Long time readers might be wondering whatever happened to my interview series called “Item Five.” Well, nothing happened to it, really. When I have time, I’ve continued to reach out to musicians, authors, etc and most of the time they seem eager to participate. So I send them a list of questions to answer and I then don’t hear from them again. That’s the way it goes sometimes. It just so happens that the last 3 interviews I’ve set up have gone unanswered. Sigh.
So……what’s a robot to do? Well, that’s an easy one. Call on someone that you know will respond and answer questions. Because you know where they live.
You call on your own mother. It’s actually harder to come up with a list of questions for your own mother than it is to come up with questions for someone you’ve never met. Isn’t that kind of weird? Anyway, my mother was born in Florida as Karen Zorn, but only stayed there a relatively short time before moving up to Massachusetts. She grew up in Sterling, MA (next town over from Lancaster, where we grew up) and she has a sister and two brothers. Both brothers, sadly, passed away within about 5 years of each other (1985, 1990).
When you hear things like “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree,” you know they are oft-used adages, but damn, that shit is true. The Zorn side of the family has a pretty unique sense of humor, largely on the biting/sarcastic side, which is something I have in spades. I won’t go into much detail, but some of our family get togethers on the Zorn side are stuff of legend.
So without further ado, say hello to my mom, won’t you?
1. What is your earliest childhood memory?
Digging for China in our back yard (Mom told us to)
2. What did your parents do for work?
Gracie worked in a factory and Mel, well, he had many jobs.
3. Tell me something you did in high school that you regret or aren’t particularly proud of.
We skipped school and sat in the woods smoking and hungry.
4. Is there any advice either of your parents gave you that has stuck with you for whatever reason? If so, what was it?
Gracie always said, “never say your children would never do that, because they could.”
5. Do you remember what your first impression of Dad was or the very first thing he said to you?
I thought Dad was a handsome dude. He said “Do you want a ride home??”
6. Did you have other names picked for me? How did you decide on Jeff?
No, you were Jeff from the start. [Jeff note: my mother once told me years ago that they were considering naming me Zachary. When I followed up on this question, she said “I was only teasing you“]
7. Tell an amusing story about me as a young child
I always loved the birthday card you made for dad. It said ” Happy Birthday Dad, too bad you’re so old!!!”
8. How were you feeling on my very first day of school?
Because you and your sister were always excited about going to school, I was excited to see you go (very excited).
9. If you can remember any of my Halloween costumes, which one do you think was the best?
I really don’t remember your costumes!!!
10. If you had to pick one bad thing I did growing up as the worst/stupidist thing I’ve done, what would it be?
Your freshman year in high school, need I say more?? [Jeff note: no, you need not say more. But I will. Freshman year in high school was a 100% disaster for me. My adjustment to high school was a rock road, particularly in the field of academics. There were a few F’s and I got booted from the hockey team, so I missed the last seven games of the season. In most cases, it was me being a little punk. Tidbit: in the four quarters of Physical Science, my grades were D, D, F and F. I was failing the class going into the final. I spent HOURS in my room studying for the final, combing the book (probably for the first time). I scored an 89 on the final and passed the class with a D. To this day, I hate science.]
11. What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
I laugh a lot, but Olivia [granddaughter] can really make me laugh with some of her comments!!!
12. I got my penchant of reading the newspaper every day from you. Where did you get it from?
I really don’t know, my parents were not really big newspaper people, my desire must have come from within…
13. You’re coming up on a big birthday – do you find yourself thinking more about the past or the future?
Both, I love thinking about the past and I look forward to the future.
Thanks for being a good sport, Mom.