Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beds, Banned Books and My Mother

So while Patty is no longer doing challenges, Carol is dragging me into the depths of nefarious and loathsome darkness.

Have you head of the banned books Challenge?  You pick a book from the Banned Book List and do a mini-hanging depicting the cover, the deep dark meaning or some situation of the book.  The purpose is to celebrate the right and freedom to read!  Go to Crafty Garden Mom to read more about the Challenge.

Before I go on, the bed store guy Will, called yesterday to tell me the good news that the mattress was in!  Yay!  But the bad news was that the bed itself as not in.  The best he could do was next Saturday.  What choice did I have?  I could go somewhere else but  it would be a minimum of a two week wait, and this Saturday is better than two Saturdays away.....right?????

So back to the BBLC.

Think small, manageable.  I can do it.  Make up for the two lazy months I had just frittering away in la la land.

I have a strong and rich history with banned books and songs and my mother.  She decided that the reading list at John Quincy Adams Junior High School in New Orleans needed revision, so she and a few friends decided to mortify me more than being a 13 year old, too tall, complexion challenged girl could possibly have done.  They decided to get a few of those books banned from the Orleans and Jefferson Parish School Board's Official Reading List.  It was like living with Tipper Gore! Oye!

The Kingsmen
My mother and these friends rallied to to get Louie, Louie (click to hear the horrors) by the Kingsmen banned from the airwaves.   Can you imagine what that did to my popularity?  Hey mom, Wikipedia says: The Kingsmen's edition was the subject of an FBI investigation about the supposed but non-existent obscenity of the lyrics, an investigation that ended without prosecution. 

The one I will always remember was Salinger's Catcher In the Rye.  In rebellion, when was a freshman at Grace King Senior High (an all girl's public school, mind you.)  I obtained a bootleg copy of Myra Breckenridge by Gore Vidal and read it out of my locker between classes and before the bus left to bring me home to my prudish mother.  I am totally surprised not to see that one on the list of banned books!  I guess my mother didn't figure that one out.

Read The Catcher in The Rye online freeWhen I turned 50, I went to the library to pick up some books on tape and I spied the Catcher on a display.  Later that day, I opened the book in the privacy of my own home, behind closed doors, even Frank was out of town.  I felt dirty, really dirty and bad at what I was going to read in those pages.  The horribleness I expected to see.

I felt guilty, really.  Guilty.  I expected my mother to snatch that book right out of my hands.

Imagine my surprise when the worse I read were the words damn and hell.  And shit.  Hey, the bad boys didn't even really do very bad things!  And I say those words sometimes.  Well, OK, more than sometimes.  OK!  Daily. OK! Carrie was repeating them by time she was 2 1/2. 
Scarlett O'Hara

Go check out the List of Banned Books.  It is interesting to see who and what is on the list.  I was surprised to see James and the Giant Peach, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gone With the Wind?

Come on mom..........


  1. I did read Catcher when I was in high school and I still have the paperback copy! I checked out the other banned books and I have to admit Catcher was the only one I have read. Yes, this challenge would be too much for me. I was never any good about analyzing a book and it's themes.

  2. Very cool piece of personal and national history! I will definitely check out that list and project. Reading and libraries have always had a big spot in my heart and right to read or even write out your thoughts is a freedom I take for granted. Thank you for the reminder of how that once was challenged.

  3. You wicked woman you ! What would your mother do about 50 shades of gray?

  4. Love this post and THANK YOU for sharing about the BBW mini quilt challenge! what I still find hilarious to this day is when I was a kid a local group wanted to have several classics removed i.e. Adv. Huck Finn, Catcher in Rye, Judy Blume books BUT said nothing about the bodice ripper romances me and my 11 and 12 yr old girlfriends were more interested in "sneaking" to read. Not that I believe either group of books should have been banned, but I still think it's hilarious they found Mark Twain and JD Salinger more "dangerous" to our impressionable minds than Bertrice Small and Kathleen Woodwiss, hah!


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