Monday, January 3, 2011
In Memory of Bryan's Grandmother
Bryan's grandmother passed away last Tuesday at the ripe old age of 95. Some of my fondest memories of his grandmother are of her playing her black upright piano in the basement of her Philadelphia row home. We could be sitting in the dining room having cookies and juice and just visiting with her and then she'd beckon us to go down into the basement with her where she'd entertain us with a lively playing of Five Foot Two. Grandmom not only played the song, she also sang it. I'm not entirely certain, but I think she might have made up a lyric or two for the song. She would usually toss in the line "Has anybody seen my gal....without a shirt!" Coming from prim and proper stock with grandparents who wouldn't say such things much less sing them it always caught me off guard. She would also tell us stories of how her oldest great granddaughter would run up and down the basement when she played the song. When Madeline was 15 months old, she also ran all over the basement joyfully squealing as Grandmom played Five Foot Two for us. Ellie sadly never not to hear Grandmom play Five Foot Two. By the time she was born the piano had been given away and even if Grandmom still had the piano at the house she still wouldn't have been able to get down the basement steps easily enough to play it.
So in memory of Grandmom, who we will bury tomorrow, I leave you with this piano rendition of Five Foot Two. It's a pretty good version, but it's not nearly as good as the way Grandmom played it, and I'm convinced the song is much better when sung and played.