According to legend...
Mama was working in the garden, planting some new rose bushes. She was not wearing gardening gloves, because she liked the way the moist dirt felt on her hands. She would come to regret this.
It was mid-March, and the weather in Texas was starting to warm up, so she had decided to garden at dusk, when it was pleasantly cool outside.
She was wearing a large and not particularly attractive muumuu, which her sister-in-law, Verna, had sent her from Hawaii. It was the only thing that still fit her, as she had outgrown all of her maternity clothes.
Oh, did I fail to mention that she was pregnant? She was. Quite pregnant, in fact. But she still had a couple of weeks until her due date, so she was pretty surprised when labor pains started in fast and furious. She sunk down to her knees.
"Roy!!!" she cried.
"ROY!!!" she yelled out, louder.
She managed to get up and stagger into the house. Daddy was sitting in his big chair in the living room, watching "Rawhide" on television. Daddy loved a good Western.
"Roy! It's TIME!!" Mama cried. Mama was often melodramatic.
"Now?" Daddy asked calmly. Daddy was never melodramatic.
"Yes! Now! The baby is coming now!"
"Well, why don't you go lie down and let me watch the rest of "Rawhide". It will take a while for that baby to get here. We'll drive in to the hospital after the show," declared Daddy, ever the pragmatist.
"But this baby is coming NOW!"
A rather large fight ensued.
Mama, of course, won, as pregnant women in labor tend to do, and Daddy turned off "Rawhide" and drove her to the hospital.
When they got there, they whisked her into the Maternity Ward, and told Daddy to go home. They would call him when it was closer to the time for delivery.
Once Mama got into the Maternity Ward, they stuck her in a bed in the corner and refused to call her doctor. It was far too early, they said, it will still be many hours until that baby was ready to come out.
"But this baby is coming NOW!"
"Oh my goodness, you older mothers..." scoffed the nurse. Mama never forget this line.
Because she was, in fact, an older mother - almost 40. Which was rare in those days. And the nurse in charge seemed to think that Mama was a silly, over-reacting older mother, who clearly didn't know anything about birthing babies.
Mama became convinced that they just weren't taking her seriously enough because she was wearing this terrible muumuu and she had dirt stuck under her fingernails. She was afraid that they thought she was some kind of low-class woman, who didn't know any better than to go into labor with dirty nails.
"I was gardening! I'm not usually dirty!" Mama tried to tell the nurses, "I should have worn gloves! This baby is coming NOW!"
Finally, after a few hours, she convinced a nurse to come and examine her, and sure enough the nurse took one look and said "This baby is coming NOW!"
They called her doctor, and Daddy, who both rushed down to the hospital. Within an hour, the doctor found Daddy out in the waiting room, and told him he was the father of a healthy baby girl. Me. It was just after midnight on March 18, 1961.
Daddy never got to see the end of that episode of "Rawhide". And Daddy, having the wry sense of humor that he did, complained about it for the rest of his life. Every year on my birthday, he'd mutter sadly, "Never did see the end of that "Rawhide". Every time the show was on, he'd watch, but after a few minutes he'd shake his head sadly, "Nope. That's not the episode."
But Daddy didn't have Google. Or IMDb. Or YouTube. Though he would have loved them - all that information at his fingertips. And I, being very much my father's daughter, did a bit of research.
I Googled "Rawhide March 17, 1961" and sure enough..."Rawhide" Season 3, Episode 19, Incident Near Gloomy River popped right up on IMDb! The legend has been confirmed! And John Cassavetes was the guest star, so I guess it was a good episode!
My next stop was YouTube, and guess what? A scene from Incident Near Gloomy River. Gotta love the young Clint.
And so, this is for you Da.
This post was inspired by...
Prompt #3 - Tell us about the story of your birth.