top of page
  • Tommy Thompson

4th Movement: Glenda

Updated: Mar 12

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.”

-- George Carlin

Glenda Plant was in my high school graduating class of ’69. She was tall, gorgeous, kind, sexy, intelligent, voluptuous, loving, outrageous, and more fun to be ‘round than a barrel of strippers. Plus, the girl had a serious set of vocal pipes on her, as well as a pair of stunningly beautiful eyes. And, she was my next-door neighbor. Very convenient. 

So, in early-'69 we started rehearsin’ with her and ferried most of the lead singin’ duties her way.  Added new material, got some slightly better musical gear, and started to dress more fancy. Mostly cuz Vince’s mom was a WIZ with a sewing machine. 

Basing our new “look” on that of the British bands o’ the day, Mrs. P started pumpin’ out velvet and satin bell-bottomed pants, paisley vests, & puffy shirts with fluff cuffs. And all the rest of that other slick limey shit that you saw modeled on “Hullabaloo” and “Shindig.” 

And, leadin’ the charge was Glenda.  Her presence immediately ratcheted the band up a notch, fired up our rather dormant creative juices, and brought on a whole new energy and confidence to all of us onstage. But mostly, now it was like we finally had our very own real, live “Cookin’ MAMA.”

However, for all of her great attributes and all of the energy n’ positives that she brought

to the band - Glenda, like myself at that time - was also a wee bit of a loose cannon. Uncontainable and jus’ a’waitin’ to implode n’ explode all at the same damn time.

Now, before I go n’ get y’all overly pumped up thinkin’ that this newfound band energy necessarily produced more gigs, I gotta slam on de ol’ brakes here n’ slow this fun train on down a bit.  I could be wrong ‘bout this - hell, at my age ya never know. But even to my rather fuzzy-at-times memory, there were 3, and only 3, gigs that I can really remember us ever doing together with the aforementioned Miss Plant. 

So, in the spirit of expediency (bet y’all didn’t think I had dat word in my vo-cab-u-lar-y, now, did'ja?), I'm a’jus’ a’gonna get right to “The Big Three,” and call it a wash.

"I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."

-- Groucho Marx

Numero Uno: "The St. Barnabas Massacre"

Lawd only knows how we ever even got this gig. 

First, here’s a bit o’ background for ya. There are 3 Catholic parishes in Alameda: St. Joseph, St. Phillip Neri, and St. Barnabas.  They all have grammar schools surgically their respective church buildings.  However, the only parish and, hence, the only Catholic school in Alameda that has a Boys and a Girls High School attached as additional appendages, is St. Joseph. 

So, for Cookin’ Mama to play a gig at the St. Barnabas school auditorium (don’t’ get too excited here, folks, it was the size of picnic table, k?), that woulda meant that we were playin’ for grammar-school-aged kids.  You know, maybe 6th, 7th and 8th graders, or sumtin’ like dat…right? 

Hey, all I know is that from the time you’re spawned into dis here ol’ world, until the time you turn ‘bout 20 or 21 years old, one lousy year almost always makes a huge difference in re your size, coordination, and basic brains. Not to mention your emotional maturity level compared to kids just a li’l older or younger than you. 

Keep this in mind as you read on.

OK, so from the moment we first hit the stage to play our very first tune of our first set, I felt like I was looking out upon a scene right outta “Romper Room.” I kid you not.  It was like doin’ a kid’s 12th birthday party. Except these tiny tykes looked damn near ‘bout 12-a’goin’-on-8, if ya catch my drift.  Sheesh!  Who in the hell booked this madness?

Oops.  That’s right. I did.

Managed to get thru the first set somehow.  Maybe someone was next door over in the church a’lightin’ candles for us or sumtin’.  Who knows?  Who cares?  Hallelujah, we were “on break.”  I had just finished complimenting everyone on how well they performed and how we seemed to be going over at least decently with the local munchkins, when the parish pastor vectored in on our li’l rectangle o’ bodies. 

Vince n’ Lou immediately melted away into the walls.  No, really.  They seemed to just simply disappear from the scene.  Poof!  That left only me and, yep….you got it: Glenda. 

Like many perfect storms, this one started off harmlessly enough.  The padre had just finished his rather lame attempt at buttering us up via a few weak and utterly insincere compliments in re our “music,” but then he turned and faced Glenda.

Directly. Toe-to-toe. Face-to-face.  

Without wasting any time he started right in with a combination of body-shot verbal blows that included comments about her Onstage Attire. Language. “Dancing.” And, the big one: because of her choice of tops, how he could see that SHE WAS NOT WEARING A BRA. 

