Arnie Arnoldson is dead. I saw his obituary. He died at age 88, of "causes incident to age." I hadn't thought of him for many years.
Arnie was our neighbor in the 1950s. When I think back on Arnie and his family I can only remember him but not his wife, a son my age, Allen, Allen's older brother, Roger, and the youngest girl, Inger. I know there were other kids in their big Mormon family, but I don't remember them.
I remember Roger because I heard a common expression for the first time in regards to him. In Sunday school a girl leaned over to me and said, "Roger looks like he slept in his clothes." I hadn't ever heard that expression, and until I got old enough to understand I took all such expressions literally. I thought that meant that Roger had really slept in his clothes!
I'm going to devote another blog just to Allen and his early influence on me.
Inger is my favorite Arnoldson. I don't remember exactly what she looked like. I remember she was pretty cute, but she was a couple of years younger, which at that time meant she was 7 or 8, so she had her own friends. One summer day when I was out playing in the front yard with a bunch of boys Inger sauntered over and told us she wanted to take us behind the garage and show us her "thing." We were all pretty curious, but she had rules. Only a couple of guys at a time and we could look but not touch. When it was my turn I remember she led us back behind the garage, lifted up her skirt so we could see she had no underwear, and we got to see how girls are different from boys. It was all over pretty quick but it seems to have burned itself into the memory lobes of my brain, or I wouldn't remember it nearly 50 years later.
We moved to Washington in '57. When we had our house cleaned out after selling it and were ready to go to the airport, my mother (thanks to her OCD, no doubt) had to make just "one more trip" through the place to make sure she hadn't forgotten anything. She opened up a closet and there was Arnie Arnoldson. I guess he'd gone in to check out if anything was left behind and when he heard my mom come in the door had shut himself in the closet. Mom thought that was quite low, and it was. Poor Arnie. I can only imagine his red face.
That was the last time any of us saw any of the Arnoldson's, but not the last we heard of them.
In the '60s my brother was in a band with a guy who went to high school with Inger. He brought up her name as someone who was considered a real high school hottie. I told him about my memory of her flashing us. He said, "Well, she's still doing it." Nowadays we'd call Inger an exhibitionist. I'm sure it gave her quite a reputation in school. We had a couple of girls in my high school who did the same and they were legendary amongst the boys when we got together to bullshit about girls.
So now the old man is dead. Looking at Arnie's obituary I saw that Inger is still around, but no husband is listed. By this time she could have been through several of them. Allen is still around, as is Roger.
Inger would be in her mid-50s now. I wonder if she's still showing it to the guys? This isn't a picture of her, but since when do you need a reason to look at something like this?
Ciao for now, El Postino