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Born With a Rusty Spoon: Episode 51

...Even the sadness of Grandpa's declining health could not still the laughter of everyday life. Reita was now fifteen, with an exaggerated flare for drama that provided many good laughs. She was also endowed with overly bountiful bosoms, which at times, like unruly twins, garnered unwelcome attention, got in her way, and caused big problems...

Artist Bertie Stroup Marah continues her engaging life story.

Mama and P.G. had lived in Colorado just two years when they took on the responsibility of caring for Grandpa Counts during the last years of his life. Grandma had moved to Delta, rented a small house, and worked for a dry cleaning store. She had been separated from Grandpa, who lived in Albuquerque for the last five years and she had no interest in taking care of him. It was very difficult, but Mama, rising to the challenge, cleaned, fed, and nursed her father without complaint. To his credit, P.G. never once mentioned the inconvenience this care created.

During this time Mama's brother, Bill, often visited us. He had learned to make boots in prison and was working in a boot shop in Grand Junction. On Sundays, I usually cooked a big meal, gave haircuts to anyone needing them, and Bill would play his guitar and sing old cowboy ballads. Many of
these songs came from a book Willie had found years ago in an old building in Hope, New Mexico. Bill had a beautiful voice, singing the ballads and reciting the poetry with conviction, for he had once been a cowboy.

P.G. especially enjoyed the family gatherings. He loved having people around. To him, the more, the merrier.

Even the sadness of Grandpa's declining health could not still the laughter of everyday life. Reita was now fifteen, with an exaggerated flare for drama that provided many good laughs. She was also endowed with overly bountiful bosoms, which at times, like unruly twins, garnered unwelcome attention, got in her way, and caused big problems.

One Saturday morning, after putting a pressure cooker of beans on the stove, Mama asked Reita to keep an eye on Grandpa while she weeded the garden. Although he was very ill, Grandpa liked to sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee. Because his false teeth fit poorly, Grandpa could not wear his upper plate and this caused his upper lip to flutter when he sipped.

He was at the table, as usual, and had just taken a fluttering sip when the valve on the pressure cooker suddenly blew off, loudly spewing bean juice and hulls onto the ceiling. The valve had plugged up, and the pressure had blown it out. Grandpa, although not splattered with hot bean juice, was startled and alarmed nonetheless.

Reita, in the bathroom, had just run a tub to take a bath. As she stuck her toe into the water to check the temperature, she heard Grandpa's loud, shaky voice from the adjacent kitchen.

"Come take care of this cooker," he yelled. "It's about to blow up!"

Reita, afraid that Grandpa was hurt, panicked and came running out of the bathroom into the kitchen. She was completely naked! Grandpa, seeing a naked Reita, was more horrified by this sight than any possibility of injury from the cooker. He responded as though she was a threat to his life!
"You naked little bitch!" he wheezed, his eyes round as silver dollars. "Get the hell out of here!"

Startled and shaken, Reita beat a fast retreat and slammed the bathroom door, catching her left "twin" as she did so. The house was filled with the crying and screaming of both Grandpa and Reita.

**

To buy a copy of Bertie's wonderful book please visit
http://www.amazon.com/Born-Rusty-Spoon-Artists-Memoir/dp/1935514660/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1282226141&sr=1-1-fkmr0

To see some of her pictures click on
http://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=bertie+stroup+marah+pictures&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=5vpkTNykBtKR4gbsgJmWCg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQsAQwAA

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