No Fancy Name
Friday, February 11, 2005
the milk lady passed away
I read my hometown newspaper every single day. I don't know why—I haven't lived there in fifteen years and I rarely visit. All my relatives live there, though (except for the cousin with the kid and the cats, but they live close enough to there to count), and I just like to keep up with things like the high school sports, the heroin and methamphetamine problem, corruption in local government/law enforcement, and so on.

In today's obituaries, it said that Mary L. Parker died at the age of 91. I didn't know she was still alive—I thought she died years ago. She was only five years younger than my great-grandmother, who died in 1998, and I think I associated them with each other because they were the same height—about four-eleven. I don't think they were buddies, though—Mrs. Parker was a lovely lady from Sicily and my great-grandmother was a psychotic old biddy from Coraopolis (Pittsburgh) whose parents came from Calabria married her off to her first cousin at age 13. But I digress.

Mrs. Parker was the milk lady at my elementary school. I went to the Catholic school in town, that my father also went to, being the good Italian Catholics that we were (were). Only a hundred or so kids went to the school, grades K through 6, and we didn't have a full-fledged cafeteria...maybe once a month we'd have "hot lunch" which meant they fired up the kitchen and we got crappy spaghetti. But besides that, we were all on our own for lunch food. Lunch MILK was covered by Mrs. Parker. Her one job was to reach down into the refrigerated area and grab half-pint cartons of milk: white was a dime, chocolate was fifteen cents.

I don't remember much about being a kid, but I remember seeing Mrs. Parker every damn day, handing my milk to me. I'm sure she was downsized (no pun intended) when Capri Sun and juice boxes came into being, but that was after my time.


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