Looking for answers to life's questions

During my sister’s third year of life, she was more or less a Houdini. My mother would send her out to play because that’s what you did with children that would not quietly sit on the square of a blanket and play quietly with their toys. That is how things were done back then. My sister would find another neighbor kid banished to the out-of-doors and hang out until called for dinner.

I was always the one sent to get her but finding her was always the challenge. Our base area was not gated in or walled off like many are. School was right next door and up the hill maybe half a mile was our non-denominational church. Another half mile or so was the commissary (grocery store) that children were not allowed to go into. They had a caged area in front for us to wait for our mother to finish her shopping. like little monkeys.

Most of the time mom would leave the kids with me while she did her grocery shopping so we didn’t have to be in the cage. In my search for my sister I found her and another little boy sitting along the back of the closed commissary munching away on packages of Oreo cookies and they had many packages of Juicy Fruit gum spread all around them.

They were so cute sitting there with their picnic and I asked where all the cookies and gum had come from. Maybe the little boys mother gave them packages and packages of cookies and gum. But that didn’t feel like the answer I was going to get. I asked again, “where did you get the cookies and gum?” “From the jail my sister responded.” “What jail” I asked?  My sister got up and showed me all the little windows lining the bottom layer of the building on a side I had never noticed. The little windows had bars on them. She pointed to one that was partway open.

Sis and her friend had wiggled into the basement of the commissary and carried out all those packages of Oreo cookies and Juicy Fruit gum and managed to get back out with them. I couldn’t imagine how they did it but I knew this was not good. I had them scoop up their loot, and I walked the boy back to his apartment and then walked my sister back home. She was pleased as punch with herself for discovering this treasure trove.

 

I’m hiding her behind me. Notice the slippers, They will be important later.

My dad was less pleased. He told my mother and I that she was not be outside of the house for any reason for at least two weeks in case someone might see her and identify her as the thief. He knew that if someone found out, he could lose his stripes over it and that would reduce our income. Then he went to visit the little boys family to make sure they understood what had transpired and the ramifications.  I’m pretty sure my mother was well on her way to a breakdown after those two weeks with my sister confined to quarters. I’m also certain there was some stiff corporal punishment along with the confinement so that she never went near the commissary again. In the meantime, I developed quite the lifelong taste for Juicy Fruit gum and Oreo cookies. Yum. My baby sister, the procurer of contraband. How I loved that child. I smile every time I think about it.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "SUZY Q Juicy Fruit Gum and Jail" (45)

  1. I’ve been anxiously waiting for the next Suzy Q installment and this one was certainly worth the wait, Marlene. Honestly, you’re such a talented storyteller. I loved every word! I laughed out loud when I read, “munching away on packages of Oreo cookies and they had many packages of Juicy Fruit gum spread all around them.” I could picture them. Now, whenever I see Oreos and Juicy fruit, I’ll think of you and Suzy Q. I hope you’re feeling well. xo

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  2. What a fun memory!

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  3. What a little dynamo! I get the impression your parents would always have been a good half dozen steps behind Suzy Q – pushing you ahead of them to clean up the chaos in her wake ….. I take it she shared her ill gotten gains with you – always a plus unless you get some of that corporal punishment too. Great writing Marlene – this is an intriguing biography!! I hope you are having/ (or had) fun with Alys. I’m thinking of you both and sending love and hugs! xoxo

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    • We’re having such a good time, Pauline. Marlene is great company, and full of amazing stories. I’ve had fun looking at many photos from those early days and tomorrow I get to meet Suzy Q in person. She’s lucky to have Marlene in her corner, then and now.

      And I agree: Marlene is a terrific storyteller.

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    • I am having a wonderfilled time with Alys!!!! Such a lovely and easy guest and so very helpful! More details soon. I did get some of those ill gotten gains on the way home. After that they disappeared. A dynamo is a pretty good word to describe her. We are thinking of you each day and carrying you along with us in our adventure. Love and hugs back to you and your girls not to mention Siddy and Orlando. 😉

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  4. That is a great story! I love that she was snitching stuff from the “jail.” That is priceless. You really must catch all of these stories into a book someday. Thanks for the smile! 🙂

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  5. I don’t think I will ever eat an Oreo again without thinking of this story ❤

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    • I so agree. I bought Juicy Fruit gum for years just to keep it fresh in my mind. The smell of it brought me right back to that afternoon. She was such a self entertaining child.

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  6. So funny. She loved life and lived it to the fullest even very young.

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  7. I love this story! Oh that Suzy Q. She really was a Houdini. You describe the way it was very well. That’s exactly how we grew up! The only thing I don’t remember is the “cage” in front of the commissary. The first time I shopped there I wore blue jeans, which had recently become popular (early 70’s). When I told my hubby, you would have thought the world was coming to an end. Ha! I love the Suzy Q stories, Marlene.

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    • I don’t remember seeing that cage at any other commissary though we rarely ever were allowed to go along. I was mortified at being in there. This was of course in Germany in the mid 50’s. Thanks for the visit. Remember the slippers. 🙂

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  8. Marlene, this is such a great story! All the chuckling I did made my day. Have a great weekend.

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    • Thank you so much, Patsy. I’m glad it made you chuckle. Weekend has been fantastic so far. Hope you are having a wonderfilled weekend as well. I’m quite behind but will catch up next week.

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      • You’re welcome, Marlene. Well, I am going on a walk this morning with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Don’t know how far I’ll be able to go. My foot has been acting up this week. I’m taking my sandals with me to change into right away when we get back to the car! 🙂 You have a great weekend, and think about how much you’ve done instead of how behind you are! LOL!

