Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Happening

Rumor has it that there are two types of people in this world: Becker's and those who wish they were Becker's. I think that's true enough. However, we must beware that there are imposter's! There are actually people who pose as Becker's, but are not. For example; that perverted Mayor of Racine, WI. Not a real Becker. 'Nuff said.

I'm often told that the stories I tell about my life (and/or family) are fantastic. Not that I'm a great story teller by any means, it is just that I HAVE stories to tell. Then again, to me they aren't "stories" - they are memories. To others, they are things you see in movies, I guess.

So today I bring you the story of:

"The Happening" took place prior to my birth. Pictured above are my grandparent's on my Mom's side. My Grandpa always wanted enough children to form his own baseball team. He succeeded by having 10 children. My Grandmother also had 4 other pregnancies: Two miscarriages and two that died after birth. One of which I was named after. At any rate, these are the patriarchs of one of the most creative families that I have ever known.

As with basically anything in our family, "the Happening" was a spur-of-the-moment event. In case you're wondering, spur-of-the-moment is the best way to go. It can't fail. My Uncle Eric (the 3rd born) was home from UW Whitewater. Uncle Eric is one of the most creative people I know. He's an artist with amazing abilities stemming from sketches, to painting, to pottery. At this point in his life he was living life and "experiencing" all he could of it. He returned to his parent's house on a mission to find a way to get others to experience art.

Usually these events would lead to the family (including the older ones that were now married with children) all climbing into their cars and heading out to Pet's Park. Not this night. Quickly, phone calls went out with the basic instructions and a dinner party was in the works. Whomever was available that night was told to wear a toga and to come on over for dinner.

My Grandmother was working at the local Deli and Liquor store which was run by her sister's husband at the time - she had no clue what was in the works back at home. Yet, in true Becker style when she arrived home she jumped right in. No questions asked. In this family, if somethings going on...it's going on! So why ask questions? Things never seem weird to us.

My Aunt Gigi (the youngest of the daughters) was thrilled to help her older brother set up for the festivities. Streamers were plastered haphazardly around the house. The point was to drink in the feeling of stepping outside of the box - outside of the rules and boundaries we tend to close our lives into. To be free. Just to "be"!

The round table from the kitchen, a deeply colored and very heavy wooden table, was flipped upside down and propped up on milk crates. Everything about the house would give a child the feeling of being a part of something special; something no one else would get to do in their house! Pillows were placed on the floor as seats and the guests began to arrive.

Only in this family would you receive a call that instructed you to don a toga and come on over - and you wouldn't bat an eye. You'd toga it up and get on the road! The giant in the background is my Dad, holding my Brother. My Mom is donning a blonde wig and a floral toga which is all the rage this season. ;) F.Y.I. I still own that sheet! Saved it from the trash about 70 times.

The meal was probably spaghetti. Seeing as dinner was hosted by a college man, I'm sure it wasn't anything fancy. None of that mattered though.

Dessert was a giant Rice Krispie treat which was formed not in a pan, but in the large shallow copper bowl that my Grandmother stored in the cupboard above the refrigerator.

That night, the family gathered together dressed in sheets; laughing, talking, sharing life, and passing around one giant Rice Krispie treat. With each pass one would take a bite out and pass it along. Bong style.

Living life "outside of the box".

"The Happening."


chen said...

Totally accurate, 100 percent true.
I was there!

Thanks for the memory. . .