Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jackie Robinson . . . Didn't He Sell Ice Cream?

I've discovered the secret to time travel and it's right under your nose.

Last week, when I opened a bottle of Rubber Cement to help my twins glue their science display boards together, I was immediately swept back to the day I fell in love with Jackie Robinson.

Think about it. Every memory we have is locked up somewhere inside bottles of Old Spice or jars of nutmeg or cinnamon or in a diaper pail or your grandparents new Subaru.

My question is why haven't the children's book authors tapped into this mystery? Doesn't it make more sense to use a magical pack of Big Red gum or some enchanted Bubblicious lip gloss to transport their characters to another land rather than a school bus or a tree house?

For me my love affair with Jackie Robinson will always live like a jeanie in a bottle of Rubber Cement. This is because my twelve year old son and I spent the better part of 6 months together working on his History Day project inhaling massive amounts of it. Everything we felt, thought about and learned has been recorded in that smell.

Three times my son reconstructed his board as he made it to the district, state, then national History Day Competition in Washington D. C. It was a magic carpet ride fueled by gallons of Rubber Cement.

Here we are in Washington D.C. under the influence of Jackie Robinson and Rubber Cement.

NOTE: This post is a clue for those of you who really want to know what I spent $100 on last week. (wink wink).

My son is a collector (of baseball cards, which are carefully stacked and organized in boxes and binders at the bottom of his closet.) He purchased 4 Jackie Robinson baseball cards from e-bay for his History Day display. But they were knock-offs--only worth a few dollars. He also found and purchased a rare 1946 edition of Baseball Digest which had an interview with Jackie Robinson right after he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

I got serious chicken skin when I read Robinson's words predicting that race wouldn't be an issue for the world when he stepped onto the field as the first black baseball player in the major leagues.

I wanted to yell across time and space, past disco and Elvis and the red scare and say, "Jackie, don't do it! I mean do it! Do it because you're about to do more for racial integration than even Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, you're the one who is going to inspire Martin Luther King, Jr., so do it! But don't do it! It's going to be horrible. You're going to have to face the cruelest racial hatred imaginable. But do it, because then I will fall in love with you and I will get tingles every time I open a bottle of Rubber Cement."

My son spent $45.00 on that magazine. Then it was stolen from his display during the competition, along with his baseball cards and his process papers.

Devastating, YES. But he won 5th place and $500, so he got over it.

One of the cutest memories locked in that bottle of Rubber Cement was my son's first attempt at choosing a title for his project. A good family friend was over for dinner and none of us had any earthly idea how far he could ride on Jackie Robinson's coat tails. Our friend suggested, "Jackie Robinson . . . Didn't He Sell Ice Cream?"

My son, being the other pea in my pod, thought it was stinkin' hilarious. I did too. And anyway, who cares about serious history projects in 6th grade? I told him to go for it if he really wanted it.

And he really wanted it. For days he cracked himself up by saying it over and over and over.

"Jackie Robinson . . . didn't he sell ice cream?" hahahahahahahahahaha.

(You guys get it right? OF COURSE he didn't sell ice cream because he is the most important black man in the history of the world. DON'T even think about debating this point with me.)

This was me after he presented his project at school:

"Did anyone laugh? Did they? Did they? Did they? Did they? Did they? Did they?"

"No," he said, "I don't think they knew who Jackie Robinson was."

"What about your teacher? Did your teacher laugh?"


(Teachers these days have NO sense of humor.)

After he was chosen to go on to the district competition one of the judges suggested he change his title.

(Judges these days have NO sense of humor.)

It was with great restraint that he buckled down, got serious and put that stinkin' hee-larious title to rest.

So that's why I laughed so hard when Swirl thought I bought my son a Jackie Robinson Ice Cream Maker for Christmas.

She was on the right track, and believe me Swirl, if there was a Jackie Robinson ice cream maker out there, I would buy it.

So without coming out and saying exactly what I bought my son . . . let me just say it's old. And it's rare. And it valuable. And it's sentimental. It's not useful or cuddly or practical or fun. And yet I was so enthusiastic when I saw it that the sales guy at the specialty shop sold it to me for $90.

I can hardly wait for Christmas!!!!!!!

