May 8, 2016

Visiting at Forest Lawn

This was my first Mother’s Day after I lost my mother.  For most of my adult life, for Mother’s Day my father took us all – children, grandchildren, significant others –  to Marie Callender’s in Glendale. They had a private dining room designed to look like a library that our family easily filled. It figures – maybe it’s fitting – that Marie Callender’s is closed, at least in Glendale. That era of my life is over and I miss it.

Family picture on our stairs

This entry references the end of two more eras. My youngest, A, was approaching burn-out after five years working at the same place. He needed a break and was confident he could re-enter the work force when he was ready. This approach to a career was radically different than my father’s generation, when people expected they’d work for the same company until they retired, their loyalty rewarded with a gold watch. That notion became obsolete by the time baby boomers entered the work force. Speaking as someone with no capacity to stick with the same job longer than three months, I think this is a healthy development.

Knutsen Family

The final bygone era was referenced in the John O’Hara biography. Hard drinking appears to have been a hallmark of early to mid 20thcentury writers – Fitzgerald springs to mind but Dorothy Parker, Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Richard Yates and assorted others fit the template.  While some writers and other creative types will always behave badly, ubiquitous cameras and media scrutiny make it less acceptable to be an abusive drunk. The world doesn’t need more of them, IMHO, so that’s progress.
Knutsen family outing