Sunday, November 15, 2009

You'll Be Right Here With Me . . .

Last Monday my Grandmother passed away.

I thought it would be nice to share some memories of my Grandmother with you the Loyal Readers.

Just Jon would also like to thank guest editor Big B (a.k.a. his brother Brian) for helping to compile this list of memories about Grandma.

For the first ten years of my life, my brother and I were the youngest of the grand kids. This guaranteed several things:

1. We always sat at a separate "Kids Table" in the kitchen for all holiday and family get togethers.
2. For Christmas, Grandma would make us either a set of pajamas or a bath robe. She would also put a Hot Wheels car in the box.
3. At Christmas and Easter, the end of evening always came with a "cup" or "plastic egg" full of little chocolates.

My Grandmother was smart. She had a subscription to National Geographic, she traveled the world, and she loved to do cross word puzzles.

Maybe that is why when my brother and I were the youngest, outings with Grandma usually involved something educational.

Big B said that one of his "Top Five" trips with Grandma was the tour of the Queen Mary. I remember that trip as well, and I think I still have my souvenir post card set.

I countered the Queen Mary trip with my memory of going to see a traveling exhibit of Jim Henson's Muppets. Big B got a little plastic Fozzie Bear and I got a little plastic Animal as a souvenir on that trip. For some reason I think that trip also included an art exhibit of "giant angels." I could be wrong.

Big B's next favorite trip was to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, CA. That camping trip was also memorable because we both took separate trips to the emergency room. I think he had strep throat and I needed stitches after an ill fated dive into the campground pool.

My next choice was the La Brea Tar Pits.

Big B came back with Fairfax. This was long before The Grove shopping center existed. We went to go to Farmer's Market for lunch and window shopping. Big B said that this is where he bought his "SC" mug that he still uses.

Going with the farm theme, I brought up the time we went to the Ventura County Fair. I remembered two things about this trip. First, we got caught in some running of the pigs which I remember being very scary. Second, we got to go on one "ride" and my brother and I chose the Fun House. The only problem was, we never figured how to get into the fun house and eventually gave up after trying to climb up the exit slide.

Finally, Big B brought up the trip to the "Blue Whale" shopping center. Now I have to quote my brother on this one. He said, "it was in the middle of nowhere." I will say, as a child, I too thought we had gone to the end of the earth to see that mall. Reality is, the "Blue Whale" is more commonly known as the Pacific Design Center on Melrose Ave. between La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive. So I guess we were still in the center of it all.

Above is the most recent picture of Grandma with my mother and I. Whenever I came down to Southern California I always made a point to stop in and visit with Grandma.

In addition to the memories that my brother and I just shared, my favorite memory is one that just involved Grandma and I.

Grandma loved sushi. About ten years ago Grandma and I went on a date. I picked her up in my little black BMW and we headed over the Conejo Grade to Agoura where we went to a little Sushi Restaurant. I remember she seemed so happy.

In more recent years, when she was less mobile, sometimes I would go to the grocery store and pick us up some pre-made sushi. It was no where near as good as what you would get in a restaurant, but we would sit at the kitchen table and enjoy our "California" and "Unagi" rolls.

I think that is what I will miss the most, my sushi dates with Grandma.

So Grandma, I will think of you when I eat sushi, and I will think of Grandpa when I have a warm beer.

Ahh, who am I kidding, I am not going to drink a warm beer. Sorry Grandpa, I still don't understand why you liked that.

The Song Of The Day - Right Here (Departed) by Brandy


  1. that was a very nice post. was it your grandparents that would take you to get the french dip sandwich as well? and i'll always remember hacking into your voice mail and hearing about quincey's....

  2. ok, crying, but i loved every word of it. thank you just jon and big b. yes you had quite a lovely assortment of activities with your grandma, and never sparing any expense as i recall. they were her choices of what she thought we would all enjoy, (the blue whale, an ill fated dive. please do not ever wonder why i sat so close to you guys while you were in a pool. those screaming pigs at the county fair.)
    thank you for the memories, my two sons.
    love , mom

  3. thinking of you - keep remembering your grandma... i still mine and always get a smile on my face when she pops into my head. xoxo

  4. Good times...
    There is one more that we both shared together with Grandma...Miniature Golf and one, yes one go cart ride...and I'll never forget Grandma telling us to keep moving through the arcade, "we are not here to play video games." Thanks for the memories.
    Big B (brother of Just Jon)

  5. That was so sweet to read. Obviously I didn't know your Grandma but she sounds wonderful. You and Big B are lucky to have had her. The sushi dates made me tear up just a lil, too.

  6. hi, adrienne
    nice to see your name. how are you?
    it's a hello from jon's mom

  7. i remeber the little chocolate eggs!! i loved those things!!