But I've taken up far too much of your time telling you why Jackie Robinson didn't sell ice cream that I didn't get to bear my testimony about the time I prayed to him and he actually answered me.

That will have to wait until tomorrow.



Kristina P. said...

Wait, is that an ACTUAL picture of you? I slightly hate you right now, because you are hilarious AND completely gorgeous. Off to cry now on my gingerbread head.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Okay, everyone (who lives within a 5 mile radius of me,) MUM'S the word. Hush Hush, baby. Keep it on the DL! Don't let the cat outta the bag. Shhhhhhhhh. Silenciness is next to godliness. Discretion is the better part of valor. Zip it! Zip it GOOD!

Blogging Mama said...

I think you bought him a Jackie Robinson baseball card. Because he would value it, a lot, even more than the monetary value placed on it.

That or a Jackie Robinson bobble head doll :)

georgie said...

I have no clue what you bought him BUT that was a fantastic story!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Kristina, not only is she gorgeous, she's super skinny! I've seen a full body shot on facebook and I'm slightly green with envy (or maybe it's just the flu that's kicking my butt right now and turning me green).

Love your son's Hawaiianess showing through even in D.C.!! Do you people ever pose without doing that? Is there a law? Didn't he realize that he was in the lower 48 and wouldn't be prosecuted for not doing the universal sign of Hawaii in a photo?

Horrible that someone stole his precious cargo though. Makes me so sad!

CaJoh said...

I was about to say… what about scratch and sniff books— but I don't think that is what you meant.

Congratulations to you and your son for making it to DC. Hope he likes his gift.

I am LoW said...

So sad his stuff was stolen!!

Great post!! Awesome really. And the picture. And I am SO excited for him for Christmas, it's clearly going to be something to do with that guy that used to sell ice cream and that's sooooo exciting!!! :-D

word verification- FOR REAL- armopit. What in the world?! haha

T said...

awesome history day project - I can see why you are now slightly infatuated with Mr. Robinson even if he didn't sell ice cream... I feel slightly amorous toward Ben and Jerry on occasion :)

I think your secret is safe with me, I live far outside that 5 mile radius :)

OldBoatGuy said...

Crash, I take back what I said about you being ugly. Black spots are ugly, You are beautiful!!!!

Jackie started playing for the Dodgers in 1947 when I was 11. The same year my boat was built. I didn't really know about him until 1951, when I started playing base ball in high school. He was a brave man! Your son can probably rattle off the statistics.

Congrads to your son.

optionil.......what can I say

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh, he's doing the universal sign of Hawaii!!! I thought he was slightly fingering your nametag string with his pinkie in a fit of nervousness (can I say I'm relieved, cause, really, that would be slightly creepy). How fun to have actually found something for one of your children that you are totally excited for him to open on Christmas morning--that just doesn't happen that often, even amongst the poor and unjaded children at my house (because despite our comparative poverty, we are also comparatively rich which makes them comparatively jaded). woroceses: is that something to do with Scorcese, the famous director? Did I spell that right?

Sandi said...

Well, I for one am now, not only in love with Mr. Robinson, but with your son as well...I love that he thought that whole selling ice cream thing was hilarious...haha. I can't wait to find out what this wonderful gift is and how on earth you stumbled upon it!

Youngblood4ever said...

Someone seriously stole his stuff? What are people thinking stealing from a kid's project. Were you enraged? Because I am. I think I am having a serious hormonal imbalance problem right now because I have been wanting to punch people who are stupid/rude/stealers/liars and this just got my heart pumping.

Okay, I'm better now- I think. WOW! you are a great mom. I am thinking, after reading this post, that your son is going to list you as the Mother of the Year for they gift you got him. No worries, I won't spill the beans to him!

Smart Helm said...

That really was an awesome post. And when I think about people stealing things off of a school project, I think of that rocket movie... no, not Rocket Man (although that movie is HILARIOUS).. those kids. I'm glad he still got his prize!

Anyway.. that is so fun to find JUST the right present for someone. Giving is so much more fun than recieving (and not half as guiltifying)!

Melanie J said...

I know, Kristina P. I was just about to say that, too. You're freaking gorgeous, Dummy.

And I'm voting for...oh, I know. A whole bunch of new backboards so he can do more history day projects for the next fifty years and never run out.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hi Everyone!

