Sunday, May 8, 2016

These Are a Few of My Mother's Favorite Things

I was thinking the other day about my mother's favorite baseball team.  She was a New York Yankees fan through and through, even though she was born in Brooklyn before the Dodgers left.  The Yankees used to be my second-favorite team (after the Montreal Expos), but I don't root for them as I did when my mother was alive.  But that got me to thinking about what other favorites of hers I could recall.  So I decided to celebrate her favorites this year for Mother's Day.

I've mentioned before that my mother was a big sports fan overall.  Along with the Yankees in baseball, her favorite football team was the Oakland Raiders.  I don't remember what she thought of their move to Los Angeles, but she was probably happy when they returned to Oakland.

Even though she watched any and all sports on TV, I can't think of a favorite basketball or hockey team for her.   She might have been a Boston Celtics fan, but I'm not sure.  She had three favorite college football teams:  USC, UCLA, and Notre Dame.  She rooted for them all equally, and if any of them played against another, she rooted for a tie.  She strongly disliked Alabama, though.  Her all-time favorite sportscaster was Howard Cosell.

My mother liked almost all kinds of food, so picking out favorites there was a little more difficult.  I think Chinese was probably her favorite ethnic food, although her tastes leaned heavily toward the very Americanized versions.  Her most preferred food item was definitely lobster.  When I was younger she liked Scotch, although I can't remember a specific brand (when she worked as a bartender, she deplored customers who came in and ordered Scotch and milk), and my stepfather told me that later her favorite alcohol was tequila, though it was really too strong for her.

Mommy's absolute favorite movie was Stalag 17.  The two actors I remember her liking the most were William Holden and Hal Holbrook. I think her favorite singer was Tom Jones, who was born just a few months before she was.

Even though she never lived there, my mother loved Las Vegas.  My family used to visit there on a regular basis because my mother's parents lived there.  She enjoyed going to the casinos and the all-you-can-eat buffets.

While in Vegas, and when she gambled at all (which wasn't much), I think my mother's favorite casino game was the slot machines, coincidentally my grandmother's favorite also.  Her other preferred games were Scrabble and pinochle.

The other things I remember are kind of random bits of information.  Of all the pets we had when we children were young, my mother liked our snake the best.  Her favorite author might have been Mickey Spillane, or at least that's who she was reading when she gave birth to me.  Her favorite president was Richard Nixon, and her favorite cousin was Harvey (whom I was able to meet once).  And my stepfather pointed out to me that her favorite color was purple.

Putting together these random memories doesn't come close to giving a complete picture of my mother, but I smiled as I thought about how she enjoyed them all.

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