Sunday, November 13, 1977

Mamabelle's Grandmother's Birthday
Psalm 17
Day 33.5

Got up medium. Dressed. I had a nosebleed. Ate breakfast. Then we lit out for Macy's, world's largest department store. It was on 32nd st. Then went to Korvettes, and Pops bought a whole lot of paint and brushes. Then went to Chock Full O' Nuts and ate lunch. Came home, then went to the Studio Museum. Came back. Mom cooked. Ate. Put on pj's. Went to bag. Thank you, Mr. O
I ate:
  • Breakfast: 1 bowl wheatina +1 tsp honey+raisins
  • Lunch: 1 sugar donut, 1 glass orange drink, pnuts
  • Dinner: cabbage+carrot+onion+vegetable soup, egg omelet
  • Dessert: pnuts, apple omelet, honey
The weekly summary said:

A good week. Thank goodness we found WLIB! There's a lot of Caribbean music, mostly Jamaican! The police horses are starting to get shaggy. Also on Friday, there was a protest on the Shah of Iran's visit to the US. We had a nice week. Went to the Horse Show. We now have a lot of camping gear. Mom got her coat. The weather people are expecting snow flurries. It IS getting cold. But, with Mr. O, I think we can make it.

I get a chuckle seeing that "Mamabelle" had been crossed out and replaced with "Grandmother." This was because at the beginning of the year when I got a new diary, I'd go through and write all the birthdays and holidays, and in the beginning of 1977, she was still Mamabelle. After August, she became Grandmother...

Finding WLIB was a big deal, and very welcome to hear a little bit of home. But we ended up listening to WKHK (I'm pretty sure those were the call letters), a country music station most of the time. This was also familiar, because Jamaicans were known to listen to a lot of country music from the States, particularly on Sunday mornings. The radio in Jamaica would play the slowest, saddest, drippiest country songs you ever heard. Most people who don't REALLY know Jamaica think ganja, dreadlocks, Bob Marley, wood carvings, Dunns' River Falls and the beach when they hear "Jamaica." But if you've really been there, you know the other side of Jamaica; the gated verandahs, the tropical vegetation in the mountains, quiet and clean-shaven men who worked hard and came home every night for food, dominoes and Red Stripe or "'Inekin". And the Sunday morning radio. Elvis Presley's "In the Ghetto." Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Lovin' You." And drippy country music like Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins.

Those first few years here, I listened to the country music station a lot, sitting in the window watching 'Two-Five down bustle down below us, singing Dolly Parton's "Here You Come Again", Crystal Gale's "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", as well as Conway Twitty, Merl Haggard, Willie & Waylon and Charley Pride. For variety, I'd listen to "66, W NNNNNNN BC!" and my favorite dj was, hell... Don Imus. He used to do this bit about the Reverend Billy Harkness and it always cracked me up. I learned to sing by singing along to the radio--Poppy said he realized I could sing when he heard me singing Debbie Boone's '"You Light Up My Life".

The Studio Museum--boy did that get to be our home away from home. Once a month or so, there was an opening. Back then, the Studio Museum occupied a fairly small second-floor corner loft on 126th street and Fifth Avenue. We went to every opening; it was warm, there were people, and the most important thing... free food!!!! We met an awful lot of people who were there for exactly the same thing. Screw art! Free food!

Oh, and did Poppy paint the whole apartment? Mmmm, well, not really. He painted a mural of Sugar Loaf Mountain in the back room.


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