First I would like to say, that there's one thing I've ALWAYS wanted to say but have never been in a position to say until today:

"Don't (slightly) hate me because I'm beautiful."

Thank you Kristina and Alyson for allowing me that opportunity.

I was going to say "I'm not really that beautiful," or "You guys haven't seen me in the Morning" (Martha has though, and Swirl too. I'm sure Swirl will start visiting each of your blogs and telling you that I'm not really that beautiful in real life. ;) (Love YOU, Swirl, even though you're Kuter and Kraftier)

But SUDDENLY I remembered something the stupid smart girl said in one of her posts about annoying girls who can't take a compliment.

Sooooooooooo, just in case stupid smart girl is reading this, I'm going to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SWEET COMPLIMENTS! THOSE WORDS WARM MY HEART, (except for the hating and crying and puking parts).

And some of you still don't seem to know what the gift is. I thought for sure I totally gave it away. It's already been said a few times.

I like the bobble head idea. I'm going to e-bay right now to find one of those.

Jennifer said...

How did it take me so long to find you???? (Obviously, the four question marks indicate and intense lack of understanding as to why I just now found your blog)
Beautifully written post about one of my heroes, too.
I think I am going to like you.

Siana Burgess said...

Totally laughed at this post! LOLOL and felt all warm and tingly inside while reading it! What a wonderful relationship you have with each of your children and what wonderful memories all bottled up in a bottle of rubber cement! I too look forward to hearing what you got him for Christmas. Knowing you it will be something totally awesome and unique! :)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, rubber cement? That is such a dark-ages type of adhesive. (Sorry, but someone had to say it.)

Your son is handsome and you are gorgeous (and way to step it up and take a compliment) and I think the reason I don't get the Jackie Robinson ice cream thing is that I have never heard of Jackie Robinson ice cream. Or is there no such thing?

Your son's display board is very tidy. My son is about function more than presentation (as the true son of an engineer) so his display boards are usually the most thrown-together-looking ones in the room. Which I'm secretly sort of proud of him for, in a weird way. (At the same time that no display board of MINE would ever look that way.)

Anonymous said...

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the smell of rubber cement. Even if I think it belongs to an earlier era.

stupid smart girl said...

My Dear Crash Test Dummy,

I am unreasonably proud of you for accepting the heartfelt, if envious, compliments from your blogging sistahs. Way to stand up and take it like a man! Uh. Something like that. Anyway... Yeah.

I am LoW said...

I think we got it. It's the Jackie Robinson Ice Cream maker that was mentioned. ;-)

By the way, I have your button on my blog now, don't get made at me if your site crashes now that it's on MYYYYY blog.

Mariko said...

You bought him $90 worth of ice cream containers?
Wow. You're weird.
Oh, yes. I've seen her in real life and she's gorgeous, and her daughter looks just like her. How lucky is that?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Thanks to my imaginary friend for accusing me of being in the dark ages and calling my son's board tidy. ;)

And phew! So glad I took the compliment because stupid smart girl WAS reading, after all.

And YAY Lo, I'm so glad my button is on your side bar. Even if my site crashes it will be worth it. (btw, I don't see your credit card number anywhere here in the comment box.) ;)

Hi Siana, hey did you guys meet Siana? That's my 2nd counselor. She's da bomb.

WELCOME Jennifer. I don't know why it took you so long to find me. I've been here all along, right guys!

Hey, stupid smart girl, watch this, I'm just about to take another compliment. Thank you so much Mariko. You are so sweet for calling my daughter gorgeous (and me too.)

Okay, but I must confess that all these compliments are making me a little edgy. Seriously, I don't think I've ever been called gorgeous before. So it's fun, yet weird. Thanks for the weird fun. rest assured the compliments have gone to my heart and not my head.

(We'll see what Swirl says. hee hee. I'm sure she'll bring me back down to earth.)

I only wish the verifier said something cool for the occasion.

Stephen said...

I read your post everyday even though I don't comment all the time. I enjoy your creativity, humor, and philosophy. I just had to comment on the other blog because I want that lovely girl to think that it's okay to go after what you want, even if it leads to rejection. I felt sad that she wanted the job, but didn't want to apply for the position. Of course when I reread it, it comes across tactless. Sounds like me.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

YAY! I finally got my brother to comment over here again! I had to track him down on my student's blog and guilt trip him into coming back to the party. hee hee. I HAVE MISSED YOU THOUGH! AND I HAVE MISSED ERIC TOO! Where've you been bro?

