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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sophie Tucker appears in New Gretna

Well, Monday we had our first snowfall of this winter season. It wasn't much, about an inch, but it was beautiful.

The first snow of the 2008-09 winter wasn't much, but it was beautiful, as evidenced by the view from my back window.

As I looked out my back window, with snow quietly fluttering down, my mind wandered back a few years to that first snowfall of the 2003 winter season.  I was traveling down North Maple Avenue on my usual morning run to the Post Office. As I passed Ben Broome's house (See footnote below), now occupied by the Zarych family, I noticed the Zarych girls, Emily and Bridget, playing in the snow.

Emily (left) and Bridget Zarych playing in the snow after the first snowfall of 2003.

I had recently purchased my first digital camera and had the "new toy" with me, so I stopped to take a photo of the girls in the snow. As a got out of my truck, I noticed a snowman in the back yard and asked the girls if I could take a picture of it with my new camera. Of course, they were delighted and started giggling.

As we got closer to the snowman, I realized what they were giggling about. It wasn't a snowman at all but a large, colorful snow woman. Equal rights had officially come to New Gretna.

Emily and Bridget's snow woman.

Wearing a bright blue dress, vibrant red lipstick, a fancy hat, and a feather boa around her neck, I instantly recognized that snow woman with the ample buxom. "Why, it's Sophie Tucker!" I said. "We have a celebrity right here in little old New Gretna." I'm sure the girls didn't know who Sophie Tucker was, but they continued giggling anyway. 

Pete S

Footnote: Shortly after moving to New Gretna in the early 1970's, I noticed a particular New Gretna custom . Seems that the old timers identified the houses in town by well known past owners rather than by the names of the current owners. When we moved into our present house on the Bass River, we officially lived in the Jacot house. I suspect that it won't be known as the Stemmer house for a few more generations.

This system can be confusing to new members of our community, but it serves the old timers just fine. They know exactly what they are talking about. Here are a few more examples: The Swanseens live in the Jesse Loveland house, the Selners in the Booter Mathis house, the Nicklows in the Mutt Kauflin house, the Caprigliones in the Joe Pottie house, the Zazinskis in the Lizzie Gerew house, etc. Notice how the system becomes more complicated as Nicknames are added to the description? If you're confused by now, then you are not an old timer. If you know what and where I am talking about by the above examples, then you are officially an old timer. 


Saw this in the papers today and couldn't resist  .    .    . 

Grand Avenue

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete: I don't remember snow when I lived in New Gretna but I do remember a hurricane. It happened late in 1945. I say late as it was kind of chilly already. I was in school and sometime in the early afternoon we were told to go into the hallway and crouch down. We stayed there for a little while until the storm passed. When I got back home (the Leepa farm) the roof had been lifted off the chicken coop and deposited whole alongside the coop. That just facinated me so, ignoring the warnings of the girl who was with me, I waded into the water up to the fence to get a better view. Of course, I got my shoes quite wet. Mom Leepa was going to give me a switching but I hid under the tablecloth in the dining room. I did pay for my sins, however, as the next day I had the croup and the doctor had to be called. It is funny but I can still remember how painful the croup was.
    Beverly Mathis (Robinson)