Tag Archives: Double Take

Eyewitnesses

Law enforcement agencies agree that eyewitnesses to an event are often unreliable. Witnesses to a vehicle accident often make statements that they saw the crash when they heard it first, then saw the aftermath.

Before surveillance cameras jutted from every corner, the banks where I worked coached tellers to size-up unknown customers as practice for robbery identifications, ready to tell the police officer every detail. Taller or shorter than the teller? Muscular or lean? Hair―color, straight, or curly. Birthmarks, tattoos, or scars.

Thief

After one session where those of us who worked on the basement level were tested―in case we happened to be on the main floor during a robbery―I switched name tags with another employee. Mary wore VI, on her Wedgewood blue dress without a single comment, even from the employee at the next desk―an irony because seldom a day passed without a comment to me about my name. Earlier, a safe deposit customer had focused on the two bold black letters beside the bank logo on a white background pinned to my beige dress. “Six. That’s a strange name for a girl,” she said.

ladies-shoes-black T strap

My heels clicked on the marble lobby, treaded softly on the carpeted areas, and hammered the tiled floors on the lower level.  I trotted through every department with MARY pinned to my beige business jacket. Mary wore flats and walked with a slow gait. At day’s end, Mary and I reversed our badges. Not a single person in the three-story bank building had mentioned the switch although dark hair was our only shared trait. The obvious: I was half Mary’s weight and size.

People Icon

So it goes with memoirs. When my twin, the other Vi, and I compiled our stories from birth to marriage for Double Take (Carr Twins & Co., 2014), we had different memories of the same events. Too bad we didn’t have cell phones with videos back then to see who was the better eyewitness.

 

 

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Wanted – Dead or Alive

Should I have created a more genteel title? Okay, how about “Looking for class of 1945-1946?” Misleading because it sounds like a graduating class.  Maybe, “Looking for Stephens Elementary first-grade classmates?” There were nearly one hundred first graders back then and only 39 in Mrs. Buffington’s class of 1945-46. (Did I say only 39? That was a huge class with no teacher’s assistant.)

How about this title?

Wanted Dead or Alive

Mrs. Buffington’s first grade class of 1945-46

While my twin, Vi Parsons, and I prepared for our March 10th book launch of Double Take, our stories of growing up in Chowchilla, California, we dug out childhood photos and memorabilia to display at two hometown authors events. Well, not exactly our hometown since we were born hundreds of miles southeast of Highway 99, but the town where life unfolded for us like purple morning glories on a spring day.

We compared first grade class photos, but they were different. Mine is the original with Mrs. Buffington dressed in her schoolteacher black dress, hatless, with 33 students looking like World War II refugees. Somehow, she wrangled a second photoshoot to include all 39 students after she donned her Sunday best hat and frock and prepped all of us to dress a little less like ragamuffins.

First Grade Mrs. Buffington

That’s me, front row, dead center, sitting between girls I don’t remember. My twin is second from the left between Betty and Judy.  I also recognize Necia, Eva, Pearl, Margaret, and Donald, maybe Lawrence in the front row. The second row stretches my sketchy memory cells with positive IDs for Keith and Loretta and Lorelei. In the back row, I recognize Philip and Gene, but a couple of others look familiar.

My twin and I are planning to organize a reunion of the “live” bunch and gather memorial information for the others. If you or family members are in this photo, or if you recognize a friend, email me at info@carrtwins.com.

 

P.S. Double Take by Vi Parsons and Violet Moore, published by Carr Twins & Co., is available from Amazon and www.carrtwins.com.

 

DOUBLE TAKE FRONT COVER 2014

 

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Wonder Woman

Education

Papa said kindergarten was a waste of time. It was mornings only, ending at noon. When he wasn’t gardening for other people, he and Mama worked together in farm fields and fruit orchards. They couldn’t be worried about finding someone to care for the twins until they got home at dark. No kindergarten for us no matter how many people tried to persuade Papa.

Student chair

While our childhood neighbors and friends learned the fun way in kindergarten class, we learned from our sister Nadine in play school. We recognized crayon colors. We colored inside the lines. We counted. We read. We were ready for the first grade without kindergarten.

One long, very boring school day, Mrs. Buffington was teaching our first grade class to follow coloring guidelines. She gave each of us a single mimeographed workbook page to color. She read the printed instructions aloud, reminding us to choose the correct colors and to color inside the figure outlines.

Crayola stampHer instructions were redundant to me. I knew how to do all those things and I could read the printed instructions for myself. I didn’t need her help. I followed the directions. Color the chair brown. Okay. Color the girl’s dress blue. Done. Next, color her hair yellow. Yellow? No way! I didn’t want my girl to have yellow hair.

