It’s been over a month since any inspiration has come to me to write a post on my family history and genealogy page. And then, this morning, I watched a video that took me back to my early teens. My maternal grandmother, Alice Lauretta (Loretta) Lathrop Ford, had suffered several heart attacks and now lived with my parents, my 11-years younger brother, and me.
“And-a one and-a two”…
On Saturday nights, my parents would go out for the evening with friends–often dancing–which before her heart attacks was one of my grandmother’s favorite things to do, too. It became my inherited job to care for my grandmother and my baby brother when my parents were out. And, like every other Saturday night since 1955, I had to sit with grandma, watch the Lawrence Welk [1903-1992] Show (1955-1982) with his “champagne music,” and pretend to enjoy it as much as she did. She especially liked the tenors, Myron Floren, the accordionist and polka king,
and… the young dancers–Bobby Burgess and Cissy King.
and…Lawrence grabbing a female from the audience to dance with him. Here’s a short, but hair-larious Welk clip from November 25, 1967…just 85 days before Grandma passed away (02-18-1968–11 days shy of her 73rd birthday) due to the flu during the 1968 flu pandemic (caused by an H3N2 strain of the influenza A virus, descended from H2N2 ) and the added stress on her body’s organs and especially heart. [This flu virus reached Japan, Africa and South America by 1969.]
Little did I realize at the time that Grandma and I would create so many good memories watching this show. And, 48 years later I still miss my times with her and the Lawrence Welk Show–Although, yet today, one can catch some local stations on some Sunday afternoons airing reruns of the old, if but corny, episodes–as today’s generations might label them.