Oh, boy.  No.  Ohhhhhhh, boy.

Glenda stood her ground, eyeballed him a good one, and started verbally defending her actions.  No swearing at a priest.  Not our gal.  Not our Glenda.  At least, not yet.

At this point, “Father Flannigan” had apparently grown weary of this cheerful n’ wholesome dialectical conversation. So he turned on his heel and retired to another part of the hall - shaking his head as he left. Guess we were free to go, huh? 

Nope.  Here came the nun. 

Not really completely sure how the good sister began her li’l monologue to Glenda. But I do remember at what point it all went south. And I do remember the basics of what she said that brought on “The St. Barnabas Massacre.” 

The nun seemed to take her cue from the priest, and so she started off easy on our gal.  But, just like the perfect storm alluded to a few paragraphs before, she kept uppin’ the ante on Glenda. And then she waded full-on into the fray in earnest.  And Glenda returned fire with a few salvos of her own. 

At one point the nun made a reference to the priest who had just vacated the scene.

And Glenda said: “Who?: 

The nun repeated: “The priest who was just here.” 

Glenda: “Who?” 

Nun: “The priest,” and she pointed across the hall towards him. 

Glenda retorted back: “Oh, you mean the cat in the Nehru?” 

FYI: In case this one eludes you, Jawarlalal Nehru was the first prime minister of modern, post-WWII India. And he used to wear a jacket called a "Nehru Jacket" that had a neck collar called a "Nehru collar.” Which looked very much like the black clergy shirt and stiff, white clerical collar worn by Catholic priests….Ta-Da! 

Anyways, "the penguin" wadn’t laughin’ at dat one, youse a’better believe it, Jack.  So, back n’ forth it went like a damn ping-pong game. 


Over the years in looking back on this memorable moment in my musical career, I’ve always figured that the fuse first done got lit when Sister “Estee Lauder” interrupted Glenda at one point. She then repeated something about Glenda’s attire and how - and I’m paraphrasing here: “If you would just take an example from the Virgin Mary, and dress more modestly like she did, then you would be better off.”

Glenda walked in a few feet. Closed the distance to within ‘bout 6 inches from the good sistah’s smilin’ face. And then said - and here I quote directly: “Fuck the Virgin Mary.”


The nun went apoplectic.  I mean, she was so overly-nonplussed she couldn’t speak or move a muscle.  ‘Course, I could see that her heart was still workin’ cuz the poor gal had all that blood rushin’ up into her ever-reddenin’ face n’ head. And the veins on her neck n’ temples were pert’doggone near a’thrummin’ to beat the band, lemme jus’ tell ya.

After that, I draw a blank.  Not sure how it all wound down.  Nonetheless, needless to say…we were done for the night.  We packed it all up, and headed out into the night feelin’ a potpourri of emotions. Some good. Some not so much.  Payment?  Hah! Yeah, right.  But, we were all still very young n’ resilient, and so we jus’ wrote it all off as another day at de ol’ salt mines, and moved on to….

...well, y’all justa keep on a’plowin’ these here fields, dear reader, n’ you’ll see….

...yessiree, you will…

(Here's a side note that Glenda suggested that I add)

"Incorrigibility" was the reason they gave for putting her in Juvenile Hall that summer. 

Where on earth did they ever get THAT idea?

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

-- Lao Tzu

Numero Dos: “Rock Me Baby” a la Glenda

Miraculously - and I use that word intentionally - somehow word of the "St. Barney Massacre" never reached the ears of the good folks who ran Alameda High. A public school. Our public school. Not a "pah-row-kee-ol" Catholic school. Nope. It was a public - and thus - secular institution.

And one which was now apparently being run by a cadre of wanna-be Anti-Christs who taught their students all forms of mischief n’ evil. Eventually regressing the li’l rat bastards to a degree of hooliganism to where they actually felt like it was just fine n’ dandy to go up to any local religious leader and insult the livin’ crap out o’ one of that religion’s major holy icons. 

Sheesh!  Or maybe I’m stretchin’ it jus’ a wee bit…hmm?  I dunno.

In any case, I figured we’d all pretty much learned our lesson at ol’ St. Barney’s about yappin’ off to adults n’ such. And that prob’ly we had all properly chastised ourselves in our own way so that we could move past that disaster and sorta start fresh again. 

However, we needed another gig to get the bad taste of the last one out o’ our mouths, and we needed it right quick.  When suddenly, out o’ the blue, we managed to score the very outside-the-school-campus gig that we needed.  Hurrah! 

