As much as I hated piano lessons, I loved Saturdays those five years.
Around 8:30 on Saturday mornings, my Aunt Dot and Uncle Sam would drive to Medford from their home in Cambridge, collect me, and drive back to Cambridge to deliver me to the Longy School of Music. Having endured music theory and piano lessons, the fun part of Saturday began with the Music Assembly. Done with that, my Aunt Dot and Uncle Sam would take me to Harvard Square where I loved looking in the 5 & 10 and spending my allowance on supplies for my play school.
After that we would go to their apartment, a few blocks away, for lunch. If I was very lucky, while we were eating, the hurdy gurdy man would appear on the sidewalk outside the window and sing “God Bless America” while grinding out the tune on the organ. His monkey, dressed in a little red jacket and hat , carrying a little tin cup, would be cavorting on a leash. I would run down with a coin to place in the cup, and the monkey would tip his little hat and sometimes even take the coin from my fingers.
For an added delight, we would stop at Brigham’s on the way back to Medford, and I would get my then favorite: strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone.
Once home I might go out to play, if anyone was around, or I would cuddle next to my Uncle Sam while he read to me: “Little Women,” “A Little Princess,” all the Heidi books, and “Mary Poppins” to name a few. I also liked hearing tales from Hans Christian Anderson, especially “Thumbelina.” However, this story always made me cry, so Uncle Sam would say, “No, that story makes you cry.” “I won’t cry this time” I’d promise,” so he’d read it again and I would cry again.
Saturday night dinner was never the traditional dinner of baked beans, but rather a pot roast or roast of some sort, cooked by mother, potatoes and vegetables prepared by my mother and Dot together, and finally a delicious dessert which my Aunt Dot would have made in the afternoon. That was often a pie, sometimes custard or pudding, sometimes gingerbread.
After dessert, Dot and Sam would head back to Cambridge, my father would do the dishes, and if there was time before our “early to bed,” my parents and I would listen to the radio, or my father and I would play dominoes or perhaps Sorry.
Is it any wonder I loved Saturdays?
© Dorothy C. Judd
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