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      • Hope the walk went well. Having a problem with my foot too. The heel is killing me. It’s reminding me of how much I have done this weekend. 🙂

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      • Surprisingly, my foot never did hurt as much as I thought it would! We kept a steady pace, took a break for lunch, then went back down the hill. It actually wasn’t too hilly, though, but very rocky. It was a narrow path so we had to walk single file with her dog in between us! It came out to be about 3 miles which is the furthest I have walked in a long time! Beautiful weather, too. I hope your foot feels better soon! 🙂

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  9. I’ve never had an Oreo cookie, but Juicy Fruit is international, and eternal… Does Miss Suzy realise how lucky she is to have had you to cover her traces so often? 🙂 Now, of course, I can’t wait to hear about the slippers! Hello, Alys, I’m looking forward to your Tales of Marlene!

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    • I’m no longer that enamored with the Oreo cookies but that was a rare treat for us so I was grateful for anything sweet. I’ll do the slippers story next just for you. 🙂 I’m bribing Alys to not tell on me when she leaves here. It’s been such a lovely visit and we are both worn out. I have barely had time to get to this blog so I’ll be catching up with you next week. Giant hugs and I passed on your hello.

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  10. I’m laughing to myself as I read about Suzy’s antics! I love the the “jail/cage” that you had to wait in. When my oldest grandson was about 5 we got a new puppy, and we crate trained her. He loved getting in with her and poking his little hand through the tiny bars to latch the two of them inside. We used to call him “Gage in a cage.” Marlene, I adore your stories! You are a very good big sis. Happy weekend to you!

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    • Thank you, Missy. I’m glad you enjoyed these stories. I’ll be catching up with you this weekend. It’s been quite the week and more on that soon. Have a wonderfilled weekend yourself.

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  11. Another great adventure with Suzy Q and you! I can picture the two of you back then, because you both still have the same personalities. 💖 Nicely told Marlene!

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  12. Great story, Marlene! You made me laugh; I can just see those two. And she is only three so far . . . I can barely imagine what’s coming, story-wise . . .

    I was never a fan of Oreos; too dry for me, but I never had a store-bought cookie (except the Arrowroot biscuits that Mum bought for the teething babies) until after I grew up.

    I can see her breaking INTO the jail . . . I sure hope she never had to break OUT of one!

    I’m glad you are having these printed; they will be a priceless treasure. I think you should consider submitting them to a publisher, too.

    You were so cute, Marlene; I envy you those golden curls. And I love how protective you were of your wee terror; there’s nothing quite like being the eldest and a girl, is there?

    Thinking of you and of her. Love to you both. ~ Linne

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  13. Love these little stories Marlene. I can picture them in my head and it makes me giggle.

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  14. I haven’t had Juicy Fruit in ages–do they still make it? I think kids of our era got into all kinds of hot water when we were told to “go outside and play.” It made our childhoods so fun! You were awfully good to your sister . . .

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    • Thanks, Kerry. I’m still being the “big sister” 😉 I would never have sent my children out to play and not know exactly where they were and what they were doing. Whole different world now. But life was more “interesting” then. 😉 I do think they still make that gum. Will have to look for it. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

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  15. Well, being a parent I probably shouldn’t laugh at this story, but I’m sorry to say I was laughing most of the way through. Thanks for sharing, Marlene. I love your posts.

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    • Thank you, Cynthia. That means a lot to me. In hind sight it is funny. We just took ourselves way too seriously back then. I thought it was great to get gum and cookies. 🙂

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  16. Hey there, friend. I *love* your stories (and sorry I didn’t see this immediately). What a funny, crazy story about Oreos and Juicy Fruit with your sister. HAAAA. I tell you, I wouldn’t have ever thought to do that with going to the commissary like that, but I’d sure as hell would want my little sister to share her loot with me. HAHAH. I’ve always loved Oreos. And Juicy Fruit gum has its own merits. But hearing stories of living on base…my dad got out of the Air Force before I was born (though I was the sixth kid to come along), but I still have lots of memories going the base exchange, the commissary, and even my mom making me go out with Air Force Academy cadets. Hahah.
    In any case, I hope you’re well. Keep on sharing these lovely stories. We all love them. Sending you hugs!

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    • There are quite a few more of those little tidbit of her life. I’m trying to get them written quickly and put into a book for her. She is quite the character. Thanks for stopping by.

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    • For some reason I could not reply to your comment on the mandalas so I’m trying to post it here. ~ I know many other bloggers who love doing them and I enjoy seeing them. One you might find interesting is this one: https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/
      I’ve been pretty far behind on so many things these days because so much is requiring my attention in other areas. Keep making beautiful art that soothes your soul. That’s all that matters.

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  17. Good Lord! A Rebel with a cause. I can’t imagine hitting a child but that was the way. My mother screamed a lot. Like that would help (sarcasm). Did you feel like a cop after a while? Always having to investigate and apprehend? Glad you a least got to partake in the loot 😀 Your kids will be happy that you’re getting this all down. It’s the kind of stories that slip away otherwise! xo K

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    • I’m putting all these in a little book for my sister to leave for her daughter of the heart. Discipline was quite strict in a military household but there was very little screaming. It rarely had a chance to get that far out of hand. My mother had wooden spoons and broke many. If she barked an order, you obeyed. Except for my sister. 🙂 Yes, she was a rebel.

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  18. Hahahaha! Reminds me of my little sister who found the keys to a school bus were in the ignition so she and her friend put their bikes in the bus and took it for a joy ride!! She was 10!!! Gotta love those little sisters 😉

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  19. Good heavens. All the previous stories were just during her first two years, and now we have reached three? Your poor mother. And you, big sister. My goodness.

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    • Those are the memories that stuck like…gum. 😉 After the age of 4, things settled down. Or I got too busy with school and was away more so I had no idea what she was up to.

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