But, before playin’ again for coin, first we needed a warm-up/dress rehearsal kinda pre-gig in order to sorta prepare n’ spit-shine what I now truly believed to be was our new n’ improved, calmer, kinder and gentler version of the band. 

And, will wonders never cease?  The fraternity boys at our school who were sponsoring the outside-the-campus gig actually got us long-haired freakies some ink n’ a picture in the local town rag. Furthermore, they then talked the powers-that-be at our school into letting us perform at one of their weekly student body meetings. 

Whoa!  Be still my beating heart. 

FYI: Actually - truth be told - student body meetings in general were a drag to attend. But a big deal at which to perform. And if that logic makes any damn sense to you at all, then you must be an entertainer.  2,000 kids bored out of their minds, being watched over by the neo-Nazi Student Council members. Who were sorta like the prisoners who get to work part-time as snitches for the guards at the very prison in which they’re incarcerated.  Not real popular with the general student population, if ya know what I mean. 

Anyway, so we were on for the mid-week school assembly gig, which would then dove-tail rather nicely right into that week’s Friday night gig itself. 

Perfect timing.  Perfect booking.  And….Yep.  Perfect Storm.

Unlike that earlier student body gig with Larry, Vince and me, where I have been easily able to scour my mind’s hard drive and remember all the individual songs we performed….this gig has only one song that - to this day - still reverberates around inside my skull like the longest echo-loop in the history of the universe: 

“Rock Me Baby.”

It’s a simple blues tune with the usual 12-bar I-IV-V chordal format that, even if you’re not a musician, you can recognize in a second. Trust me. And for you white people, just think country-western music, k? It’s the same basic format, just minus some of the soul.  In any case, the lyrics go like this: “Rock me baby, Rock me all night long,”…REPEAT…and then: ”Rock me baby, ‘til my back ain’t got no bone.”  

That’s it.  Simple, right?  And, OK. So it’s talkin’ ‘bout doin’ “da nasty.”  BFD.  It’s frickin’ blues, man! Blues be 99% ‘bout doin’ “da nasty.” Or ‘bout things that by doin’ “da nasty” get brought to the table.

Usually, your table. 

Back to the song.  And, then there’s a second verse that Glenda sings. After which I take a guitar solo. And then we go back to the “head.” Which for you knuckleheads out there is what musicians call the beginning of the tune. And at that point we repeat that first verse which I typed up above. 

Are ya still with me?  Yeah?  Hot damn!

However, me being me in those days, I got this grand idea in my noggin' just before we went onstage. So I took Glenda aside and suggested to her something to the effect of: "Hey, wouldn't it be absolutely hilarious to substitute a couple of different words to the original lyrics, and just sorta make it our own version?"  She eyeballed me a good one for a few seconds, and then asked what those words just might be. And I told her.

Now, looky here, folks, I can't tell ya right now exactly what those alternate lyrics were that I suggested to her. Because if I do, it'll ruin the ending of this li'l story, k? But, I will tell you this: they were pretty raunchy. Especially for the times. Not to mention, the school officials and the audience for whom, and the building in which, we were about to perform. 

But it didn't matter. Cuz, ya know what?  I never thought she'd actually do it. 


So anyway, we're onstage. We're doin' "Rock Me Baby" (which is the last song in our set), and the band starts playing the beginning of the last verse. But instead of singing “Rock me baby, Rock me all night long,” Glenda decides to go ahead and insert the first part of my new lyrical suggestion, and sings:

“Ball me baby, Ball me all night long.” 

Now y’all just hold up a sec, k?  For those of you white folks who weren’t raised in either California, New York or The South in the ‘60’s. And, hence, might not have a clue in hell ‘bout the meaning of this li’l Haight-Ashbuy-borrowed-from-black-blues-music expression. The word “ball” was a slang term used back in those ol’ 1960’s hippie days to describe having sex with someone…

...and so I figured, what the heck, ya know?  I mean, I’m up onstage sorta thinkin’ to myself, that’s cool, that’s alright. Nothin’ really overly-naughty ‘bout substituting the word “ball,” right?  Hmm.  But, what I didn’t know at the time - and hell, how could I really have known - was that Glenda was also already plannin' on actually goin' ahead and using the second part of my pre-Showtime lyrical substitution suggestion, as well.  

