Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I recently wrote my grade school, high school and college buddy Jack Malone of Spokane and now Longview, Wash. for making the a mini-reunion last week in Seattle great and we need to do this again before another 50 years slip by. The fact that he could remember the names of all those Roosevelt teachers is remarkable. The aging Southern Belle spinster Lou Eckhardt was my favorite in third grade and she abandoned us for a mink coat, Cadillac and diamond ring to marry a decrepit former governor named Martin. Never forgave her.
Jack recalled that his family was one of the first to get TV in 1952 since his dad owned a hardware store. It was an Emerson and like most kids at that time he watched the test pattern on KHQ with easy listening music providing audio. On the other hand our family may have been the last to get TV and it was an Arvin (Google that one). Jack’s brother, Jerry, who lives in the family’s Spokane Wall St. home, is planning a Roosevelt Grade School reunion, although the school was torn down and replaced with an ugly modern building.
I hoped that his daughter Jennilee wasn’t too bored with our tripping down memory lane but she is a treasure with her super electronic devices, like the GPS that talks to her from the heavens. How creepy is that but it sure eases travel anxiety. It’s a given that young people are on the cutting edge of everything electronic. On the other hand Jack doesn't do computers or DVDs. I can’t use an IPOD, detest my cell phone and still have a turntable and LPs that I bought in Spokane at the Music Box or the Crescent in the 50s.
In the 80s after Mt. St. Helen’s erupted, Jack produced and was a creative force behind an LP that paid tribute to Harry Truman who did not leave home during this catastrophe. I can identify with that because moving is way too much of a hassle -- bring on the flood or hot lava. I have played his wonderful LP and the music is reminiscent of Garrison Keilor’s show. I have framed the album and it is now on my living room wall.
Former Spokanites will be happy to know that the historic State Theater is being restored and renamed the “Bing” after Spokane’s favorite son, Bing Crosby. Twin Cities film archivist and historian Bob DeFlores is my authority on this and Bob is helping Gonzaga University with its Crosby collection and will be on hand for the State’s grand reopening.