F - from Wikipedia

With favorite comic book characters as my guide, I made my own color choice. When Mrs. Buffington returned the papers to take home at the end of the day, a bold red F was printed on the top left of my coloring page with a circle drawn around the girl’s face. I didn’t understand. Everything was colored in the lines. It looked good to me. When I questioned Mrs. Buffington about the grade, she said it was because I didn’t understand colors.

“Do, too!” I protested.

She insisted that I misunderstood the directions because I colored the girl’s hair blue instead of yellow. “Nobody has blue hair,” she said.

I defended my choice of cobalt blue hair to the old fashioned school teacher. I said, “Wonder Woman® does.”

 

SensationComics-Wonder Woman

 

 

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Christmas Candy

Shopping CartAt Red’s Market, Papa selects a few groceries, writes each item in a pocket size notebook, and places the food into the shopping cart. A silent moment, as if thinking, follows after he totals the amount. He dips a metal scoop into an open bin of a new crop of walnuts. He carefully inspects each nut and discards those with damaged shells. He weighs the remaining walnuts and pours them from the metal bin on the hanging scale into a small brown paper bag. He calculates the weight, multiplies it by the price per pound, and writes the total in his notebook.Lard can

After each of the infrequent grocery trips, the food is put away in the kitchen, then Papa goes into the cellar. From the dining room, I hear the scrape as he drags out the metal can and a distinct pop when he opens the lid. Then the familiar sounds of the lid snapping back in place and noises of pushing the heavy can back under the steps.

Chocolate-drops

On the next shopping trip, Papa hesitates at the open bin of chocolate drops. He scoops, then pours the confections into the smallest paper bag. He weighs it, calculates the price and enters it into his notebook.

Papa’s favorites are the white centers. His second choice is pink. The pink tastes strong to me, more like soap or bubble bath than candy. The plain are good, but I like the lemon yellow or maple brown fillings.

small-brown-paper-bag

At home, Papa follows his ritual as he carries the tiny bag of chocolate drops toward the cellar door. My mouth waters. I ask for one. “No” is his stern reply. I watch him pull open the trap door and descend. I listen for the familiar metal scrape, the air pop, and the returning push that seals his answer. No chocolate today.

PieThe next day, aromas drift from the kitchen throughout our small house. Mama is cooking chicken and dressing, baking sweet potatoes and making pies. While she works, Papa disappears into the cellar numerous times, returning with treasures from the cans, then closes the trap door.

I plead for the chocolate drops. Mama intercedes, and surprisingly, Papa agrees. One chocolate drop is offered to each of us twins. The aroma of my carefully chosen nugget is stronger than pungent sage and other spicy smells from the stove. I close my eyes and bite slowly into the candy, hoping for the luscious taste of lemon or creamy maple. Ugh! The soapy taste of pink! I swallow it in disappointment.

Glass candy dish with lidPapa fills the lidded glass candy bowl with chocolate drops, off limits until Christmas. No more pink for me. Tomorrow, when no one is watching, I will prick the bottom of each chocolate drop with a toothpick searching for lemon yellow fillings.

Tomorrow is Christmas.

Merry Christmas-Snowman

 

Excerpts from “Christmas Candy” from Double Take (Released December 2014) by Vi Parsons and Violet Moore. Purchase AUTOGRAPHED books from Carr Twins & Co. website, or buy from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978923642 .

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Say that again

Pill BottleHeart

In a search for heart medication information, I read this this important warning.

Do not take this medication if you have ever had a heart attack without first consulting your physician.

What if I don’t have time to get my physician’s permission before I call nine one one?

But, of course, the message was a warning that anyone with a history of heart attacks should avoid this medication. It’s a simple case of a misplaced modifier.

How about this twisted sentence?

Shoes

 

 

The new student sat in the corner seat wearing blue running shoes.

Wish I could have seen that chair tying its shoes.

Special thanks to Dr. L. Kip Wheeler, Carson-Newman College, Jefferson, Tennessee for these two hilarious examples of misplaced modifiers.

Thief

 

The robber was described as a six foot-tall man with brown hair and blue eyes and a mustache weighing 150 pounds.

That thief must have had a difficult time carrying the mustache and the loot.

 

Dog pulling luggage

 

The time had come to leave at last. Deciding to pack up for college, my dog stared sadly at me as I bustled about the room.

His dog packed up for college? I couldn’t get my dog to put her toys in the box.

My twin and I have spent a few hectic weeks editing short stories for Double Take, our shared memoir about growing up in the California San Joaquin Valley. I know some readers will stumble over that Spanish name, so I decided to insert a simplified hint in the press release.

Vi Parsons and Violet Moore, the Carr Twins, reminisce about their childhood, recounting similar memories of growing up in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley (pronounced san‑ wä‑ˈkēn).

The hint looks out of place following Valley. Where should I add the pronunciation key? I’ll check Wikipedia.

 San Joaquin Valley /ˌsæn hwɑːˈkiːn/

Hmmm. The Wikipedia authors don’t know how to pronounce San Joaquin either.

 

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