So now, the only other thing you need to know, dear reader,

apart from this eleventh-hour improvised lyrical format is this:

Right after Glenda sings the newly-penned first and second “Ball me baby, Ball me all night long,” in this last and final verse of the song? Us guys in the band begin what’s called “comin’ down from the five.” Which in musician-speak means that we’re almost back to the barn and comin' up to the end of the tune. 

So, after Glenda sings that last line? 

The entire band comes to a complete STOP.  Silence.  Hear a pin drop.  Real inside-the-mausoleum stuff, k?  And in that silent moment, I figure that Glenda is just going to play it safe and go ahead and sing the regular last line of the song:

"‘Til my back ain’t got no bone.” 

Got it? 

Well, apparently I didn't…and she most definitely didn’t. 

And so Vince, Lou and me start "comin’ down from the five," all the time completely oblivious to the fact that we are only just moments away from echoing the same ultimate fate as those 600 fools in "The Charge of the Light Brigade"….and then Glenda comes in singing the first part of the final line. And...yesirree, it is:

“Ball me baby...JEG, JEG, JEG.” 

OK, “Whoa, Silver.”  Jus’ stop da wagon right here.  At this point, for me? I’m already thinkin’ just as soon as I hear the first damn “JEG” come squirtin’ out her purty li’l red-lipsticked mouth, that there ain’t nothin’ good at all comin’ down the pipe behind it. And that this here thang is a’fixin’ to be “St. Barney’s Round Two.” 

Sho’ ‘nuff, Slim. While the band be still as church mice, and the auditorium be quiet as a tomb. Within that eternal silence, our gal, our Glenda, our Cookin’ Mama channels Janis freakin’ Joplin n’ sings in a clear, loud - and I must say - thoroughly convincing voice, the final part of the line that I, "Chuckles the Clown," provided for her backstage:

“’Til the juice runs down my leg.”


Man, I just 'bout crapped my pants...


...the audience, on the other hand, immediately went completely batshit nuts!  Hoots n’ hollers n’ clappin’ n’ whistlin’ n' stompin' their feet. And I guess they woulda even started a’throwin’ bouquets of fluffy flowers n’ such up onto the stage like at the end of a doggone ballet.

‘Cept fo’ the fact that in ‘69 flowers t’weren’t allowed inside the auditorium.

Deep breath. Ohhhmmmmmm.

In looking back on that day, I sometimes try to tell myself that maybe the dear girl just wanted to look like she was capable of taking musical suggestions from a fellow band mate. Or perhaps that she was performing a service by providing the fans with something that rhymed with “JEG.”  Who knows?  Hell, I don’t. 

But, what I do know is that right after “’Til the juice runs down my leg” had been belted out by our intrepid heroine. And the crowd bellowed n’ screamed damn near fit ‘nuff to raise the dead. The main stage curtain immediately came crashing down like thunder n’ lightnin’ from heaven.  BOOM!  And we were done. 

Good news was that the ending of every student body meeting led right into lunch hour. So we were able to quickly round up our gear. Pack it all away in a backstage closet. Execute a hasty “Exit, Stage Right.” And then hit the streets to hear the reviews.

Good grief!  I mean, folks, we were gol’darn heroes that day.  No kiddin’.  Cross my heart.  Honest Abe.  Lunch hour on nearby Park St. was practically a non-stop "meet n’ greet” for us newly-crowned royals.  Man, I have never in my entire life - neither before nor after that day - had so many people who previously hadn’t given a single rat turd about me, spend so much time kissin’ my damn ass.  Truly. 

Maybe there be actually sumtin’ here to dis’ whole

“Rebel Without a Clue” thang after all. Hmm?

“Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

- Oscar Wilde

AHS Lunch Hour was an oxymoron.  I mean, it was “lunch.” But unless an hour equals 45 minutes, then it ‘tweren’t a lunch “hour.”  Dig, Euclid?  So, all us future Einsteins had to be back in the classroom by no later than 12:45.  Period.  OK, fine.  No problema, amigo. 

I got to my first post-lunch class at 12:44, so I was cool.  Oh yeah, was I cool. Man, I was still livin’ the dream. Glorying in my newfound popularity with the masses. Gettin’ my hand shook by the local “jockulary.” Noddin’ my head to different chicks in the class. To the point where I actually started to entertain the idea that maybe I just might even be able to finagle some girl, any damn girl, to come make-out with me later on after school. 

The scene was that good, dear reader.

Zits and all.

