Monday, September 05, 2005

And Then I Laughed


Gypsy
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
My tour of hotels took me to St. Paul, MN this weekend. Frankly I'm trying to kill some time waiting for Kathy to get out to St. Louis. I thought a good way to do that would be to visit my parents. If you are looking for my parents on Labor Day weekend, you better be looking at the Minnesota State Fair.

I rolled into town about 4 pm on Saturday, after spending the night just north of Bloomington, IL, home of Illinois State. My parents came over to the hotel they booked for me and we talked for an hour or two.

They had made plans to go over to Mancini's Steak House for dinner and meet my aunt and uncle (my god-parents) who they were staying with. We hung out in the lounge for 20 minutes, and had a drink until they met us. After a few more minutes, we went into dining room.

Nice meal. I'm not much on steak, but I'll do the "small filet" at Mancini's. Crusty on the outside and tasty. I love the plate that is just left on every table with peppers and pickles and tomatoes. Tasty.

Some info on my Aunt and Uncle. They lived in Australia for about 10 years (maybe from when I was 2 until 11?). I think that my aunt tries to make up for missed time by telling me the good stories. And she always made me remember that "your father is much older than me." 3 years.

Well, just as we were finishing the meat (well, my uncle and I had steaks, every one else had the Walleye), my aunt says "I have a story to tell about (your father)." Just the way she said it, I knew it was going to be good. My dad immediately looked warily at his sister.

We had been talking about the MN State Fair. Apparently, when she was 12, her mother (my gradma) decided to take her to see Gypsy Rose Lee in the Club Lito (sp?) on the Royal American Shows midway. It was one of those tents on the midway where they'd try to get ya to drop 25c to come in and see the risque show (or bearded lady, or whatever).

Why? Who can say. My grandma was, as my mom said, "pretty straightlaced." I bet if you could go back in time and ask her, it would be the kind of thing where she would say she didn't know. That is just a guess as she passed away about the time I was born.

So apparently as my 12 year old aunt and her mother sit down in the back of the tent, who should walk in but her 15 year old brother and his best friend, and plop down in the front row. I looked over at my dad at this point in the story and he was turning all sorts of shades of red. But he wasn't admitting to anything.

Apparently, years later, my grandma confided in my aunt that she had confessed it to her priest and gotten in some trouble with him. That was when my dad chimed in with "I never confessed it." And then I was laughing a lot.

Apparently, Gypsy could make the tassles rotate in opposite direction. There were hand motions. And then I was laughing more.

That is when my mom apparently connected some dots from her own past. Apparently this was the fist time she had heard that story.

She said that she and my dad were walking through the midway at the fair one year and they passed the Club Lito tent and my dad's jaw just dropped. She prefaced this with "I never told you about how your dad was almost never your father."

I like dinners with my aunt. I told her I was going to put the story up here, but I wouldn't tell her the address. Lets see if she tracks me down (is that another violation of #3?).

4 Comments:

Blogger Mkae said...

I've been to Mancini's! Great food! My wife is from St. Paul so I go there usually once per year. Make sure you try Savoy Pizza next time you're up there. You can get it in South St. Paul and a few other areas.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'm downright chortling. I can imagine your dad as that story is being told. Excellent.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

My dad is friends with Nick and Maryanne (Mancini). Nick isn't doing to well, so think well of him when you think of a nice hunk of tasty meat.

Savoy Pizza, eh? I'll ask my boys about it when I'm next there.

Jason, I was dying, although I'm positive my retelling does it no justice at all.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Polly said...

Good story, Tom.

10:15 AM  

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