Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Shine On, You Crazy Diamond!

That nice old lady thumbing her nose at you (and yes, she's thumbing it at you) is my grandmother, Mary Gorman, one of the funniest - both "ha ha" and "strange" - people I've ever known. She adored me unconditionally, which I know because she would tell me at least once a day (our houses were next door to each other.) I was also her favorite grandchild, which I know because she would tell the other grandchildren this at least once a day, including Christmas and their birthdays.

Nana passed away 25 years ago, on the 4th of July - exactly the way she planned it. None of this "candle in the wind" crap for her. She went out in a blaze of pyrotechnic glory, and made sure that every year on that day, from sea to shining sea, there would be gaudy and shameless displays of fireworks. The land would smell of gunpowder and grilled meat. There would be parades and marching bands, baton twirlers and floats. Everyone would take the day off from work, and those who couldn't would get time-and-a-half. There'd be bagpipes and tall ships and 21-gun salutes. Animals would be spooked and unruly children would blow their own fingers off. Someone would eat 66 hotdogs in 12 minutes. Mark your calendars, people, it's Mary Gorman Day!

I've been lamenting the fact that - this not being even the lowliest of saint's days here - there'd be no fireworks tonight. But July is the rainy season in Querétaro, and there's a big, dark thunderstorm coming up over the hills right now. The temperature just dropped about 15 degrees and the wind is kicking up. It's about to get seriously chaotic here.

I swear, she thought of everything.


Uncle Bill said...

Thanks for the tribute and for remembering Nana -- I was very touched. But -- you missed Grampy. His 2nd anniversary was the 31st. He always did take a back seat to her.

Anonymous said...


A fitting tribute to a great lady. She would be, and probably still is, very proud of her "Golden Adonis".
She loved all of her Grandchildren, you just happened to be her first, and therefore, first in her heart.

Love, Mom

Burro Hall said...

Well, I'm also way better than those other kids.

Anonymous said...

I'll let them answer for themselves.


Anonymous said...

I hate to be the one to tell you but Nana only said she loved you best because she felt bad that you got the living crap beat out of you everyday by the neighborhood kids and wasn't sure that anyone would love you.

Julie said...

Wait a minute -- I think Nana had a special place in her heart for Jimmy, the boy who loved to play with the dials on her oxygen tank. I can still remember the day her turned her up to max volume.... aah, childhood memories.

Burro Hall said...

Yeah, Nana was all about compassion. Hey, who wants to play "squeeze"...?