Class began right at 12:45 sharp.  At 12:47 the school’s PA system - which by the way had a speaker in every single classroom, hallway, and outdoor area within striking distance of the school, and was loud ‘nuff to pert near be heard by deaf folks over ‘cross the water in Oakland - sizzled to life with the following announcement:

“Will students, Thomas Thompson, Vincent Palazzotto, Louis Sarrica, and Glenda Plant, please report to Mr. Connor’s office…immediately.” Great.  Not “Tommy.” And “Vinnie” And “Louie.” And “li’l Glenda.”  Nope.  Full-on. Full-name assignations.  Real, on-your-permanent-record, type o’ stuff. 

I mean, the damn Gestapo couldn’t have pulled this hat-trick off any better.

 “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

​-- Benjamin Franklin

Barry Connor was the Dean of Boys and overall Dean of Students at Alameda High. And if he hadn’t already been one in a previous lifetime fighting for Sparta against Athens circa Umpty-Umpt B.C., then he most certainly must’ve or should’ve been a doggone Marine in this lifetime. Ran near close to 6’ 4”, 250 lbs. All muscle. With prob’ly ’bout -25% body fat, n’ hams like damn catcher’s mitts. The man was simply a beast. A beast with a military crew-cut and full-on “Oo-rahh” support for our boys fightin’ in the trenches.

Better known around campus as the AHS Varsity Football Team.

Though, from everything I’d heard thru the grapevine, he wasn’t all that big on this encroaching long-haired hippie tripe that seemed to be infecting his Institution of Higher Learning.

I was the last one to arrive at Mr. Connor’s "Dean of Students Inner Sanctus Sanctorum.”

I shuffled in and immediately saw Glenda, Vince and Lou sitting on one side of a long rectangular table. Just staring down at it. No greeting. Not one “Hi.” “Boo.” “How’s yo’ mama?” “Fuck You.” Nothin’. Hmm. Not good.

A real Cocktails at Nuremberg type o’ party.

On the other side of the DMZ sat “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:” Connor. Helen Hoeksema - the Dean of Girls. Donald Bell - the AHS Principal. And, surprisingly, Mr. Wagner. Wagner was not only a really cool and great History teacher, but rumor had it that he had actually been seen at shows over in SF at The Fillmore West-Carousel Ballroom, Winterland, and The Avalon Ballroom.

So seeing him as a member of the Merry Quartet gave me my first, slight sliver of hope. Yeah, right. Hell. What did I know?

I sat down without preamble and without any preamble of their own the meeting began. From the gate it appeared rather obvious, at least to my eyes, that the "Horsemen" had pre-arranged it so that Mrs. Hoeksema would take point on this li’l Search n’ Destroy mission. She stood up straight. Squared her rather blocky shoulders. Fixed each of us with a stare near fit to inspire urination. And then “The Hook” waded in a’hammerin’ at us n’ swingin’ verbal haymakers left and right.

And then everything really jus’ a’started movin’ at “Black Beauty” speed. ‘Course, since The Hook was the Dean of Girls, and since Glenda was the one who was doin’ all the singin,’ she spewed 99.9% of her diatribe at her..

And Glenda just sat there. Rather calmly I thought. Gettin’ verbally clobbered. While sorta sadly lookin’ down. And just a’runnin’ those big, beautiful eyes of hers ‘round n’ ‘round ‘bout the table. But as I continued to look at her, I started feelin’ really bad for her. Not pity. Nope. Glenda wouldn’t’ve allowed that. But, I felt…well, screw it. I just felt so damn helpless.

And just like with “Lou vs. The Bully Boys” earlier in this story, I felt like I was really lettin’ her down somehow, ya know? I mean, I was the band leader. The leader’s s’posed to protect his or her troops, right?

But whatd’ya do when you’re pinned against the wall by a massively superior force? Retreat? Not really an option on this one. Surrender? Think we already done had that one covered in spades. Beg? No…well….ok. Hell No!

Hey, in reality it didn’t really matter a rat’s ass what we thought we were supposed to do. Cuz what we were supposed to do was just sit there and take our licks like good li’l wanna-be adolescents. Which is exactly what we did.

The Hook finally ran out of vitriol - guess the ol’ gal hadn’t topped-off before the battle.

So, next up was supposed to be “The Hammer:” Mr. Connor himself. But, wait! Mr. Wagner jumped in ahead of time. And Connor, surprise-surprise, ceded the floor to him. Principal Bell didn’t interfere, but I could tell that The Hook was pissed. But it was a quiescent pissed.

