Archive for the ‘The Truly Strange and Unusual Adventures of Kay Buena’s Youth’ Category

Written for my Dear Auntie Caroline

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

I’m doing my Christmas Shopping early this year. I’m getting everyone I know a pair of sox with shoes printed on them. This is to sell over the Internet on a big scale basis; wait; Oh no…news flash. It’s been done.  really?

Then, I don’t have to do that yet. What a relief. I want to tell you all a story about when I was a child, that does not involve any infernal or internal plot twists or horrible, idiotic threats of going public on these stupid stories or ideas of mine. Cause, there comes a time when you have got to give that up: And just start to verbally describe the situation; now is a good time to start.

I was on a road trip with my family, in our 1952 Ford Station wagon, that had not yet turned to dust, from the Salt Spray, or anything: Let’s say I was 10. That’s a good age. I was scheduled to go into ‘town’ with my mother and my infamous and flamboyant Aunt Caroline, and view some big town exclusive, comparatively so, shopping situations, and perhaps attend the “Dime store”, which was always my favorite place. It was my destiny and became the reason to exist, because in those days there were many an event, in which my existence was not a given. And although that does sound like a childish exaggeration, this particular year was a busy one for my family,a year in which I contracted a near death case of what turned out to be infectious Hepatitis,after having been diagnosed as having the flu. And we were stationed at a very dangerous base, where the early testing of military ICBM’s (many often had to be destroyed as they headed back our way failing to reach near orbital distance.) This sort of a childhood makes for a room full of sarcastic people, determined but frustrated by the slow process needed for a successful launch.  These people were often at home with  the slow, steady, & beautifully-planned trial and error that is the basis of the scientific developmental process, but this was not really ever understood by a child, and yet watching things progress and change is probably what prepared me for some of the hard hits I took as an adult and beyond. But back to our road trip.

So we three females of our family then, (sans my grandmother who was doing something worth while like reading a book, or making a floral display for the living room table. She really was a smart lady. Also, she knew when to bow out and let those who needed the exercise take to the streets) . My Aunt drove her new Cadillac, with her white gloves on and a small hat with a veil to keep the sun from her face, I guess it had a purpose (however, in Florida we were much more casually dressed and in general took on a more low profile of a fashion image, but even so, at that time, I thought fashion wise both fancy upper-class ladies were putting on the “dog” ( as we would have said here in the south) and the whole car load seemed a tad of a study in old fashioned snobbery—but that is just me and what do I know about formal shopping trips anyway?) However, I had white kid gloves that my father got from one of the islands down range, which I had brought with me, just in case.  They were brand new and clean and wrapped in tissue paper to wear, a light blue summer dress with a Sailor collar, as nothing was funnier to the Air Force Kid’s than to dress up like Sailors. No offense meant, yawl, it was just the way it was. It was a “female women of the opposite sex type of situation”, as my Dad in his prime used to call such activities, and we were visiting Texas from Florida where we lived, So we female women hit the road for our adventure, while my brother and cousin, were playing chess or some such pointless activity (ha.), and my Dad and my Uncle were working on some building project they cooked up and would not let me be involved in any way, shape, or form.

So,we ladies three went as though headed for Europe, we three models of  relatively the same person, in alternate time zones, one small, one medium and one medium Texan.

That would be my Aunt. She was my God Mother and I Loved her dearly and still do, even though she has matriculated into the next world. My mother struggled with perfection all of her life and it always was a horrible problem to the rest of the family. I never for one minute thought it was or would be a problem for me, a problem that I would have to face later in my life, however having found myself lacking in many a personal skill as the years went by, I realise I should have paid close attention to her quest with great concentration, and learned to understand her way of thinking much more that I did. I might have avoided allot of pain and learned to gain the trust and respect of the rest of my family, instead of just “doing what I thought was my job”, of going to school, studying such an ‘out there’ subject” as art forms, and instead paid more intention to the unique experience of getting to be one of the few children of a father involved in an incredible effort like man’s introduction to space travel. Many friends and acquaintances were children of other important developers of this intricate and complex world that was that group of families always changing, and always having to take things in with a low profile and incredible cool., But, I do not get that 2nd chance.  No one did.  And that’s a direct hit from the arm chair umpire, here in the middle of the night, a completely different person now, as though that never happened, and I have reached the time when my body seems too fragile to me tonight, at that surly point when you know you have to strain just to keep up with breathing and you simply want to get this done with, and out of one’s mind, so it becomes something I can continue to live with.Take me back to that back seat.

