My house was built in 1941 . I was talking to a window salesman on the phone a couple of days ago . He asked when the house was built and I told him . ” That was a good year ” he said , in rushing salesman chatter ; and then he stopped . ” Well , that was a stupid thing to say , ” he said .
Yeah , that was probably a stupid thing to say . 1941 was not so good , perhaps , for James Joyce . He died that March . Maybe it was a better year for Joan Baez and Faye Dunaway , who were born that year . Maybe it was a good year for Joe Di Maggio , who started a hitting streak .
Maybe it was a good year for those who got married that year , or who graduated from high school , or who got a good job , or who bought their first car , or who had a baby , or who hit their first home run . Maybe 1941 was not so good for most of Europe and much of Asia , at war .
Yeah , now that I’m thinking about that off-hand statement ” that was a good year ” is indeed a pretty stupid thing to say .
But that’s not the focus of my story .
I wanted to comment briefly about the cat door that our two cats scoot through , in and out of , every day . I’ll add pictures of it . You’ll get the idea . It was built as a milk-delivery door . The milkman would have put the bottles there in the morning . A door opened to the outside and another door was on the inside . It makes a nice cat door . No more milkmen come around in the mornings .
When I was a kid we had milk delivered by a milkman from a company called Edgemar . He used to come into what we called the utility room , where the washer and dryer were , where my mother had a scary machine with rollers called a mangle . She used to iron sheets with the mangle . The utility room door was left open . The milkman took away the empty glass bottles and left the same number of full bottles . Remember glass bottles of milk ? All I see now are waxed milk cartons . They’re waxed , aren’t they ? Some milk comes in plastic bottles nowadays , I guess , too .
I will be covering the milk-cat door soon . We are installing new cabinets wall-to-wall , floor – to-ceiling . We’ll have to cut a new cat door into the back door . Everything will work out well . The cats will be confused for a day or two . The ghosts of the milkmen will be flabbergasted for a day or so , too , I suppose . But then everything will move along as if it had always been done that way .