July 23, 2014 - Tis the season for re-runs, and I'd like you to follow a hair pulling Jottings runner from 1966.
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Several weeks ago, Hazel and I were in a group that attended the Orion Council of Knights of Columbus dance. Midst the fun and merriment of this conventional dance it was agreed that we would go to the next K of C affair, which was a Halloween masquerade party. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
In our group was Norrine Valentine. Before thinking of an outfit for herself or her husband, Jack, the idea struck her that I should be the Jolly Green Giant.
I'd about forgotten the whole thing until the Friday before the party when Norrine showed up, material in hand, and started planning and sizing. She also gave Hazel a jar of watercolor green paint for my shoes. Shoes?
At 8:45 the night of the party, Hazel, and our three kids, started painting me.
One had a brush, two had sponges and the other lent moral support. They painted my entire body, while I stood practically still in the middle of some papers in the kitchen and endured this treatment. Of course, I thought it was going to look good, and anything for a laugh.
When they finished, the paint had dried around my knees. There wasn't even a thought of laughter as I tried to bend my knees. Each hair was individually stretched, then pulled by the roots six inches either side of my knee joints.
But after getting in and out of a car a few times the hair pulling was bearable, and we went on to have a good time.
For a few minutes around midnight the fun stopped for me again.
I had agreed to be one of the costume judges, and as such I couldn't be a "sore" loser.
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I wrote this in 1965, but the story goes back to war time. I went into the Navy (yes, ours) in 1944 weighing 157 pounds. Then I spent 17 months in a tuberculous hospital, gaining weight.
I put myself on a cream diet for 3 months and gained 3 pounds. I asked the doctor, "Can I go home now?" "Not 'til you get fatter."
I stayed on the cream diet for six more months, and gained 60 pounds.
Now I'll get to where I was heading.
While gaining this weight, I developed marks on my buttocks and tummy. Thin reddish, hairline streaks.
Hazel and I were engaged at the time. She drove from Durand to Lansing every weekend to visit. My self diagnosis was that I had a disease that would keep me confined if doctors and nurses learned of it.
Remember, I'm a bashful 22 and I was reluctant to even explain where the marks were, let alone show her, but I did.
She broke out in joyous laughter. I burned. When she finally ceased her hysterics, she told me I had stretch marks.
She said women sometimes get them when they are pregnant. At this late date, I still don't know if I had stretch marks or not… cause Hazel never got them when she was pregnant.
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.