Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday 9: Take a Letter

Saturday 9: Take a Letter, Maria (1969)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
(I have always liked this song. I remember my father singing it when I was young.)

1) In this song, R. B. Greaves gets a shock when he gets home from work. When is the last time you were surprised? Was it a happy or sad surprise?

A. Last Christmas a friend gave me an unexpected gift. It was a throw blanket from Barnes & Noble with first sentences from novels on it. It was lovely and it's very warm. It was very unexpected and much appreciated.

2)  Mr. Greaves sings that he didn't get home until "about a half past ten." That's a very long workday. No wonder his wife felt neglected! Have you ever had trouble maintaining balance between homelife and career?

A. When I was writing for the newspaper full time, I worked from home and it was as if I were working all waking hours. People called me with stories all the time, no matter the hour, and sometimes I would be writing at 2 a.m. I would say that was a problem.

3) According to the song, "Maria" is a secretary. Have you ever worked in an office?

A. I have worked in many offices. I started out as a file clerk and ended up as a legal secretary. I did that for about 10 years. I know administrative professionals (as I believe they call themselves these days) provide a vital function, but it is not my thing, really. I might enjoy it in a different setting but law offices were incredibly stressful, and no offense to nice lawyers (I did work for one or two), but many of them are jackasses.

4)  In today's office, R.B. Greaves wouldn't ask Maria to "take a letter." Instead, he'd keystroke his own email to his wife and cc his lawyer before hitting, "send." Think of another phrase, like "take a letter," that we seldom hear anymore because of technology.

A. "I'm going to take a Polaroid."

5) "Maria" is mentioned in many songs ("Maria" from West Side Story, "Maria, Shut Up and Kiss Me" by Willie Nelson, "How Do Solve a Problem like Maria?" . . .) but Crazy Sam discovered  few, if any, "Samantha" songs. Does your first name figure prominently in any lyrics?
A. I don't know of any and a search turned up zilch.

6) 1969 was the year that Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon. Do you believe in life on other planets?
A. I do. You didn't define "life" and a microbe or amoeba or something is a life form. Surely there are things like that out there someplace. As far as beings like us, maybe. I don't see any reason why there shouldn't be. Or an infinite number of parallel galaxies, for that matter, in which one of them I am a clown.

7) In 1969, the Beatles performed publicly for the last time as a band, on the roof of Abbey Road studios. When did you last climb up onto your roof?

A. Never. I have a husband for that.
8) Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries sold at a brisk pace at Christmastime in 1969. Were you a fan of these books? If not, tell us about a book you remember enjoying when you were young.

A. I loved Nancy Drew and enjoyed Hardy Boys. I preferred the first to the second. As far as other books, I loved the Black Beauty series, Misty at Chincoteague, Island of the Blue Dolphin, Across Five Aprils, and every "Little Golden Book" I could get my hands on. I read Wuthering Heights before I was 10 years old. I was always reading.

9) Random question: Do you consider yourself old fashioned?
A. Is there a word for middle fashioned? I don't think I'm exactly old fashioned but I do think that some things have changed for the worse instead of better.

I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.


  1. Middle Fashioned is great. I not only agree that some things have changed for the worse, and do hope that when and if this comes up again, we remember to use your phrase. Thanks!
    Reading is one of the great joys of life, isn't it? Have a great weekend!

  2. I also had a camera-related outdated technology answer.

  3. wow that sounds like an awesome blanket! that would fascinate me, being able to read first lines and see how many of them i know and how many of them i still have to read! we went to the library often when i was young, and island of the blue dolphins was one of those that i borrowed a lot!

  4. 'Middle Fashion' I love that!
    I heard that they brought back some Polaroids. I still have a couple of cameras. I wonder if I can find film for them.......................................................................... :)

  5. There's a country song (Waylon? Willie?) called "Anita, You're Dreaming."

    1. Well I'll be dogged. I'll have to hunt that up.

  6. Number 3 - I work in an office now. Apparently there are songs that mention my name, but I have never heard them.


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