I rode alone in the back seat, and my mother was in the passenger side, I noticed how Spanish and exotic and beautiful she looked that day and how very elegant she was then. And my Aunt drove on,she too was so gorgeous with such a confidant attitude through the streets of this strange, hot, town in Texas, back then.  It seemed very visually interesting if not too well structured  of a small town,  Austin, TX., the summer of 1957 and the drone of the road sang with the whistling of my slightly opened back window so as to breathe in the fresh air, both sisters smoked like factories in the north.  We were on the road for a while curving with the small country roads, when, out of my own self conscious meditation or Golden silence came what was a heretofore unheard of voice from the front seat, exclaiming  the word “Shit!” loud as a Bus horn, or a small explosion. I looked to see what accidental problem we met, but nothing seemed wrong to me. My aunt, had simply made a wrong turn or something like that, as she and her sister (also my mother) conversed at 75 words a minute in a 40 words a minute zone. And I had been so pampered and sheltered from such words back in that time as to be highly amused and totally entertained by the concept of such a lady looking so fancy and acting so sophisticated uttering a gutter word with such little regard. It was not that big of a deal, but you could tell these two were in the mist of some sort of sibling rivalry for Alpha status, or some such.      However, till this day I think of how I smiled back at my God mother, Aunt Caroline back then as I met her eyes in the rear view  mirror from the back seat of that car, and how in that secretly shared moment when she checked my expression, we instantly recognized how important we would be to each other in the future. Which is how I always felt about my inclusion in family drill situations, and she always checked that I wasn’t being ignored or mistreated, which she did until the day she died…

My hands hurt. Can you believe that? I am very clearly not ten years old anymore. I really need to trust my husband to fix this tribute to my dear God Mother, may she rest in Peace; and here in Texas, it is peach season. It’s a good chance that I will do that too one of these days. Just not too soon.

As Always, Kay Buena aka Caroline Abbitt Sauer,

16. Say, What Ever Happened to Betty Jane, (er) the Doll:

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Although Betty Jane had had a troubled and lengthy childhood (that would be 63 years), I am thinking shes not long for this world. She must have had a stroke which left her paralysed: It was sad, yet every one and thing faces the end when the road is blocked, the clock has stopped and they no longer walk.
She has taken to spewing out strange and obscene comments from time to time, and it is hard to tell if that’s due to brain damage or she just likes to hold a grudge and be nasty. The bit with the postal service was hard on her self confidence and she started complaining that her rubber band was fixing to unsnap. It certainly was loose, no question about that. But Betty Jane was a Christian Scientist. Problem there was she was also an atheist too.
She wouldn’t let me take her to the Doll hospital cause ‘they don’t under stand her accent.’

She started cursing and calling me names when I tried to take her picture, so I’ll remember her from my real childhood as the Doll who was my true best friend. She said she was tired of watching the birds with Elmo…and just wanted to sit around. Her Head hangs strangely to the side. But she still has that little all-knowing smile.

Betty Jane

10. Return of Betty Jane

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

When last I left the ‘Betty Jane and Foxie’ story line, it was unclear if she ( Betty Jane ) had found her “Monday pantie’s” or if she had turned into some sort of an apolitical, apathetic and redundantly posing doll, or if she was quite simply dismayed by her far too sophisticated fashion-look. She had at one time become somewhat of a Rhastafarian, which was totally unacceptable in the State of Texas. But thankfully, she saw through the error of her ways.
Of course having been abducted by aliens can be quite disconcerting for most of us, however she did return. And with her was her old friend Foxie, an added addition of great worth to all involved. His presence inspired her to new heights of fashion awareness. I am thinking you might enjoy the following photo’s of her as she appeared upon her return:

The day I got some credit for being my father's daughter

Monday, September 28th, 2009

One fine day last spring in 2009, when the day was way too hot to be cabin fevered at home, I decided to set out on my own, as The Collingsworth Foundation from our British allies, a society worthy of quite a bit of praise and attention, as they had sent three planes to the Austin (used to be Bergstrom AFB) Airport that year, while I was very ill from stress related trauma.

