Thursday, October 14, 2010

If these walls could talk (like Garfield) ...

For about 16 hours, I thought we really had something. That, at least to someone, our new house had an important place in Duluth history. Something big happened here.

Lorenzo Music, the voice of Carlton the Doorman on "Rhoda," Garfield, and Larry the Crash Test Dummy had gummed his first mushy clumps of Gerber carrots in this house we have lived in since February.

The promise that this house had some creative ju-ju associated with it. Exclamation point.

It all started with a mid-afternoon conversation with our 80-year-old next door neighbor, the West Duluth OG. I'd stopped home for a sandwich and found him hefting a ladder so he could do some yellow-paint touch ups on the exterior of his house. He was a little winded, and seemed happy for the distraction. During the 15 minute neighborly chat, he dumped a semester worth of Americana into my proverbial sponge. The man is oozing with interesting info. I'd postpone more than a sandwich to hear a few of his yarns.

He's not someone to trifle with things like segues and transitions, and just began dishing:
That young girl who was kidnapped and murdered in this region in the early 2000s is his granddaughter. He had squirrels at the cabin, shot one with a .22 right there in the kitchen and put a hole in the floor. One time at the hunting shack, his friend died next to his truck and they didn't find him until 3 hours later. The woman across the street had in vitro, and all three eggs took. Viola! Triplets. ("Thank God they didn't try five eggs.") There is no way that the previous owner of our house got his money back when he sold to us. OG has done the math on the cost of a garage, a roof, a deck, the kitchen remodeling ... then, Carlton the Doorman.

I didn't know Carlton the Doorman from John Boy. This bit of 1970s pop culture fell through the sieve. But I know "voice of Garfield." Fan isn't a big enough word to describe an 8-year-old with a stuffed orange cat wearing running shorts and sweat bands that she takes to school, to Montana, to bed. Plastic Garfield-shaped pencil erasers, striped doodles with a round belly and shaded ears, belly laughs at Jim Davis's thoughts on Mondays, Lasagna, and Nermal.

Later that night, I shared this misinformation with Chuck. We whooped. We YouTubed. I posted my factless finding on Facebook.

"We should put a portrait of him over the fireplace," I said.
"That would be creepy," Chuck said.
"Then in the upstairs hallway," I suggested.
"That would be creepier," he said.

Today I did some more research and discovered Lorenzo Music went to Duluth Central. He grew up in the Central Hillside. Red Alert. No Trojan lives West of Duluth Denfeld. Not in those days. But he married a West Duluth girl. ... I see that at the crucial point in the conversation with OG, I'd gotten a bit lost. He must have told me that Lorenzo Music had married the girl who grew up in our house. Myrna, I believe, although like Lorenzo, she had a name change when they jetted off to Hollywood. She became a Henrietta.

This was, of course, a buzz kill. To be fair, Henrietta and Lorenzo paired for a few projects -- which means she has some Hollywood cred, too. She wasn't the voice of Garfield, though. No, he lived across town. Who wants to be charged with giving my inner 8-year-old that correction?

So now we have cool history once removed, which is not the same thing as a tour bus filled with baby boomers driving slowly past the house. Charging admission for a looksee. Although, it's probably still cool if I get a little gold plated something for over the door that says "Lorenzo Music was here." That much is probably true.

1 comment:

Futbol said...

i always loved that name. lorenzo music. if i were him, i'd constantly ask my wife if she wants to go upstairs to the bedroom and make some sweet, sweet lorenzo music.