Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grandmother Tarpley

I bought a January 1961 issue of National Geographic on eBay last night. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that that was the issue featuring a fold-out, cutaway view of the Eisenhower White House.

If you were like me, at some point around 1969 or 1970 you found that issue in a back bedroom of your grandparents' house in Tulsa, and spent the next 2 years wearing out the pages memorizing all the rooms of the White House.

Perhaps, if you were really a lot like me, you even built a scale model of the White House completely out of paper in your grandparents' living room, only to destroy it two hours later in a fit of anger over something that was obviously the fault of your older brother, Brad, who never did really possess your extraordinary sense of creativity despite his butt-kissing straight-A smugness.

But I digress.

I was excited to find that old magazine, and I can't wait to get it, and tonight I thought--for an instant--"I'll call Grandmother Tarpley!"

But of course I can't call Grandmother Tarpley. It's funny how you can suddenly and urgently miss someone who has been gone for 9 years. But of course I do. Every now and then, over something really important like an old issue of National Geographic, I do.

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