I remember Great-Great-Grandma Moses was ninety years older than my brother and me.
Ninety years older, down to the very day, in fact.
I remember she’d been born the same year as J. Edgar Hoover, as Buster Keaton, as Jack Dempsey and as Babe Ruth, and although she did not know any of those people (so far as I know she didn’t, anyway), it made me feel somehow connected to them to know her.
Connected to the past. To history.
I introduced my Great-Great-Grandma Moses, born in the same year that Friedrich Engels died, to the music of Nirvana, and we went to see Jurassic Park together and then made jokes all the way home about how she had seen real dinosaurs in her day.
I remember that when I knew Great-Great-Grandma Moses, she was living at my great-grandparents’ house. When I say “living,” I mean that she kept her stuff there and occasionally stopped by for a few hours to eat or to sleep.
I remember she would disappear for weeks on end and then pop up completely unannounced, sauntering in the door like some Time Lord back from exploring all space and time. Even then, you did not know whether she planned to stay for dinner until she took off her wig and shook it out.
The wig-shaking. This would be the sign that she was going to stay for a little while.
I remember that my Great-Great-Grandma Moses’ room was notable for only two reasons. First, she had three enormous console televisions – you know, the old kind that were like real wooden furniture but took five minutes to warm up? – and at 11 am, when she was home, she’d switch on all three at the same time so she could catch up on her “stories.”
Her “stories,” of course, were soap operas, and they aired on all three networks all day long back in those days. I remember that Great-Great-Grandma Moses did not have TV remotes for any of her televisions, and that she’d stand there in front of the three enormous consoles, turning the volume of each up or down by hand as she detected something important happening on the screen.
I remember that Great-Great-Grandma Moses would do this for four hours a day.
The second notable thing about Great-Great-Grandma Moses’ room was the newspapers. And no, it’s not what you might think, these were not newspapers with some historical value, not items from her childhood or from places she visited in her mysterious intermittent travels. No, these were “Weekly World News” and other junk rags from the check-out aisle of the local grocery store, announcing Satan’s return to Earth or the capture of Bigfoot (again).
I never saw my great-great grandma reading any of these papers, but there were always piles of them in her room and they were always the very latest issues.
“Demon Boy Found in Cave in Brazil!”
“Earth Caught in Crossfire of Thousand-Year Intergalactic War!”
“Marilyn Monroe Alive and Well and in Indonesia!”
These were incredibly exciting stories to a nine-year old. Or to a ninety-nine-year old, apparently, as the case might be.
I remember these newspapers were always best right around New Year’s, because that’s when they’d publish their predictions for the upcoming year. Prophesies of Jesus Christ’s return in April. Of Armageddon in May. Of Nostradamus proved correct yet again in June and of Madonna giving birth to Josef Stalin’s love child in July. (I know: That timeline seems off to me, too. I mean, Madonna is still around two months after Armageddon?)
I remember I always wanted to keep track of these newspaper predictions to see what their accuracy rate was, but… I was only nine when Great-Great-Grandma Moses disappeared, and nine-year olds don’t plan that far ahead.
We never knew what had happened to Great-Great-Grandma Moses. One day, she simply stopped coming back to my great-grandparents’ house. We left her room just the way it was when she disappeared, changed the sheets on the bed every week and kept the latest issue of “Weekly World News” on the nightstand.
But she never came back and we never heard from her again.
We never heard from her again, that is, until this past Sunday night.
That’s the night Great-Great-Grandma Moses – one hundred and seventeen years old by my calculations and not looking a day over one-oh-five – came bounding in the door of the flophouse where I currently stay.
She walked in.
She looked around.
She took off her wig and she shook it out.
Then she dropped the latest issue of “Weekly World News” on a coffee table, grabbed a remote control, and flipped over to something called the Soap Opera Channel, which I had not previously even known existed.
This past Sunday night, my Great-Great-Grandma Moses caught up on her stories.
Then she left.
But here is the thing, and it’s the only reason I am bothering to tell you about all of this Great-Great-Grandma Moses business at all: When she left the flophouse this past Sunday night, Great-Great-Grandma Moses forgot left behind her latest issue of “Weekly World News.”
It was the special year-end issue with predictions and prophesies for the next twelve months, and this is what the big headline across the top read:
“NOSTRADAMUS FOR 2013: KATY GETS HER KIDS BACK!”
