[joe-frank-list] 'Too close to home'

russellbell at gmail.com russellbell at gmail.com
Sun May 2 05:13:38 PDT 2021

	2:20: Joe describes 'The Fountains', a retirement community in
Florida in which his parents live (apparently 1984-5).  (Joe set 'A
pact with god/'A death in the family' there; much of this show uses
the same material.)
	4:10: Joe says that most of the old women dyed their hair
blonde; Joe found them indistinguishable, had to ask the chairwoman
for her table.
	5:50: Joe tells us about his '78-year-old stepfather Freddy'
(he was born in 1906, thus my dating of this story): he clips coupons,
wears thread-bare clothes, buys the cheapest stuff, much to his wife's
	8:20: Joe recounts his mother's account of her & Freddy's trip
to Switzerland, how Freddy's frugality made it unpleasant.
	9:50: Joe's mother likes her chicken soup 'broiling hot', that
they often burn their tongues instead of waiting for it to cool off.
They eat noisily, Freddy gets food on himself; Joe works to put up
with it.
	12:20: Joe drives to a fancy hotel on the beach, ogles the
beautiful people.  He wears a pale blue satin shirt and white slacks.
(What the hero of 'The queen of Puerto Rico' wore late in his story.)
Joe sees a beautiful woman dressed in pink.  (a character in 'The
queen of Puerto Rico'.)  Joe picks her up, drives her to her cottage
by the ocean; they make love.  Then Joe tells us he made this story
up, one of the scenarios he used to distract himself from his parents.
	15: Joe's mother complains about Freddy, his disorganization,
TV-watching, nudity.
	18:40: Joe tells of Conrad, Freddy's best friend, a successful
businessman.  He suffered a brain injury, contracted Pick's disease,
became mentally incompetent.  The story begins the same as it does in
'Pact'/'Death' then Joe tells the same story about him as Danny from
'Just hold me': breaking Joe's glasses when he hugs him, begging for a
cigarette from his wife (in 'Just hold me' Danny begged it from his
mother), what a golden boy he was in school.
	24:20: Joe tells of meeting a woman at a bar who wanted him to
stay with her, just to hold her.  (Nearly the same story as in 'Just
hold me')
	28:40: Joe tells of looking at old photo albums with his
mother, then of her young life and marriage.  Joe says that the boy
she was in love with wouldn't marry her because she was too poor.  Joe
says that she married when she was 17 (she said 18 in 'God only
knows', which agrees with the records) and Meier was 42 (he was a
month shy of his 42nd birthday.).  
	Joe says that she began an affair with Freddy before Meier
died; Meier was bitter and communicated only in writing.  Her and
Freddy's marriage became unhappy.
	30:40: Joe says that 'under Freddy's guidance the family
business failed'.  (Joe's uncle, Ben Zion Passweg, took over the
business after Meier died.  The Langerman Shoe Company continued in
business at least until 1972.  In 'Karma memories' Joe says that Ben
took Freddy into the business, where he did a poor job.)  Joe says
that they lived on her German reparations.
	31:50: Joe tells his mother's story of fleeing the Russian
army from Poland to Austria in WW1, when she was 3 or 4.  (Quoth
Wikipedia, 'after the outbreak of World War I the town [Rymanów, her
hometown] was captured by the Russian Empire in September 1914 and
severely looted. The spa pavillons were burnt to the ground and the
town suffered from several weeks of Russian rule. In 1915 it was again
retaken by Austria-Hungary and started to be rebuilt.'  She was 3
years, 9 months.)
	32:30: Joe tells his mother's account of fleeing Berlin on
'Kristallnacht'.  ('Kristallnacht' was 1938 November 9-10 in Vienna;
Joe was born in Strasbourg, France on 1938 August 19; Meier had sailed
to the US on 1938 October 23 - Joe and his mother must have returned
to Berlin after Joe's birth.  Ben and his family lived in Strasbourg.)
	35:10: Joe recalls the blackout of 1965 November 9/10, that he
was trapped in an elevator, that he almost visited his uncle Ben in
hospital; Ben died that night.  (Joe tells this story in 'Karma part
7', re-used in 'Small world Karma')
	42:20: Joe tells of Freddy's cancer, his surgery.  (Joe told
the same story in 'Pact'/'Death'.)  Joe made a deal with god, that if
he could run his route around 'The Fountains' without stopping, god
would save Freddy.
	51: Joe tells the story of he and Katie building a house in
Culpeper County, Virginia.  (originally in 'Just hold me')
	53:40: Joe tells of the day of Freddy's surgery.  He recovered
well.  Joe ran the route successfully.  (Freddy died in 1995,
apparently 10-11 years after this surgery.)


russell bell

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