Oh, and Stephen, ftr, I was just teasing you so that lovely student of mine would know you were my brother.

You weren't tactless at all. NO worries. (But what job? I didn't read anything about a job?) I thought she was complaining about boys and in my humble opinion, girls should ALWAYS complain about boys. That's the first rules of being a girl. Can I hear an AMEN from the choir?

hee hee. That should pull Eric out of the closet. He's such a masculinist. Did you guys know he can pump like 300 lbs. Or press, or whatever those guys at the gym call it.

So the back story is, my student started a blog. I tried to talk her out of it because I like to teach my students to do what I say and not what I do. She's the palm trees and paradise blog on my side bar.

She is super cute and wrote a super cute post about the love bug.

Go check her out and give her the shaka

Stephen said...

When I said job I was metaphorically using it as anything we desire in life. Your other Bro. can "Bench Press 335 lbs". You can't insult a strong guy like that.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh gotcha now. wink wink.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm still confused, and I've been Googling around some and I still don't get it. I must be slow this week. Was she thinking of Baskin Robbins?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hee Hee. Look how cute our imaginary friend is. No wonder she's up for the best Mormon Mommy Blogger in the world.

Okay, there is no such thing as a Jackie Robinson ice cream maker, to my knowledge. If you find one though, tell me, PLEASE. Swirl made that up because she lives by me and knew about my son't title. "Didn't he sell ice cream?"

I didn't get him that for Christmas, but I would have if they made them.

He liked that title because he's goofy and offbeat and thought it was funny because he thought everyone knew that Jackie Robinson DIDN'T sell ice cream because he was so busy integrating blacks into baseball.

Still, it's so cute that you're doing your homework.

Barbaloot said...

Love that story! Both your's/your son's and Jackie Robinson's.
And also-good luck in the MMB poll:) I didn't even realize I was on there till you and Sue Q pointed it out which probly negates my credibility.

SWIRL said...

For those of you who think CRASH is completely gorgeous.. don't worry- I feel it my duty- I will catch a candid when she's just running around day-to-day and NOT on vacation all cute and touristy.

So watch your back Crash... when you least expect it...

AND I CAN"T BELIEVE you didn't tell the WORST part about the whole dang thing... I mean the stuff being stolen was a bumber but the PRIZE- they told her son he won $5,000! and then like a WEEK later they call and say.. "oh, our mistake, we don't have that much funding.. it's $500." CAN you believe THAT!

You guys handled that so graciously. I would have been steaming.. and fuming.. can you tell I'm still not over it?

But that's how her family rolls... they we disappointed at first but then saw the silver lining- $500 is still a sweet prize.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I swear I commented on this post...but I looked and read and scrolled and NO comment from me. That is weird!


I loved reading about Jackie Robinson in history...thanks for bringing back the memories of my rebellious years in K-2nd grade...getting high on Rubber Cement...those were the days when I would sniff the cement and then get to nap in the afternoon...or walk around on the Monkey bars without fear of falling because i was well, HIGH!

But then you would get mad that I stole your stash of Rubber cement and would splash ICE COLD water on me...rude rude crash!

Yes you are Beautiful with that persons face on your crash dummy head...who was your surgeon? I might need his number when I get the money to go under the knife...until then my plastic head will have to do! :) since we were TWINS at one time in our life.

Now we are Fraternal!



Your site is like our OWN little WARDI with you as Hot Gorgeous Relief Society Pres!

Rachel said...
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Rachel said...
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Martha said...

Too bad I didn't have a camera this morning when I caught you mopping your floor. That would've been a really good post.

Crash's inlaws are coming in a couple of days. They come every year and she scrubs her house from top to bottom in preparation.

"craccup" is that crap (my fav word) or crackup.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Great post. Loved it. Why did Kristina never look at your other blog to see your real picture. Hmmm.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

See, what'd I tell you guys. Swirl brought me right back down to earth, as predicted. And now she's threatening to publicly humiliate me too.

With friends like Swirl, who needs children.

verifier says pitible. How poignant.

SWIRL said...

Whatever! You know your gorgeous.