Big Bird & The Hairpiece

Posted in Eternal Love | 4 comments

The beauty of doing daycare for only teachers children was that on school holidays, I was also free to be with Frank and Scotty on all of the school holidays. During the Christmas break of 1977, Frank, Scotty, and I had two weeks to spend with our parents.

Our first road trip took us to Van Vleck, Texas, to visit Frank’s folks. We stayed there enjoying shopping and visiting until midnight Christmas Eve then we packed into the truck and headed back to Hubbard, Texas. After arriving at our home in Hubbard, we woke Scotty then went into the house to see if Santa had come to visit.

Miraculously, Santa had been to our home and had left Scotty some awesome gifts.  We let Scotty open our gifts to him and play for a while then we loaded back up into the truck and headed for Plano, Texas to visit my folks.  Once arriving at my folk’s home, Frank and I were exhausted from no sleep. We drank lots of cups of coffee because Scotty was raring to go and it was Christmas Day.

My brothers, sisters-in-law, and their children were all there, and the house was full of laughter and excitement. Soon after our arrival, we all opened Christmas presents which caused what seemed to be an endless ripping open gifts wrapped with Christmas paper and sticking bows on heads.  Somehow during the chaos, the adults were able to distinguish from trash and opened gifts then fill a large trash bag with the torn paper.

Of course, there was Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings and desserts of all kinds. By nightfall, we were all stuffed and ready to get the kiddos to bed then visit as adults, play cards and other games. There was lots of laughter, cheating at card games, board games, and shenanigans going on between the adults, which brings me to the next story.

“The Hair Piece”

At the young age of twenty-four years old, Frank started to lose his hair. Since Frank had worn a flattop most of his life, he was not bothered by the hair loss. It did not make a difference to me either. Frank was such a beautiful person on the inside that nobody looked at his hair. The truth, I never could get past his beautiful eyes, and those dang draw me in magnetic dimples.

A few days after we had all arrived at my folk’s home, it snowed, and we were all snowed in for a while. Thank goodness, my parents had thought ahead and had a freezer full of food. During the day time, there was lots of cooking, eating, snowball fights, the building of snowmen, and making snow ice cream. We did everything we could to keep the kiddos busy and tired enough to go to bed early at night. Once the kiddos were in bed, the adult kids all changed into our pajamas then headed back into my parent’s living room. This particular night Frank decided to wear the yellow PJs that I had bought for him then embroidered  Big Bird on the front.  Not to be taken out of context, Scotty loved Big Bird on Sesame Street. So, when I found the yellow PJs for Frank, I thought it would be fun to embroider Big Bird on the shirt front.  Once all of the “little” kiddos were in bed, it was time for the “Big” kids to play.

Did I mention that this huge house owned by my parents had an area with a real bar counter, bar stools, mini-fridge, sink, blender, etc.? Of course, the guys had fully stocked this bar with all kinds of alcohols, beer, and mixers as soon as they arrived.  You would be amazed how quickly you could hear the popping of beer cans and grinding of ice in the blender after the “little” kids were in bed.

The mischievousness in the house was unbelievable, and the laughter extremely contagious.  When someone mentioned that they would like for their sister to make them some of her special Cheese Nachos, I went into the kitchen to make the Nachos.  While grating the cheese, my mind was busy thinking in “prankster mode” about how to get one over on my brothers.  Finally, I came up with a brilliant prank, so I walked back into the living room and while smiling motioned for Frank to come to me.

When Frank got to where I was, at the living room door, he asked me what was up.  I told him I needed his help in the kitchen.  Once we were in the kitchen, I kissed him then said to him that I had an idea and for him to follow me out the back door to the truck to talk.

Frank was smiling when he asked me, “Nancy Lou, what do you have in mind?”

Well, by the look on Frank’s face, I didn’t think talking was what he had on his mind, and he followed me maybe a little too eagerly. When we got to the truck, and after I broke free from his sudden embrace, I asked Frank if the old black shaggy hairpiece he had brought home from the school auditorium was still in the toolbox of the truck.

Frank was not thinking about an old hairpiece because his hands were beginning to wander all over me. In Frank’s defense, we had been in a very crowded situation for days with wall to wall people in all of the bedrooms. So, I gently removed his arms from around me then asked him about the hairpiece again. Knowing that he was not going to get anywhere until he answered my question, Frank told me that the hairpiece was in the toolbox.

Quickly, I asked Frank if he would like to play a joke on all of my brothers then I told him the plan which was for him to put on the hairpiece, wait in the kitchen while I informed my brothers that he had bought a hairpiece. Also, I would tell them that he was concerned about going bald and that he thought he looked great in it then beg them not to laugh.

Loudly laughing standing by the truck, Frank said to me, “Nancy Lou, this is gonna be good, but you owe me a kiss.”

Without warning, I grabbed and kissed Frank then ran back into the house only stopping in the kitchen to take a deep composing breath before walking into the living room. When I entered the living room, everyone was laughing and talking. Quickly, I got everyone’s attention, and then I told them that Frank had bought a hairpiece because he was losing his hair, and even though it was ugly that he thought it looked good on him. I begged them not to laugh because he was wearing it for the first time.

Right on key, Frank entered the living room with that ratty black hairpiece on his head. The place went to total silence as everyone looked at Frank standing there in his Big Bird Pjs with that ratty black hairpiece on his head.  Nobody laughed, and nobody smiled, they just sat there in staring at him in total disbelief and shock.  When I turned to at Frank, it was all I could do not to break out laughing, but I controlled myself in the deafening silence.

Suddenly, Frank started laughing then pulled that hairpiece off of his head and threw it into the center of the room while saying, “Come on guys, do you think that I would actually put on and wear this black piece of a ratty fake hairpiece for real? Gotcha!”

The room filled with laughter, and I laughed until I cried, but Mr. Funny Man Frank decided to wear that silly hairpiece the rest of the evening. Of course, pictures we took pictures and nobody could look at him without busting out laughing as he leaned back in my Dad’s big lounge chair in his Big Bird PJs, eating cheese Nachos, and wearing that ratty black hairpiece.

There was nothing Frank, and I would not do for each other, and we were so comfortable in who we were together. We loved making people laugh, and as if on cue, we could read each other’s mind on how to do that. Laurel and Hardy had nothing on us.

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  1. Love it! You sure did know how to have fun together. I think that one of the missing links in families today. They have forgotten how to have fun together. Laughter is like medicine and very healing. It is life-giving and that is always a good thing. Thanks for sharing and giving me a smile tonight.

    • Thank you so much Diane. We had so much fun. I think you are right families need to put down the cell phones and communicate verbally and play games, laugh and have fun.
      God Bless You and thank you for your comment.

  2. most of my best memories of Christmas, and Thanksgiving too, were about family, (my brothers and sisters) getting together (as many as possible) and telling and retelling stories about family events. If and when something exceptional happened it invariably became part of the following year’s stories…. thanks for the reminders

    • Thank you, Kim. Isn’t it amazing how much fun we all had together at Christmas gatherings. I’m so glad I had siblings and we were all jokesters. Precious memories.
      God Bless You, Kim
      Your Buddy,

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