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My mother sold raisins, and other childhood mysteries

sun maid raisins

Simcha Fisher - published on 05/17/16

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Looking for something new to accompany me on my treadmill, I looked up one of my old favorite albums from college: Post by Björk. It held up pretty well! Here’s “It’s Oh So Quiet”:

John Herreid liked the video and said,

My kids loved watching this music video when they were little. At some point one of them (Bertie, I think) asked if we could watch the “song video with Mommy in it” again and it took quite a while to unravel that he meant this one, with him assuming that it was Aletheia in the video.

It really does look a bit like his lovely wife, although I don’t know how prone she is to prancing around in tire stores.

The story made me remember how, when I was little, I assumed that the smiling woman in the red bonnet on the Sun-Maid Raisin box was my mother. Why not? It did look a bit like her. To a kid, who knows so very, very little about the world, it actually makes more sense to eat raisins that come from Mommy than raisins that come from some stranger. Why do we eat Strange Woman Raisins, anyway? Kids’ versions of reality aren’t necessarily stranger or sillier than reality; it’s just that adults are used to the way things are.

When I was in kindergarten, Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted To You” was on the radio. My father worked at the Vocational Techincal College, known as the “Vo-Tech.” So naturally, I assumed it was a song about one’s dedication to one’s job, where one would “Hold the seedy Vo-Tech to you.”

Now you tell one. What secret celebrities are lurking in your family tree? Is Mr. Clean your Uncle Rick? Maybe one of the Knights of Columbus in your parish moonlights on the Quaker Oats box? I love these stories. Kids need the world to make sense, so they make it make sense.


Photo by David Prasad via Flickr (license)

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