Yes, you heard it here first, folks, and if you doubt that headline, well, then you might as well kick my one hundred seventeen year old great-great-grandma in the gut.
2013 will be the year I get my kids back.
2013 will be the year I get my kids back.
I feel it is only right that I give them the opportunity to remember their own Great-Great-Great-Grandma Moses stories someday. So let’s get going on this thing, shall we? We’re already fourteen hours in and I am growing impatient…
That is an appalling insult to Abe Lincoln, after all "HE" is the greatest ever American.ReplyDelete
Abe Lincoln was responsible for starting the War of Northern Aggression!Delete
Dang straight, Katy! Abe Lincoln got what he deserved too late. That's why we hid John Wilkes Booth here in Texas. The South is gonna rise again!Delete
Shudder to think, you may just have spawned a whole subgenre of Madonna-on-Stalin/Stalin-on-Madonna porn.ReplyDelete
I feel compelled to make a double entendre on "collectivizing the Kulaks."Delete
So far, I've got nothing.
The phrase is clearly an expression of lustful appreciation. "I'd like to collectivize HER Kulaks!" "Hey baby, you can collectivize my Kulaks anytime." And a Soviet Socialist excuse: if the Politburo criticizes Stalin for indulging in bourgeois dalliance with a foreign pop star, he can say, "Hey, I was collectivizing her Kulaks!"Delete
There, I've substantively unrarified our discourse in one fell swoop.
And the modern version of this would be what? Lady Gaga hooking up with Osama bin Laden?Delete
When we decided that Qaddafi was bad (again) a couple years back, Mariah Carey felt the need to apologize for doing private gigs for his family in the Nineties.
I also heard something about Marilyn Monroe singing for JFK. That one might be true...
It's an archetype. Little Red Riding Hood.
I'm done. Thinking out loud does me in every time...
I have no idea what my previous reply means. It appears that I took a random comment from DanP and tried to bootstrap it into proof of an archetype. I must have been drinking last night.Delete
Well, wait... I WAS drinking last night...
Elvis used to watch 3 televisions at the same time as well, back in the mid-70`s.ReplyDelete
Katy, this summer it`ll be 20 years since your original veiwing of Jurassic Park, how do you think it holds up now against todays blockbusters ?.ReplyDelete
I hate CGI. I hate it. If I'm into a good movie and it takes a swing into CGI territory, it immediately pulls me out of the film and ruins it for me.Delete
That being said, "Jurassic Park" is... okay. The moment I first saw the part where they see the field of giant plant eaters - Brontosaurus or something - still sticks in my memory.
Stalin buggering Madonna (in POV), what total and utter glorious perfection ! ! !.ReplyDelete
I had a grandma.ReplyDelete
Two of them, actually, but I only remember one of them. She was nowhere near as interesting as yours....
I had a few.Delete
Most of them won't be getting their own blog posts, though.
Yes, but he is still regarded as "THE GREATEST EVER AMERICAN" by vast numbers of American citizens today ! ! !.ReplyDelete
What, so he can't be a woman?Delete
Not many people have the privilege of knowing their great-great-grandma. I had a great grandma once. I also had 2 grandmothers. They are all gone now and I haven't any grandmas. Great-great, great or not, I have none.ReplyDelete
My dad's side of the family live to be reasonably old, and my parents had me pretty young. Add those things together and I got to know a few of the older folks in my family.Delete
Sadly, however, the only remaining immediate family I have is a twin brother who stole my wife.
It all balances out in the big scheme of things, I guess.
Your twin stole your wife! Improbable & abominable!Delete
It is one of the 6 most improbably things that have ever happened to me.Delete
A twin brother that stole your wife? You should call Jerry Springer...or Maury.Delete
Yes, sooner or later, I'm going to have to use the headline "My Gay Twin Brother Stole My Lesbian Wife!" for a blog post.
golly gee whiz! Like an old woman, the internet can’t keep a secretReplyDelete
back in the day…
Great-Great-Grandma Moses was a double agent. Ya see,
J. Edgar Hoover ask Grandma Moses to spy on Julia Child. However, Grandma Moses was spying/reporting for Weekly World News. To reduce Grandma Moses’s exposure “they” would pass secret messages via the daily soap operas. She would do a message confirmation by posting sexy recipes on the internet.
