Remember the summer of ’77?
Of course you do. It was the summer we had that magical date 7/7/77. At the age of twelve it seemed meaningful for some reason.
What else? Virginia Wade won Wimbledon. And Elvis died.
It was also the summer my parents dumped R.T. and me with our grandparents in England and went off by themselves to sunny California.
Now it wasn't as if I didn't appreciate being able to spend time with my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, and it wasn't as if they weren't all very kind to me, doing their best to entertain me. It was just that after a while I wanted to go home already.
R.T. was fine. He still had loads of friends in England and was busy most of the time. I had lost touch with mine. I was bored.
Boredom is probably why I remember those momentous events listed above. Instead of spending the summer at the beach and/or investigating leaves and dissecting ants (unlike my poor deprived children, my parents did not make me live in the middle of a concrete and asphalt jungle), I watched most of Wimbledon’s Ladies Tournament, a novelty because it wasn’t shown on Israeli television (not surprising, seeing as there was only one channel and even that was run by the state and was still in black and white for years to come).
If I had been in Israel, I doubt I would have heard of Elvis’s untimely overdose of barbiturates, or whatever it was. I’d have been too busy wandering around the apartment building inhabited by that boy I had a crush on, in the hopes of bumping into him (Not! I was far too shy).
And if I had been in Israel, I certainly wouldn’t have got into Grandma’s bad books for my shameful exhibition of lack of respect for the Royal Family.
I wasn’t English anymore, see? I was Israeli now. But, unfortunately for me, 1977 also saw the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee and royal fever was at its pre-Diana peak. So when Grandma called me to come quickly into the morning room, because the Queen was on the telly, I just stayed in the kitchenette (I don’t know why it was called that, it was far bigger than most Israeli kitchens) and kept on munching my chocolate biscuit.
Grandma was not amused. She was even less amused when I announced that she wasn’t my queen. I was in the bad books all summer.
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I thought about Grandma (Aleiyha Hashalom) this week while reading about young Prince Harry’s latest antics. Good thing she wasn’t around to witness it.