Mr. Wagner stayed seated. Kinda stretched out his legs for a moment or two (this ol’ boy wasn’t gonna be a’rushin’ ‘round in a hurry for nobody). And then in that wonderful, relaxed drawl of his - one that I had enjoyed hearing many times while seated in his classroom - he started in with some such long-winded drivel like:

“We have to remember the sociological implications of “the blues” in black society and culture, and how the lyrical content of the aforementioned is so unlike and, thus, so alien to us as white people in the way we speak, that it’s hard for us to be able to understand the inner colloquialisms, not to mention "slang," of the black community as a whole, and how throughout its history it has related to the arts, such as in music, amongst blacks...blah... ...blah….blah.”


Man, I couldn't believe my ears. It was like I had died and woken up in a Heaven that was an eternal "Telegraph-Ave-in-Berkeley," with a side order of Freudian “Gobbley-Gook Double-Talk.” God bless ya, sir!

The Hook was ready to explode. But at that very instant Connor arose from his den. Mrs. H threw a look towards Wagner and the rest of us that said: “OK, now you’re gonna hear from someone who supports my way of thinking.”

But, it wasn’t to be The Hook’s day.

No, it was not.

Connor stood up. Connor looked around. And then…just when the four of us thought that the preliminary rounds were finally done and over with - and that now we were finally going to be totally and truly screwed - Connor waded in with...a very well-thought out observation.


Speaking in a completely calm and quiet manner - one for which he was most definitely not known by reputation to possess - he said that his main problem with our actions that day came from the timing of our performance. That is to say, within the parameters of a school student body assembly meeting. And how our aforementioned timing, without a doubt, certainly left something to be desired.

But then came the really crazy part of this whole interrogation room scene. Mr. Barry Connor. "The Hammer." Dean of Boys. Dean of all Students. Turned towards The Hook and Principal Bell…and basically reiterated everything that Mr. Wagner had just said. As well as adding in a few extra goodies of his own along the lines of:

“And so, to elaborate on what Mr. Wagner has already so eloquently stated, we must realize that the language and, thus, the lyrical content, used by blacks in blues music when describing the sexual act itself, is oftentimes of a more “streets” nature than that which is typically used by us in the white community…blah…blah…blah…”…

It was so quiet in the room you could hear a fly fart.

At this point - and I can’t prove this, ok? - but I think The Hook soiled herself. So, squeezing her squat, chubby li’l legs together to prevent spillage, she stood up and played her last, desperate card:

Principal Donald Bell.

Ol’ Don Bell had a wife who was not good, but great friends with my mother. Shit. As such, the next few moments were going to be very doggone important to me at a time not too far away. I’ll make this quick. Basically, it appeared that Bell had heard “quite enough today, thank you, very much.” And, since he had both Connor and Wagner ganging up on The Hook, well….what the hell was he s’posed to do?

Punt? Quick-kick? Give an intentional walk?

Nope. He stood right up. And in that deep, sonorous, Orson Welles voice of his announced that, as much as he was aghast at our behavior on his stage earlier in the day - and Mrs. H’s concerns notwithstanding - still, it was his determination that we would not be expelled from school. We would not be suspended. He would not call and notify our parents about this “li’l indiscretion.” But, if we four students were ever somehow allowed to perform anywhere inside his school building again. We had all better make sure that nothing like what happened today ever happens again.


Really, Don? Oh, come on, man. You gotta be kiddn’ me. That’s all? That’s it?

Yep. That was it.

And for the second time in the last 2 minutes, silence once again reigned supreme.

"omnes in viam salutus"

(“all the way to our salvation”)

On our side of the ol’ Maginot Line we were finally breathin’ again and beginnin’ to experience a feelin’ pert near akin to Joy in Mudville. Though something a wee bit different was a’happinin’ over on the udder side o’ da street.

I very cautiously glanced over and saw The Hook, eyes wide-open n’ glazed over. Peerin’ out in shock with that ol’ thousand-mile stare. At what must’ve appeared to her Old School Values to be a new, strange, and completely alien, “For, the times they are a’changin’” universe.

One to which and for which she had absolutely no connection, nor affinity.

Bottom line? The Grand Inquisition was officially over, dear reader. And just like an ending from the fairy tales of olde, the four li’l Cookin’ Mamas were once again free to return to class.

“Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.”

And so, as in the immortal words of Willie Shakes: “All’s well, that ends well” Or, as in my butchering of "The Bard's" sentiments: “Sometimes….All’s well, that just ends, dude.”

Cookin' Mama above Sutro Baths ​in SF early-'69

L - R: Glenda, Vince, Tom, Lou

©2024 Cookin' Mama


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page