Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All in My Family (Sorta) -OR- Jean, Florence, Henry, and The Amboys

**Updated 9:27PM 6/16/2014: See below.**

"This could be the wallpaper in a fag bar."

-- Archie Bunker upon receiving a present colorful Hawaiian shirt in the All in the Family episode "Amelia's Divorce" (the YouTube video screen grab is taken from above).

Antenna TV had on an All in the Family marathon on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning* in memory of Jean Stapleton, who died last Friday (May 31st, 2013) at age 90. She is best known as Edith Bunker, wife of Archie Bunker on All in the Family.

Here is reposted her New York Times obituary.

*The episodes were the ones where Edith shows the strength of her personality including at times in standing up to Archie.

The one item I meant to mention yesterday is that the character Edith Bunker always reminded me of a strange hybrid of both my maternal and paternal grandmothers. She had the frenetic neurosis, excitable lilting voice, stature and gait, and awesome housekeeping / homemaking sensibilities of my maternal (Polish) grandmother and the sweetness and naivete of my paternal (Italian) grandmother.  And Archie's screaming and temper reminded me to end of my paternal (Italian) grandfather. He also had a similar body type at the time to my grandfather.

You also have to remember that All in the Family was a really big and widely watched hit TV show back in much of the 1970s (in the era before cable TV), and even at age 7 that I watched it regularly.

There she is -- my maternal grandmother -- with my mom (her daughter) and yours truly around age three circa 1973. Her name was actually "Hedwig," which is the Germanized version of her Polish name, Jadwiga, though she went by, yes, Jean.

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**Updated 9:27PM 6/16/2014: Content in paragraph below revised slightly.**

She was in her house on Henry Street in South Amboy, New Jersey where my mom grew up and where my uncle still lives all these decades later. (Apparently, the current mayor of South Amboy is Fred Henry.)

South Amboy is south of Perth Amboy (a very strange name) and some of the signage on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway read "The Amboys." It sounds like a gay bar.


Unfortunately, the above picture was the best image of a sign I could find showing "The Amboys" and it is placed above "Shore Points" (which includes my hometown of Long Branch).

Signage on the Garden State Parkway near Exit 129.

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And here is my paternal grandmother (Florence) and grandfather (Lewis) and my dad (looking very wild) and yours truly at some long ago event in or near Long Branch, New Jersey. The date on the back of the actual photo -- scrawled in by my grandmother -- was very specific: July 2, 1972. Thus, I was but 2 years old.

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OK, so I took home the computer tonight. It was actually a crappy day in that I got to bed so hideously late last night that I had horrible, abbreviated, and frequently interrupted sleep, and then I was late to work and had to stay late. I was dragging all day. And then I did NOT go to the gym but instead went to Black Rooster including the dinner I ate. I excused myself, stopping at a potentially new restaurant with bar (Mai Thai on 19th Street NW), and walked home.

I'm so going to bed in the next hour (by 1230AM).

And tomorrow, I'm so going to the gym.


One bit of good news: A rainy pattern is forecasted starting on Thursday into next weekend. Good.

--Regulus

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