Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday 9: Freeway of Love

Saturday 9: Freeway of Love (1985)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) In this song, Aretha's ideal car is a pink Caddy. What's your dream vehicle?

A. I don't really have one. My husband, however, wants a red Lamborghini.

2) Have you ever owned a convertible?

A. My Toyota has a moon roof. Does that count?

3) Aretha longs to "drop the pedal and go." Are you a careful, conservative driver? Or do you enjoy going fast?

A. When I was young, I drove fast. But now I am old and I drive the speed limit. I try not to make left turns. Wisdom and age, and the knowledge that life is short and precious, does that to you.

4) Aretha's grandmother Rachel helped raise her. Tell us about one of your grandparents.

A. My maternal grandmother, in a sense, helped raise me. She was my babysitter until I started school, and every summer until I was 13 and old enough to stay home and keep my brother and myself. Grandma once worked at the Oscar Myer plant in Salem, before she married, but once she had my mother (her first born), she stayed at home. Sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, my grandfather built a house along the Roanoke River across from what was then Eaton Yale Industries; I think the house is one of the few left along the river greenway trail. My grandmother was terrified of the river and was constantly telling us not to play in it because it was polluted (which at the time it was). We mostly had that kind of childhood where Grandma would open the door and say, "get outside" and you'd go play and not return until you were hungry or needed to pee. I remember Granddaddy cookies (Little Debbie oatmeals that my grandfather hauled to his job at Kroger in his lunch pail), chocolate pudding made the old fashioned way (cooking it), and macaroni and cheese. She gave good hugs, sang a lot, and believed in family. She was not religious in the conventional sense but she had religion, if you get that. She was also a little fey at times (it's a family trait) and I never knew if she was happy with her life. However, she seldom complained. My grandfather died in 1976, when my grandmother was 53, and she was a widow for over 30 years. Since she didn't work, I guess she managed on Social Security and babysitting money. Grandma died at the age of 84 in 2007. I just last week posted a series of pictures of my grandmother, you can see them here.

Below is a Google view of the house my grandfather built.

5) Aretha played a waitress in the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers. Have you ever worked in food service?

A. When I was about 14 I spent a few weeks working in the kitchens at Camp Mitchell, which was a church camp a few miles down the road from where we lived. At the time it was operated by the Church of the Brethren and children wen there during the summer for swimming and things like that. I suppose that counts as food service.

6) Aretha was a chain smoker for decades and had a terrible time giving up cigarettes. What habit do you wish you could break?

A. It would be nice if I could stop chewing my nails but after 50 years of doing it I don't suppose that will happen. I really don't chew on them as much as I did; I keep them clipped very short so I won't and I try to keep my fingers out of my mouth so I don't get sick. But still, they are pretty ratty looking and not my best feature.

7) A sculpture of Aretha is at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York City. What's the last museum you visited?

A. The Botetourt County Historical Museum.

8) Since Aretha has many honorary degrees, it would be appropriate to refer to her as Dr. Franklin. Who is the last person you addressed by his or her title (Officer, Father, Pastor, Dr., etc.)?

A. On Thursday, I saw an orthopedic doctor and so addressed him by his "doctor" title. He put a steroid shot in my foot and it hurts so much I can barely walk. Of course, I could barely walk before the shot so not much has changed. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I will see improvement. Last weekend, the sheriff dropped in for a visit (he lives nearby and grew up with my husband and me, we are friends), and I addressed him as Sheriff. I also sometimes call my husband "Chief" since he is a Battalion Chief in a nearby city fire department.

9) The daughter of a minister, Aretha enjoys singing "church music" and her 1972 CD Amazing Grace is one of the best sellers in gospel music history. Do you have any gospel music on your phone, iPod or MP3 player?

A. Not nary a single song. I do, however, have New Age music on there. It's very soothing.


  1. Love the story about your grandmother. Thank you so much for sharing. She sounds like she would fit in nicely in Mayberry (post below).

  2. I was thinking of having that shot well before my trip. I would like for my ankle not to hurt.

  3. I find myself biting my nails every now and then. Have a great Saturday!

  4. Thanks for including the link to pictures of your grandmother. You really captured her.

  5. I enjoyed reading your grandma's story. And your "no left turns" makes me laugh.

  6. Wow, family responsibilities and realizing that life turns on a dime, that really does help lighten the "lead" foot. Me, too, Country Dew. And thank you for the peek into your grandmother's connection to you. It was lovely.

  7. I loved reading about your family. Thanks for sharing that.
    I have a whole new perspective on how people managed in retirement like that. It's pretty scary to be along. 53 is young for that. You were left with some great memories though.

  8. I am habitually running behind...please accept my apologies...this semester is just kicking my tail feathers, wink. I enjoyed your answers--my dream car: Alfa Romeo (however one spells it). Have a great upcoming week, hope your foot feels better. Blessings

  9. I'm like you driving and next car is going to all those gadgets that check your blind spots


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