Monday, April 13, 2020

Happy Birthday Sister Michele

On this date, many decades ago, around 9 in the morning, using the Burlington-Edison High School office phone, I called United General Hospital.

I do not know how it happened, or remember precisely, what with it being so many years ago, but the hospital's head of nursing, who we knew as Mrs. Chatt, answered the call, or maybe the call was directed to Mrs. Chatt. Like I said, it was a long time ago and I only remember clearly some of that day.

Such as I clearly remember a large crowd had gathered around me, knowing what I was calling to find out. When Mrs. Chatt told me I had a new baby sister, I looked at those around me and said "It's a girl".

This caused a sort of group groan. Apparently the consensus was hoping for a boy.

Mrs. Chatt told mom it sounded like I was calling from an assembly of some sort, that it sounded like a large crowd.

Later that day I drove to the hospital to check in on mom and meet my new sister. Linda Lou went with me. When I found mom the first thing she said to me was something like "Mrs. Chatt said you called from a pep assembly".

Linda Lou and I looked at each other, puzzled, wondering what mom was talking about. In October of 2018, Linda Lou flew to Phoenix, where we had fun for a couple days wondering what mom was talking about.

In August of 2017 Linda Lou and Betty Jo Bouvier drove north to Birch Bay for a visit. If I remember right when I introduced Linda Lou and Betty Jo to Michele I told Michele that Linda Lou was the first of my friends to meet her, on the day she was born.

When we found out there was going to be a new baby in the house we all had input as to what the name would be. Eventually it was decided Joey if a boy, Michele if a girl.

The summer before Michele was born that year's vacation trip was to Southern California. That included going to Hollywood and what was known at that point in time as Grauman's Chinese Theater.

That fall we poured cement in the backyard for a patio. On part of that patio we made a squared off section, replicating what we has seen at Grauman's Chinese Theater. We all etched our names and handprints into the wet cement, along with etching "Joey or Michele". We never updated this after Michele was born.

I forgot to mention, that is baby Michele on the picnic table on that aforementioned cement patio. I made that picnic table in shop at school. I did not get a good grade for my shop project. That is sister Jackie reaching out to baby Michele. The only other face I think I may recognize is that may be Barbara Brown on the far right.


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