Tonight, I drove out to National Airport to pick someone up. The drive from my mom and dad’s is about an hour. I listened to some new music on the way there and was thinking critically about it. I wanted to get home and write about it, hoping to have the energy and drive to pound out some missives about some ideas in my head. I was pretty psyched too, because I felt like I had a lot to say about these records that I’d been listening to repeatedly for a good part of the day. And they were critical, and in one case probably a bit harsh. But I felt it was a true look at this music.
I walked in the door, iPod and iPhone in hand. My mom and dad were still up. My mom’s mother, my grandmother, passed away today. Suddenly, it all went empty.
The memory of my grandmother that I most remember, and most cherish, is from just a few years ago. I was visiting with her and my grandfather (who passed away a few years ago now) and she was in the kitchen with the radio on. It was this really old, great radio and she always had it tuned to a station in New York that played music from the 40’s, lots of crooners. On this particular day, the station was celebrating the birthday of the late Frank Sinatra by playing his music all day. My Grandmother went ballistic when she heard this.Yelling at the top of her lungs about how terrible Sinatra was and how dare they play his music all day and how he didn’t deserve it. There was venom of untold proportions coming from her 4’9″ frame.
Now, it was no shock to witness her and my grandfather yell at each other at the top of their lungs. They argued, ALL THE TIME. They didn’t fight, they weren’t mean to each other, they just yelled ALL THE TIME at each other. It was pretty funny and it’s a method of communicating that I have inherited. A lot of people think I am a lot angrier of a person then I really am. But in my family, our blood boils quick and then we yell a lot, and then we drink a glass of wine and forget about it.
However, on this particular day, my Grandmother’s yelling was from such a deep, strong and steady part of her being. I mean, she was P-I-S-S-E-D pissed. It was pretty unreal to witness and hear. My Grandfather wasn’t even around to witness this. I tried to ask my grandmother why she hated Frank Sinatra so much but she wouldn’t answer me. I’ve asked a few family members and no one really has an answer. But something about Old Blue Eyes sent her into an unyielding fit of rage.
So if you ever wonder where ranty-mcrants-a-lot over here gets it from, where all the unrefined criticism and passion for what I love and what I hate about music comes from, well it comes from Cornelia Gibaldi, my grandmother. May her otherwise sweat, soft and lovely soul rest in peace. Good Night Grandma. I love you.