Strange laws seem to be a part of our legal system. I suppose they might have had a purpose at some point, but somehow most of us just can’t see what it might have been. Section 18-54 of the Little Rock Arkansas city ordinances says, “No person shall sound the horn on a vehicle at any place where cold drinks or sandwiches are served after 9:00 p.m.” Immediately my mind begins to question this law, known as the Little Rock Sandwich Shop Law.
It is mind boggling to think that this could have been such a constant problem in Little Rock that it could require immediate legal intervention. And it wasn’t that honking in front of the sandwich shop was a problem all the time, just after 9 p.m. In reality, that isn’t even late. So, honking after 9 p.m. would get the culprit a citation and a fine, but what if you were trying to prevent an accident? Think about it. What a choice, have an accident, or get a ticket for trying to prevent one. So, with our accident, does the person who honked to prevent the accident get the ticket, or is it the guy who caused the accident, but obeyed the law, and didn’t honk.
Now, be aware that “drive-by honkings” that are performed prior to 9 p.m. are completely acceptable, so any sandwich shop heckling that you may have planned just had to be completed with this time frame in mind. I leave questions like these to be answered by those with more formidable legal minds than myself. My guess is that it had something to do with teenaged drivers, who were really just out for a good time, and wanted to say “Hello” to their friends. I suppose the adults didn’t like all the honking, but seriously, how early do these adults go to bed, or need their quiet time, anyway. Whatever the case may be…this was one law that could only be classified as ridiculous.
Most of us have gone through a time in our lives when we hated our name. We wonder why our parents would have considered such an awful name for their child. It doesn’t matter what the name is either. It could be the cutest name on earth, and it’s owner would probably at one point or another, hate it. As an early teenager, I thought my name was too strange. I suppose I was at an age where it seemed important to blend in with the crowd, and an unusual name simply didn’t do that for me. I often thought I might like to be named Carrie, and yet, I never took that or any other nickname. I guess deep inside, I didn’t really dislike my name at all, but was rather at a self conscious age, and the name seemed as good a scapegoat as any. These days, I love my name, and I wouldn’t want any other.
My mom had told me that she was ok with her first name, Collene, even though most people mispronounced it and called her Colleen, which is not her name at all. Collene is pronounced with a short o sound, while Colleen is pronounce with a long o sound. This was not the name she disliked, however. Mom disliked her middle name, which is Ione. I never could understand why that name bothered her at all, because she didn’t have to tell anyone what it was, so what was the problem. Then again, I suppose that if Ione had been my middle name, I might have felt the same way in those awkward teenaged years. Mom eventually got over her dislike of her middle name, I guess, because she doesn’t mention it anymore. People usually grow up and decide that those little things don’t really make that much difference anyway.
My Great Aunt Mina Schumacher, however hated her name all of her life. She was baptized Minna Albertina Schumacher, and I guess Albertina didn’t bother her, or maybe it was simply that she told no one what her middle name was, if it did. At that time, like often happens today, people added “ie” to the end of a child’s name and so, Minna became Minnie. Most people thought it was a very pretty name for a little girl, but Mina did not agree. Maybe it made her feel like she was always considered a little girl, and she wanted to be grown up. Whatever the reason, she hated it, and when she became an accountant, she decided that the name Minnie had to go. Her solution was to drop the “nie” from her nickname, and go, simply by Min. Her sisters Bertha and Elsa, and most of Mina’s friends decided that name suited her better than any other, and for them, she was Min from that time on. Mina’s husband, John Spare, who was going by his middle name, Clark when they met, liked the name Minnie, and called her that for some time, but gave in to her need for a more grown up name when they married. Later, when John became head of the Engineering Department of the State Highway Department in Bismarck, North Dakota, the need for a more dignified name arose, so Mina dropped one “n” from her baptismal name and became Mina.
