Regarding the wake/funeral I was telling you about recently:
My friend Karen was the youngest of four children. I knew her youngest sibling, who was four years our senior, but the others, who were six and eight years older, not so well.
I get to the wake and decide to reintroduce myself to one of her sisters, at which point she says, “I remember YOU” and launches into this story.
When I was five years old, I appeared on a local (Binghamton, NY) kids’ TV show hosted by a guy named Bill Parker, who was portraying a cowboy or space captain or police officer; he played them all, at some point for Channel 12, WNBF-TV (now WBNG). And I guess I had mentioned this at school, because all my friends were watching the live show.
Parker asked at some point what really made me really mad. I said, “When Karen Durkot snaps my suspenders!” At which point, the Durkot household received a boatload of telephone calls. “Did you hear what Roger Green just said on TV about Karen?”
And when Karen’s sister is introduced to my wife a short time after I spoke to her, she tells her this story, almost verbatim.
Here’s the kicker: I have zero recollection of this incident. I was on Parker’s shows, definitely TV Ranch Club, and probably Len Hathaway’s Admiral Appleby show two or three times, probably a function of the fact that my grandfather, McKinley Green, was a janitor at the TV/radio station. And I don’t specifically remember ever wearing suspenders.
So when I tell Karen that I don’t recall this incident, she mockingly notes my multiple appearances on television – “media maven” – as reason for letting this piece of HER family lore slip from my memory.