When humor goes, there goes civilization. ~Erma Bombeck




April 6, 2009

Odd Balls ?

Remember your odd ball neighbors from your childhood. My brother, remember the painter, anyway he called me yesterday to remind me of one of ours. Her name was Mrs. Radley. A strange German woman who lived next door to us.

She spoke with a heavy accent and many a night we would hear her yelling at her husband and daughter as she cried. "You just like to make fun of me because I'm German." I thought no you are just weird lady.

One evening her daughter Angie baby sat my brother and I. I think I was about 8 at the time and my brother was 4. Angie was all of 12 yrs. old herself. It was bed time and she had lost control. I was crying, my brother was crying, so what does Angie do, she calls her mom over.
Mrs. Radley came over and told us it was 8 turdy and ve shoult be in bed! I said "8 turdy?" She came unglued started yelling in German, well needless to say Angie never baby sat for us again.


On the opposite side of the street we had little Italy. The Sirianni's, The Perry's, The Valone's and last but not least The Marianni's. Cindy Marianni was my best friend. The Valone's had a house full of boys, that this just say they took my breath away.

Ummmm Hmmmm. They all sat around in their underpants. No but, the oldest one would wash his car in shorts that almost looked like underpants. He had dark hairy legs with a chest to go with them. Yep, tall dark and handsome. That was the first time I realized Hmmmm I like the way that man looks. He was a spicy meatballa.

Mrs. Valone would bring us the most delicious Italian Pastries. Oh my they were something. She was the sweetest woman. It wasn't until years later we learned she had been caught on several occasions shop lifting from the grocery store. It was in the newspaper and everything. We wondered why even in the deadly heat of summer she would always be wearing her big heavy coat when leaving the house. Come to find out that's where she stowed away her large Italian meats, hams and other assorted goodies.

Mr. Perry was senile, he walked up and down the street all day wearing peed pants. That was very sad but, what was sadder is his wife would make him wear the same pants day after day. Being the nice kids we were we called him Pee Pants Perry and wouldn't get near him.

Mr. and Mrs. Sirianni could barely speak English. My mother was in the Relief Society Presidency. ( a woman's group for our church) They went to visit Mrs. Sirianni to see if they could be of any service to her and make her feel welcome in the neighborhood, she was very happy they came, so happy she went in the kitchen and broke out some celebratory red wine. She proudly served it from beautiful little glasses she was carrying on an ornate tray. Well being Mormons none of these women visiting drank alcohol, but didn't have the heart to try and explain the whole thing to a woman who wouldn't understand what they were saying anyway.
They each politely smiled took their glasses and chugged it down. I noticed after that my mom visited her at least 3 times a week.

Now let's get back to Mrs. Radley.
Our homes were very close together, just separated by chain link fences. Our driveway was next to Mrs. Radley's side yard. In the winter my dad would shovel our driveway and pile the snow up next to our chain link fence. One day Mrs. Radley came over and told my father that he shouldn't have to pile the snow next to the fence like that " just throw it in my side yard" she told him. When the next storm hit that's what he did. She was promptly at our door crying and yelling at my dad for throwing all that snow over the fence and smashing her bushes.
My dad was like " I just did what you told me to Jane." Next thing I knew my dad was in her side yard shoveling all that snow back into our driveway. From then on the snow stayed smashed up against the fence.

When my younger brother was 3 he left his tricycle out on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Radley's house. Next thing we knew it disappeared. We looked all over for that thing. A week later there was Mrs. Radley at the door with my brothers bike. She told my mother she hid it to teach the little heathen a lesson. I think my mom said "What The Hell?!!" (she was a little drunk from visiting Mrs. Sirianni)

Later when I was in Jr. High someone burned a swastika into Mrs. Radley's grass. I think it was my mom.


Ahhhh memories. I thought I would share a few with you. Try not to ever look or act like Mrs. Radley and, never hide your toddler neighbors bike from him. He won't learn a lesson!


23 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Those are some neighbors and memories!

And for the record, I cannot believe I was allowed to babysit at 12 years-old. Never will I do that.

Suzi said...

That was funny. Thanks for the laughs and Happy Birthday!

Lisa Loo said...

I always find myself vaguely disturbed and highly amused when I come read your blog. You should write a book. And what was Mrs. Sirianni's address again??! I'm sorry but that whole image of 3 sweet RS sisters trying to decide what to do--tat will keep me smiling for days!!

Amanda said...

I needed a smile right now more than you know...

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Everybody has a strange neighbor or two. And if you don't, then it's probably you. :)

Loved the Mrs. Sirriani story. Thanks for the laughs.

sandy said...

Sounds like a great neighborhood!

Happy birthday:0)

My New 30 said...

What would the world be like without quirky neighbors?!

Kathy B! said...

It's your birthday?! Shoot, I was supposed to get you a marzipan cake!!! I suppose that measn my adoption is cancelled :) C'est la vie!

And the neighborhood? Reading this I felt as though I were watching a vivid, colorful movie with beautiful (and eccentric) characters. Loved it.

Emma said...

Have a happy birthday Lady. I would ask you how old you are (insert dad's response here) but it just doesn't have the same effect over the computer! Love you!!!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Funny!! LOL Mrs. Jelly Belly's comment was perfect!!!
Mona

Mandy said...

Happy Birthday Funny Lady!! You most definitely have to do something FUN!! I agree with the one above, if you don't have strange neighbors around you then it probably is you!! :) Great memories!!

Small House said...

OH MY WORD!! How funny. I can totaly relate to your mom's R.S. Presidency story. We've all had our share haven't we. FUNNY-FUNNY!
Have a great day.
Sandra

Bonnie the Boss said...

Great post! I got a good laugh! Neighborhood dynamic, it is never dull and boring.

Debbie said...

I love those stories about your neighbors. We didn't have anyone that colorful where I grew up.

nikkicrumpet said...

I think one of the best days this year...was the day I found your blog! You always crack me up and make me smile. You just have a wonderful way of making any story funny and fun to read. This was hilarious! Thanks for making my day everytime I visit!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

You crack me up! She sounds like the grumpy old guy on a movie Cole loves ... oh crap I can't think of it's name! ... Oh yeah Monster house (mommy brain). Love the picture!

Andrea said...

I heard you had a birthday recently...happy birthday!!!

Celine said...

Happy birthday Nana!!! :)

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Happy, happy birthday, Nana. I know I am late, but I had to send my well wishes your way.

I loved reading about the Little Italy in your neighborhood growing up. I always knew there was a reason that we connected!

-Francesca

Grand Pooba said...

Merry Easter! I mean Happy Birthday!

ann said...

i have a fan award for you .please come by and pick pick it up...ann

ann said...

do you really emember all this or do you make it up?i can't remember fiddly dee...ann

Messy Jess said...

Happy Easter Happy Birthday Happy Laughing. Great stuff.