According to Mina’s sister, my Great Aunt Bertha, children should simply be called “Hey” until they are old enough to decide on a name they really like. I suppose that would be a possibility, and I’m sure she was just joking, but it could also be very confusing, since there could be entire classrooms of children going by the same name. Just think how confusing it would be as the teacher called on her students. I suppose one could say that using the last name would solve all that, but then again, since classrooms back then had all the grades in the same class, including brothers and sisters, that would still be problematic. Having three Hey Smiths in the class would be very confusing. I guess that is why it is your parent’s choice as to your name, whether you hate your name or not.
For seven years, Susan was the youngest grandchild of my in-laws. I suppose we thought of her as the baby all that time, but she really wasn’t. She was to be the youngest girl for the rest of her life, however. For some reason, that youngest girl status is unique, and she can be in a unique position too. When the older girls were coming into the teenaged years, and were very style conscious, Susan still didn’t really care much about all that. It’s not that she didn’t become very style conscious later on, because she did, but when the other girls were there already, Susan was still wearing what the other girls deemed a mismatched outfit, because the socks totally did not match the rest of the outfit. The girls have all laughed about this picture for several reasons. We have wondered what was so funny, because they were all laughing and not just the typical canned smile for the picture.
Susan tells us that the outfit she had on was her favorite at the time. I don’t know if that included the socks or not, but my guess is not. Kids change over the years, and now Susan is dealing with little girls who insist that they totally match. I have to wonder if that is a difficult situation for Susan, since matching wasn’t always her strong suit. I realize that her matching skills have vastly improved over the years, but it still has to be a bit trying when your girls won’t wear this or that outfit, because they don’t like the color of the top you picked out.
Seriously though, Susan is a great mom, and she and her girls do very well together, and have great times. I have watched her with them, and it is a loving, caring relationship. The girls love doing things with their mom, especially the girly things…or fishing as long as they don’t catch anything. Susan makes their lives special in all the necessary ways. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My parents had 5 daughters…and no sons. I’m sure that the early years were the same as they are in most homes, but with each additional daughter came a little less control for my dad. Now don’t get me wrong on that word control, because my dad was the boss. If we got to be too exasperating for Mom, her big threat was Dad, and while Dad rarely had to spank us, just knowing that he would was enough to make is behave ourselves.
The type of control I’m talking about is a little different. Being the only man in a houseful of women, especially when there are 5 daughters, means being seriously outnumbered. Imagine vying for the bathroom…and we had only 1 by the way…against 5 teen and preteen aged girls trying to get ready for school. I’m sure you get the picture. If Dad wanted a shower, he had better get it before 5:00 am, or he was most likely out of luck. And if he needed to use the bathroom…well, it might be easier to go somewhere else, or should I say quicker.
These kinds of things continued for most of Dad’s life. He always had to be the one to kill the bugs…especially the moths, which put his little princesses into screaming fits, instantly. We made him get up in the middle of the night while camping to “put another log on the fire” to keep the bears away…never mind the fact that we were inside, and the bears couldn’t get us anyway. I’m quite sure he watched more chick flicks than he ever wanted to as well. Nevertheless, Dad took it all in stride, allowing his girls to feel like princesses…with chores, of course…but still princesses. He gave in to the girlie side of his girls, and probably spoiled us pretty good. The house was filled with dolls and kitchen sets, tea sets, and cribs…all the things we needed to play house.
Later came the waiting on us to finally get ready so we could go somewhere, because we all know that it is impossible to leave the house without our makeup…and I mean it!! Dad knew quite well, that he might just as well sit down and read the paper, because he would have time to read the whole thing. I am reminded of the Brad Paisley song, “Waitin’ On A Woman” when I think of all the times my dad waited patiently for his girls to all get ready.
When there is one person, male or female, who happens to be the only person of that gender in their household, and they find themselves seriously outnumbered, yet they manage to keep their wits about them, I can’t help but think back on everything we put my dad through over the years. It occurs to me that they might just be a saint…or else they have just resigned themselves to the inevitable.