Monday, July 16, 2007

Grandma Cush, Boxing, Cherokee and Rail Scotch



Top picture: Grandmother Elaine, my Sister Jenny, my Grandmother Cush
Middle picture: Jenny with Grandma Cush
Bottom pic: Barroom Bob with David "Ebony" Gamble cornering for Pablo "the Jabbin' Jew" Weiss. Cush is in the back on her third drink.


A few years back my Grandmother Cush was in town. I went home to my parents to see if she had come in yet. As soon as I walked in the back door I knew she was there.

On the kitchen table was a small suitcase. This was an unusual case for many to see, for it only held a bottle of scotch and a few jiggers and a deck of cards. It is the first thing she brings into the house when she arrives. It stays there until she departs. She has a return address label, the kind you put on an envelope on the top of the case under the handle.

Grandma Cush is home.

Cush is interesting. She is my Father's Mother. My Grandfather Charlie passed about fifteen years ago. He was a character. And so is my Grandma Cush. She drove her PT Cruiser to Saint Louis while saying the rosary. She is often "shocked" by hearing even subtle events, especially when it is about "these days." She will then whisper something scandalous herself about something that happened back in the day. She likes to watch commercials on television and discuss them at anytime. She falls asleep in an almost narcoleptic manner. And she snores. O does she snore! She is very loving and emotional. She is very independent and is always on the go. "I'm sorry, I have to go to bridge." She often calls me Patricktomcjjasonmatttravisjennysteve.

Grandma was in town to check out some fights I was putting on. I had some fights over on Kentucky Ave in Roberto's backyard. It is always fun to have my Grandmothers come to my fights. They get ringside seats always.

Cush walks into the yard and gives me a big kiss. Then she asks me where she can get a drink. I didn't really have a bar set up for the backyard fights, but I knew a friend had a cooler.

"Um, I think my friend has some tall boys over at the cooler."

And then my Grandmother Cush makes a bee line to the cooler.

I then sat my Grandma Elaine sat ringside and she told me the first time she saw boxing was her Father, Tom Murray, at the county fair in Iowa City. She hadn't seen a match until she saw me box in Dogtown. Her father, Tom, was another character.

So my Grandma Cush sits down with her tall boy of Busch next to my other Grandma Elaine. Cush notices a big man standing next to her, Tim Mancinas, holding a blender full of margarita mix. Tim is a tough looking fella with sleeve tattoos. He is really a cool guy with a not really tough affront. But from the first look from a senior citizen, one might expect fear. But Cush swats him behind his locked knee making him dip down. He turns around and sees my grandmother sitting there.

"What do you have there?"

"Huh?"

"In the pitcher. What do you have there?"

"Oh, uh, um margaritas."

"Margaritas? That sounds wonderful."

She eyes my friend Tim.

"Yeah. Um, uh, would you like a margarita?"

"That sounds wonderful."

So there is my Grandmother Cush, going double fisted with a tall can of Busch and a ringside batch of margaritas. She is living her life to the fullest.

****


The next day I take my Grandmother Cush to lunch. I always like taking my Grandmothers to lunch. I also like it because I usually go to places that I like too. I took my Grandma to El Bronco on Cherokee.

She looked a bit confused, which is expected for the English proficiency of the place is somewhat lacking, but the food. Oh my, the food!

I sort of handle the ordering for Cush.

"So what do they have to drink here?"

"Oh, they have Jarrito's and horchata. I think they might have other soda."

"No drinks? Can you take me to a real restaurant next time?"

Grandma always speaks her mind.

****

The second night Grandma Cush was in town we went to dinner over at Jackson's in Dogtown. We all sat at the big table by the window.

The server goes around to get everyone's drink order and she gets to Cush.

"I'll have a scotch and water please."

"What type of scotch would you like? We have Glen Livet, Dewars..."

"Scotch? Don't worry about it, I want scotch honey."

"What kind of scotch?"

"Scotch."


****

I love my Grandmothers. They are the best. More tea rooms and more scotch!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Annie Denny-Lehrer said...

I aspire to attain Grandma Cush status someday. If I could only be so lucky!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Doug Duckworth said...

My grandparents were always big fans of J&B or Beefeaters. My parents and uncle have many story's of their partying days. Unfortunately they gave up drinking by the time I was born. I miss them a lot and really wish they were still around. You are lucky to still have your Irish grandparents. Mine were the best.

1:39 PM  

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