Flaskaland
Thursday, September 19, 2013
  Licorice Schtick
c. 1960

Uncle Tadeus, Federal Reserve Bank Examiner (ret.) came by to visit with Aunt Ludmilla.  Uncle Tadeus was roped into a living room talent showcase.  They hauled out the clarinet he had given to my sister when we lived in Compton, cleaned it up, got some new reeds, and he played what he could remember of "Schnitzel music".  There was always a sticky key on that clarinet and he'd have to play around it or straight through it.

Cousin Jack, who spoke perfect German, would give us the names in German of all the pieces of living room furniture ... and on into the kitchen ....

We found plenty of ways to amuse ourselves even when sometimes stodgy relatives came to visit.

Frank liked the ethnic meals my mom would prepare ... the perfectly roasted pork, the sauerkraut with caraway seeds, pickled beets ... and sometimes dumplings!  He loved the pumpernickel, "Eight pounds a slice!"  The poppyseed cake.  And any of the Kolache, especially in prune.  But for New Year's, an old custom, we'd give him poppyseed Kolache.

As their rare arrivals always called for a special occasion, we would take Uncle Taddeus and Aunt Ludmilla out to a fine restaurant (i.e., Henry's drive-in) during their visits.  Or a grand coffee shop like Denny's.  In this instance, Taddeus and Ludmilla wanted to take the kids out to get to know them a bit.  Frank went to Denny's with us for lunch.  I honestly forget what everyone else had (I know mine was a sloppy cheeseburger, and my sister's a denver "omlette" which was misspelled on the menu) because .....

Aunt Ludmilla (former Marshall's Department Store employee and law suit victor) and Uncle Ted (Federal Reserve Bank Examiner, ret.) could (surprisingly) do a great impersonation of some of the old Bob & Ray routines.  Now Aunt Ludmilla was always finely attired because of years working in upscale retail before she became a secretary somewhere and wore lots of lovely scarves and Uncle Ted .... elegant!  Immensely tasteful pin striped suits (I even saw a photo of him in such a suit with finely cut lapels, perfectly knotted windsor, tie pin, wearing spats!, carrying a walking stick all while wearing a hamberg when "on the job".).

So we were seated across from them, Frank, my sister, and I, and the waitress brought the menus.  Then she came back for the order and stood there poised with the pad and pen.  Which was when Aunt Ludmilla and Uncle Taddeus, to my everlasting amazement, launched into a surprising expression of talent ... They threw their dialog back and forth about the order, like the old Bob & Ray asking a question strange answer double talk routine .... which I can't find easily online, so this Bob & Ray will have to do. 



 




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