memory. You beautifully captured the moment, framing it with your mom’s feet on the dash and your Revlon doll.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      I can still picture my mom in that position….feet on dashboard, windows rolled down, skirt pulled up….from other trips too. We used to drive from Waukegan, Illinois to Tampa, Florida almost every summer to see my dad’s mother and his twin sister. And boy was that hot! I also remember the roadside stands from then with bedspreads and velvet paintings for sale….and orange blossom perfume at the “Welcome to Florida” shop!

      Liked by 1 person

      • little learner January 10, 2017 / 12:19 pm

        Such special memories!

        (I also travel with my bare feet on the dashboard! Always a little concerned about what would happen if that airbag should suddenly deploy!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:21 pm

        🙂 no airbags in the days of my mom! How did we live through those days of no car seats, helmets, seat belts, etc???? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:12 pm

      Me too! Since we moved to Boston in ’97 we’re so fortunate to get to Provincetown every year…and all we do is hop on the fast ferry and we’re there in 90 minutes! 🙂

      Like

  10. alisonhankinson January 10, 2017 / 2:07 am

    It sounds beautiful and that touch of extra magic with Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. I hope they had a great time too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      I think this must have been in their earlier years of marriage, before the birth of Carrie. Young love in beautiful Cape Cod! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. MarinaSofia January 10, 2017 / 4:32 am

    Love the way you blend the small everyday detail (your mother’s skirt, the heat, your doll) and then bring in the unexpected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:10 pm

      ….and you’re right there….it was totally unexpected and very exciting in the day! Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were thee couple in Variety News in those days.

      Like

  12. Kathy Reed January 10, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Sweet story…I can feel the sense of the outer world moving in on the lovely vacation seaside trip,
    the sadness you now connect with the memory of the two colliding long ago

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 12:28 pm

      Summer vacations in cars with windows rolled down….but my father left the house every morning at 5:45 AM and returned at 6:15 PM, five days a week, taking the train to Chicago, Illinois. Some nights he came home with cheeks so read from the cold. An hourly employee all his life, his work was to support his family. He never had the privilege of a “career” where he cared deeply about what he did. It was a job. He was an amazing, quiet, hard working man. This prompt really brought back so many memories!

      Like

  13. whippetwisdom January 10, 2017 / 2:31 pm

    Such a wonderful memory and it is how we grew up too. A lovely closing haiku and Cape Cod looks like a beautiful place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      The National Seashore is truly rugged and beautiful! Glad you enjoyed this one .. so fun to read all these childhood memories😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. C.C. January 10, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    The way you’ve written this….the images (“windows down and used paper maps” and then the stunning haiku)…captures childhood but also ties it to the present in such a poignant way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 3:24 pm

      Thank you for the very thoughtful and much appreciated comment. So very glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  15. Victoria C. Slotto January 10, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Such a memory, I’m sure made all the more memorable by the celebrity connection. And, oh, those cars with no air conditioning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 10, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      It’s wierd how some childhood happenstances stick in your memory…..and this one always has. The roadtrips to Florida in the summer to my grandmother’s were really brutal in our old Buick!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala) January 11, 2017 / 5:54 am

    “Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds stayed here last night.”

    How clever Lillian to reconnect with what had transpired long ago to just a few days of recent days!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

  17. thesilence2017 May 8, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    “memories lost to time”

    The pictures are nice, and this remind makes me sad…But, C’est la Vie non? Thanks for sharing Lillian, God bless you. 🙂

    Like

    • lillian May 9, 2017 / 2:27 am

      I am sailing the seas, literally. Did a trans-Atlantic, then Norwegian fjords and now Ireland and Iceland. So just now seeing your lovely comment. Many thanks.

      Like

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