Here is the proof
be back later with new updates!
This sort of makes me nostalgic for the Cold War. Life was so much more exciting back then, with spies and shit.Delete
nostalgic for the Cold War -- yeah, I wanted to buy myself a good spy novel for Christmas but nobody is writing good Cold War spy novels any more...Delete
It seems that the CIA has taken a back seat to the NSA. However, the real story is FBI working with private data miners.
there is a good blog or maybe another E-book here with the evil red head Anna Chapman
1) Middle Eastern terrorists just aren't portrayed with the same kind of pizzazz and style as the old Soviets.Delete
2) All redheads are evil and cannot be trusted...
this blog has created a monster blog and for that I thank you - will link back
theme for the week - "The Truth Is Out There", "Trust No One", and "I Want to Believe" and some chickens
"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple". - Oscar Wilde
"Lying is the most simple form of self-defence". - Susan Sontag
“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” - Tom Clancy
Oh how I loved the Weekly World News as a kid. Your Great-Great-Grandma is now a folk hero in my book right along side Batboy. I hope the prophesies are right and you do get your kids back. I don't want to have to kick GGMaMo (what the cool kids call her for short) right in the gut. I'd feel really bad afterward.ReplyDelete
Not to undermine the credibility of this post, I wish Great-Great-Grandma Moses had lived for long enough to have heard Art Bell's radio show. I'm sure she would have loved it.Delete
Hi Kate- In response to your comment earlier: NO it is not fun and it really opened my eyes to what a woman goes through basically every day. It was a terrible feeling and I could not imagine what it would be like if a person was more defenseless (male or female) than I. It happened because I assume women might go for what they want more nowadays regardless but mostly because I was trying to be good- and they couldn't stand being rejected.ReplyDelete
One even accused me of being gay! Good grief.
It's weird. I mean, even if it's not coming from an intimidating person, it can still feel intimidating - a situation I want to remove myself from.Delete
Plus, I generally want to watch out for the other person's feelings and all... (I say this as though it's a daily problem for me...)
J. Edgar Hoover was a faggot, the bloody dirty pansy queer bastard.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure Hoover's sexuality - regardless of what it was - would even figure into the worst 10 things about him.Delete
What did she think of queerosexuals? Was she agin' 'em?ReplyDelete
I got to meet two or three of my great-great grandmothers. One of them lived with my grandmother and she was always correcting my pronunciation of words. She had lived in the upper class world and, since my mother didn't marry well, I spoke in a lower class accent. I also remember her constantly brushing her hair as if her Knight in shining armor was to arrive any moment. H never showed up, though.
The subject never came up. She hung out with bootleggers (really!) so I'm not sure what kind of position she was in to pass judgment. Which doesn't mean she wouldn't have.Delete
the world changes fairly quickly. I'm sure it's a positive thing I won't be around in 100 years. Everything would probably offend me. Hell in a hand basket!
Katy. G-cubed Moses sounds quite like my own Gram except that my Gram stays put. She does disappear every once in a while, so maybe...Delete
As for your kids, I'm sensing that you're correct and they will reenter your life hugely.
On that hundred years dealie--who really gives a shit? So,
"Fuck Walmart"? Why do you hate America, Mooner?Delete
If she hung around with bootleggers, she may have known my late mother-in-law. She knew Steve McQueen and the madame he worked for running bootleg liquor between Louisiana and Port Arthur. Then again, they may have known different bootleggers. Who knows, though? It's a small world.Delete
We are in the 4th largest city in the United States and I don't live anywhere near where I grew up. Yet I end up being friends with people who grew up near where I did.Delete
If we were adherents of Vonnegut's fictional religion, Bokononism, we'd say we were part of the same "karass"...
Herr Presidentfuehrer Lincoln couldn't care less about the blacks...all he wanted was to "keep the Union together" - in his own words.ReplyDelete
But he was one hell of a zombie killer, from what I hear.Delete
This popped up in my feed. I thoroughly enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Such a great great story! And very well written.ReplyDelete
Thanks, workingdan. I have successfully moved it over from the old location.Delete
And, reading it now, 2013 was the year I got my kids back.
I was wondering about that. That just makes this story that much better.Delete