Saturday, November 24, 2012
I read an article last night about the late and beloved star of Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery. A tell all is to be published, revealing her contentious relationships with former co-stars, numerous marriages and affairs, substance abuse, the privileged Hollywood childhood that she apparently resented, and the distaste for the very role that garnered millions of loyal fans.
Bewitched was a staple during my youth. I'd spend short spring and summer breaks, visiting my grandparent's house with the cascading red mountains of Northern Utah in the back drop. In the afternoons, I'd sit on the maroon shag rug in the living room with a bowl of barbeque potato chips and a bowl of peanut M&M's, waiting for Bewitched. The large, wooden incased Zenith television with golden legs sat in the corner of the room with my grandfather sitting on his leather recliner in the back, always napping during commercials, usually with his glasses resting towards the base of his large nose, dispensing wide smiles when I looked over my shoulder.
Sturdy in stature, the TV functioned like an actual member of the family. It was given due respect and care. Large vases with fake flowers and bowls of plastic fruit complimented the top of the TV, along with my grandparent's wedding picture from 1934 in an antique, silver plated frame. I was transported to a different logic at 1'o clock when the opening credits rolled with that infamous instrumental ring. Montgomery sashayed on the screen with a broomstick and wiggled that nose and played with the family black cat.
The episodes didn't matter. I was just entranced with the unmistakable charm and affability of the show. In a span of a mere second, in the wiggle of a nose, people and images appeared, problems were solved, with happy endings around the corner. I enjoyed bonding with my grandfather, absorbing old reruns that still tug at my heart.
Wherever you are Ms. Montgomery, I want to thank you for creating beautiful moments that I still remember and treasure. I don't care what is written. You are and will always be a treasured star.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
This week signified a turning point. Twinkies, the small, spongy cakes, filled with the unidentifiable creme center, the little bundles of sweet bliss that are presumably manufactured to survive a nuclear war, the baked goods that propelled immediate pangs of joy and guilt during a bewildering childhood, the yellow and white tubes that shielded my soul when I was bullied by jerks, are ceasing indefinitely via the closure of Hostess, the namesake responsible for some of the memories that are indelible of many American youths, much like my own.
I haven't inhaled a Twinkie since 1989. I forgot them the way an adolescent does when they leave someone close they grew up with in a neighborhood that they no longer live, but promise to stay in touch and never do. Perhaps I forgot about the Twinkie because I grew up.
I must have passed them thousands of times throughout the years, shopping in an efficient way as an adult does, making healthy and conscious choices, attempting to sever ties to all processed foods with no nutritional value. I had not given them a second thought until this Wednesday when I surfed the net. When I saw, "The End" in bold letters, a tidal wave of recollections surfaced.
I remembered how special they were to a little boy who was trying to make sense of the world and others with all of its harsh realities and their inevitable uncertainties. Why did they taste so good? Why did they comfort me? How could something so small and insignificant to most, create a rushing sensation of goodness and warmth?
I think it was the freshness and base of the package. Aromatic and familiar, I'd hold it up to my nose and lay it aside, eventually squeezing it, just making sure it would return to its original form. It was there without fail in my packed brown paper lunch bag, nearly perched above my sandwich, potato chips, and small carton of milk. The Twinkie was much like a friend that knows and loves, that could never leave your side.
That afternoon after the announcement following the abrupt eradication of this beloved good, I ran errands and went to the gym, paying a surprise visit to the market. Located next on the corner of the bread aisle, I saw a horizontal row of Hostess baked goods. Ding Dongs and cupcakes and fruit pies all stood beside one another in unison with an unwavering loyalty to their subsequent counterparts.
When I examined the shelves, there were two boxes left on the very bottom, all the way in the back, almost as if they were hiding. I bent down and grabbed one along with my 2% greek yogurt and Multi-grain cheerios that were neatly placed in a tiny wire basket. I went home and took a Twinkie out before everything else was put away, as if it was the end of the world. I stood there, wiping away the creme from my lips, ashamed I'd wrecked my diet. I went through two under a few minutes. Delicious as ever, it was if I were transported to my childhood, lost in a world of treats, without obligations or responsibilities.
In the quiet of my kitchen, neatly tucked away in my upper cabinet, lies three fourths of a box that remains. I am saving each and every one until I can't fight off the temptation any longer of having something sweet and sentimental near by. Sadly, I can no longer march to the store and see its package, and smell it, and squeeze it, as I did when I was younger. R.I.P Hostess. I am indebted with gratitude and will never forget the endearing and unforgettable relationship we shared.