When I was nine years old, my grandmother took her daughter, Rachelle, my cousin, Carol, and me on an airplane trip to Arizona to visit relatives. It was my first plane ride. We flew from Boston to Phoenix on TWA, “Traveling With Angels” I would tell everyone with a big smile on my face. The flight was memorable for many reasons, chief among them were the beautiful stewardesses who announced we could write all the letters and postcards we wanted and they would send them for us, “Air Mail.” That struck me as amazing. They gave us games to play, books to read and a breakfast and lunch that were so noteworthy, we each wrote a letter to our mothers to tell them about it. I have my letters which remind me we had steak with carrots, peppers, and onions, rice with gravy, a salad with French dressing, a choice of milk or Coke, and a piece of apple pie.
What do I remember about Phoenix? Navel Mary. “Navel Mary” is the name we gave to my Great Aunt Louise’s neighbor who lived down the street from her. She had a huge grove of navel orange trees in her backyard which we enjoyed visiting daily. Navel Mary taught us how to cut oranges and how to do so quickly. She probably could cut five of them in under a minute. It was obviously a memorable experience because here I am writing about it. To this day, when we talk about that trip, one of us will always say, “Remember Navel Mary?”
Works for grapefruits, too!
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