Description

I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Remember Whensday - Oompa!


June and Ray celebrating birthdays, June 1974
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs but never spent much time in the city. Yet when I was dating Paul he introduced me to Dianas Restaurant in Greek Town. Incredible food, atmosphere and fun. The owner was a handsome man maybe in his 50s (I was too young then to guess) and I don’t think any woman that ate there left without him kissing her hand in a gentlemanly fashion. You made reservations for dinner knowing you’d have to drink in the bar for up to an hour before being seated. Plus there was music and dancing. The two choices of Greek wine are like turpentine and gasoline but after a few glasses who cared. (No offense, I’m not a wino.) Appetizers always included Saganaki, Kasseri cheese broiled to golden brown. Then the waiter poured warm brandy over it and ignited it and finished putting out the fire with the squeeze of a lemon. Every time this was served everyone in the place would holler “Oompa!” (Which according to Wiki means “Whoopie.”) They also served Ouzo, an anise-flavored liquor which I can’t stand even the smell of. However my Mom being a lover of licorice went crazy for the stuff when I took them there to celebrate birthdays. Mom’s is June 21st and Dad’s is the 24th. My then current boyfriend went with us and Dad drove a company Cadillac. We met four more of my friends there. My parents didn’t go to the city often and when Dad had to turn the car keys over to a parking lot attendant he was a little nervous. Soon forgotten by the alcohol. When we finally staggered out of Dianas at 2am the attendant was gone but the keys hung on the board at the almost empty parking lot. Dad drove out onto a one-way street, the wrong way, with Mom yelling in his ears. Then on the freeway drive home he had to pull over on the shoulder so I could jump out and get sick in the ditch. I think we all had a good time.

Sally from The (Mis) Adventures of Karl and Sally has started a new meme where the past is remembered through sharing old family photographs and this is #7. I love the idea and hope you will too. So join the fun by clicking here.

13 comments:

Louise said...

What a terrific story! Such a detailed account. The best is your mom yelling about him driving the wrong way.

Jazz said...

I'm not a wino, but I love my wine, and most Greek wine I've tasted was pretty much along the lines you described: turpentine or gasoline...

Barb said...

Great story Gaelyn! I laughed out loud. Is it so long ago that I, too, was young? it seems like yesterday. (However, I don't miss the hangovers!)

Ms. Fiddlesticks said...

One thing about getting older is that we can pick out memories that make us feel good and share. We remember the not so good ones as well but it is not necessary to get them out and dust them off like we are doing with these pictures. Thanks for the comments. Take care. I look forward to your blogs and pictures.
DF

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Great memories and I love Ouzo, but then I was married to a Turk previously.

Sally in WA said...

I'm with you...ouzo is not to my liking at all! Great post. I can just picture your mom yelling at your dad. And poor you, getting sick in the ditch. Oh, the things we remember. :-)

Arija said...

Puking aside, it all soubds like great fun and there were hardly any cars on the road so you all obviously got home safely.

Pam said...

Nice memories are always wonderful, Gaelyn and I love the old photo :D

mountain.mama said...

Oh, the good old days!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I do love this one Gaelyn!! What a lovely memory, although I am sure you would rather forget the getting sick part. LOL!!

Thanks for sharing.

Rambling Woods said...

I really like this meme and enjoy the stories and photos...

Michaelle said...

Wow, I barely remember what I ate last week let alone when I was a kid...however, I too loved Greek Town and flaming cheese! Yummmmm!

Ed said...

I am not much for Ouzo but do enjoy Retsina. However, Retsina is to be drunk during the meal not as a before or after dinner drink.

The Epicurious Dictionary describes the flavor of Retsina as "sappy and turpentinelike". Which is only to be expected after all it is a resinated wine.

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