I went to forget my own problems, and still managed to see a WWII B-17, and a B-24 (the only operational airplane of its kind today) and a P-51 Mustang fighter.  I was able to tour the interior of that last B-24 unaided by constraints, as I had my father’s autobiography with me. I showed them my info and was allowed (just as the plane was preparing to take off), to stand in what would have been my father’s place, between the pilot and the co-pilot, as the navigator would have done–when he did  just that on a  June day back when many young American servicemen lost their lives in WWII.

I am a 62 year-old woman. As I crawled in severe pain ( to what used to be the opening that my Dad grabbed and hopped up with his strong upper body strength, and agile young body ) up a stairway provided for us ‘civilians’ to enter and be given a tour by a kind but befuddled crew member.  I was allowed free access there in his stead, and quite strangely enough began to envision what he might have experienced.  As tears filled my eyes and I was unable to suppress the sob that shocked even me (and believe me I’ve had my own trails and tribulations) — I stood in silence and  great pain for some 10 minutes while the possibilities of the stories that I had heard and read about filled my mind and memory. That very amiable, and puzzled crew member was seemingly amazed that I, who had been limping into the exhibit, my metal hip and knee starting off the usual ear shattering alarm upon my entrance ,was able to make it through the side tunnels of that old beautiful airplane, that had been carefully restored and was kindly offered in view to the public.

I was filled with pride at what my father and his crew members had done back in WWII, as I will always be so. I hold that day in my heart of hearts, as one of my finest memories. 

 I only hope that all service brats have a similar experience that evokes that kind of emotional epiphany, that brings appreciation of what their father’s or mother’s participation in a War Torn World can do to a person, and to his or her family. As I sat in my old Volvo with tears pouring down my checks and on my shaking legs for quitesome time.  I finally gathering up what was left of my dignity and drove out of the parking lot, into the highway headed for home.

 When I was a youngster, I remember playing with my brother, and his friends as my father looked on with a bemused smile, as we ever so innocently cavorted and giggled, completely unaware of the history and significance of such a plane to him.  But still as we played beside and inside of an old B-17, I remember how patiently and calmly he handled us all.  Even though this was one of the planes that he had so expertly guided as a navigator, with his own flock of brave servicemen through the more than perilous, impossible days when the 408 delivered supplies, reinforcements, and the very incendiary gasoline needed to fuel Patton’s army, not having the time to wait for assistance, as he and his crew members carried those 5 gallons tanks from the fuselage to the storing place.  Yet some of those few soldiers somehow managed to survive and make it back home. I am forever grateful that one of them was my father (at the time Captain Charles Webb Abbitt, VMI graduate 1941).

Though I may be known for my humour and imagination, there is nothing that can take the place of that day inside the last B-24, when the tears that fed my heart and soul which began leaking out of my eyes, like salt water onto the burning face of this newly enlightened old lady, who had awkwardly made her way into her aging and still heroic father’s place so many years ago.

 And today, I am remembering all of us old “military-brats” of those heroes of what was truly the war to end all wars. Compared to those sacrifices made way back then with these that I have made in my life to entertain and amuse, and try to cling to the hope you might be amused too; find in comparison, mine are down to 0.01.

I am glad that I have survived to tell you this story today. As for all the funny stuff that had me linked to ‘comedy land’; it can remain out there as everything on this Internet can do. I only hope we in the US of A continue to havethe trust and nerve to continue in the spirit of fighting the forces of evil – that, as Jakob Dylan said “Evil is alive and well.”