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Monday, June 19, 2017

An Evening at the Reads' Home

The date was August 4, 1977, Lloyd A. Read’s 87th birthday, at Lloyd and Lillie Read’s home in Turner, Oregon. Present were Lloyd, Lillie B. Read, his brother Ross Read, Ross’s wife, LaVerne Read, Lloyd and Lillie’s daughter Marjorie Andrews and her husband, Fred, and their children Allen, Marci, and Karen. Allen secretly brought a tape recorder.

Lillie: [Discussing daughter Loretta & George’s purchasing of burial vaults] . . . I want to be where . . . oh, he says “Do you want an inside vault or an outside?” She says, “I want an outside. I want it so I can get out and play pinochle if I want!”

Marci: Auntie Retta’s going to play pinochle on her grave?

Lillie: He says, “You’re so different from most of the people that come out here with the long face and if you mention anything, why, they’re ready to shoot 'em. She just . . .

Marci: Well, Grammy, are you going to get out and play pinochle up at Turner Cemetery?

Lillie: I don’t know how.

Marci: You don’t know how!?

Lillie: I couldn’t possibly play. I couldn’t even play a game of cards with anybody. When I grew up, my father said, “Cards are tools of the devil!” We was never allowed to have a deck in the house. Never. And neither did Grandpa’s folks. They didn’t allow any in the house.

Marci: How did you come to start allowing them?

Lillie: I never did. [chuckle] I never did.

Marci: But Grandpa has some right now.

Lillie: When he first started to play solitaire was when he went to Port Orford in ’52 without me and the men that he went down there and was working with, why they all sat around and played cards while he sat around with nothing to do. So he got them to show him how to play solitaire. And then about ’58 or something like that, I got the flu and I just couldn’t sit and do anything. And I said . . .

Marci: So you learned to play solitaire.

Lillie: And I said, “Lloyd,” I said, “Teach me how to play solitaire.” Now, we play alone, but we never play together. We never played a game of cards with anybody.

Marci: Oh, I see.

Lillie: We just never did; we never allowed the kids to do it.

Marci: Well, did you finish seeing these? [photographs] No, you didn’t.

Lillie: Oh, now that’s, that’s good; that’s a good one.

Karen: You’re not supposed to leave the paddle in the hole [she and her dad were making ice cream].

Fred: All right, come here one of you wise guys and help me!

Marj: [Laughing] It’s not that hard, is it yet?

Karen: Scoop around it and help him.

Marci: You can’t get it out?

Fred: Nope.

LaVerne: He left the paddle in the ice cream maker. Now he can’t get it out.

Lloyd: Yeah?

Marci: Oh well, that’s my dad.

Lloyd: Put it on the stove and melt it, Fred. It’ll come out.

Ross: Let’s sit on it for a while.

LaVerne: This is somebody’s chair—I don’t know whose.

Marci: Yours.

Lloyd: If you can’t get it out, you’ll have to cut slices out of the ice cream.

Ross: Get a hacksaw.

Lloyd: Yeah, I recommend a hacksaw.

LaVerne: That was some cake she baked for you, wasn’t it? [Barbara had made a cake that looked like a fancy shirt front.]

Lloyd: Isn’t that a peach?

LaVerne: Well, it sure is; it’s the cutest thing I ever did see.

Fred: Well now. [He got the paddle free and was dishing up ice cream.]

Marci: Oooh, look at it! Here it is.

Lloyd: You like that, with a collar on, a tie, everything.

Marj: “Happy birthday Dad” it says.

Marci: Whoops! Oh dear! That’s okay, didn’t do anything to it. [She almost ruined the cake turning it around.]

Allen, who had been holding the tape recorder on his lap under the kitchen table, stopped the recorder and smuggled it out, and we all ate cake and ice cream. The next day we confessed to Grammy and Grandpa about the tape, and they laughed.

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