“Daddy, where did I come from?” asked this inquisitive 7 year old “Yat boy” native of Uptown New Orleans as the family was heading back home in a vintage Plymouth Fury from a regular Sunday afternoon visit to our Matriarch Grandmother's house in Lakeview.
Dad responded in one of his famous lines, “What's that – break it up again? We'll talk about that later,” he noted, as I dozed off to sleep probably as we were driving down Bayou St. John enroute to our Broadway Street Carrollton area home on the corner of Spruce Street about three blocks from S. Claiborne Ave.
Earlier, “da Keiffa,” as my neighbor, the late Mr. Julian Hillary had called him, had heard a risque joke that he didn't quite understand from his affable Uncle Arthur, whom the boys in the Kleinpeter family always gravitated to at family gatherings – much to the chagrin of Moms!
How can I forget those corrective responses from Grandma, who had 10 children and had lost Grandpa many years before I was even born, chastising Arthur as usual - like I'm sure she did all of her life: “That's enough of Dat,” as Moms would then send us us younger kids for “Happy Jack” cookies for a distraction to the kitchen, as Uncle would carry on entertainly the rest of the family with his lively stories!
That weekend, we were blessed also to have my mother's oldest sister, the late Sr. Joslia Kleinpeter, SSND, staying with Uncle Ray, who took care of Grandma, so Sr. Joselia also chimed in a few times to keep Uncle Arthur in check, as she would scold him with, “Stop that en-devilment, Arthur!”
Well, as usual, we would end these visits by watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” and “Mission Impossible” on tv with other family as things were winding down, and Uncle Arthur was somewhat behaving himself.
In between playing marbles with sibling David - while glancing off and on at Mission Impossible, a very suggestive romantic scene played out on the scene – for that day and age - involving the lovely blonde “Cinnamon,” (Barbara Bain), at which Uncle Arthur blurted out the famous song:
“Let me tell ya 'bout the birds and the bees
And the flowers and the trees
And the moon up above
And a thing called "Love!"
Before being moved by Mom to the kitchen, Uncle Arthur said something about “Dis gal's got bazookers like Raquel Welch!”
Back then, the closest I would get to “dirty talk” was watching the “Laugh In” comedy show during the week, when older siblings had to bear with this tyke constantly blurting out, “I don't get that joke,” as it was way over my head; they would repeatedly respond, “Be quiet, Keith, so we can hear the next line!”
So back to my question to Dad: I finally worked up the nerve to ask Daddy about “the birds and the bees” during the following Saturday night at a football game we attended at the old Tulane Stadium after that trip to Grandma Kleinpeter's.
Dad did a great job of privately giving me the basics for what I needed at that age using a simple football anaolgy. as he was always into following and supporting his alma mater, the Tulane Greenies.
Suffice it to say that I learned what I needed to know that night about scoring a touchdown in more ways than one!