Time Stands Still in My House

me, Billy Hinsche album cover


I know him forty years

~ Maurice Duke


I just love the way my day today played out.  I woke up to a phone message from my old friend Billy.  In the message he said he’s in town visiting his mother who had surgery and is now in rehab in Santa Monica and maybe we can get together later.  I called and said we should have lunch.  An hour later my husband and I were walking into our little village with Billy.  I had called Donna and Wendy, two friends that I knew would love to reconnect with him.  Donna managed to show up for a quick hug and kiss.  We grabbed a picture to prove it.  At lunch, we got caught up on all our gossip.  Then we hung out in my house where Billy showered and changed before heading out to a party.   We would leave before him to visit old friends of my dad’s for dinner.  Beverly and Lou.  My father would say about Lou and almost everyone else: “I know him 40 years.”  And now I, too, have known Lou and Beverly for 40 years.

During the rest of the afternoon at my house, the phone would occasionally ring and it would be the same names as forty years ago.  Here we are in 2013, and it’s the all the same people.  I kept putting Billy on the phone with them.

Lou and Beverly Wills.  I know them 40 years!!!

Lou and Beverly Wills. I know them 40 years!!!

My stepdaughter was also visiting and at one point we all found ourselves chatting on a couch in my husband’s office.  A minute before, I was pushing a new social network down Billy’s throat.  “Give me your phone,” I demanded aggressively.  “You need Instagram.”  Billy held on and would not let go of it.  He told me Facebook was keeping him busy enough and he would need to do research before he signed up for Instagram.  What he really said was, “Not another password, I already have more passwords than Allen Ludden.”  For young people, that line is a reference to a sixties game show called Password, and the joke should end in a rimshot.    It took me three years to talk Billy into Facebook when he was still hanging onto MySpace.  Now, you can’t get him off Facebook.  And his following is so huge that you would never be stupid enough to leave a comment, because your e-mail box would be flooded with all his other friends & fans’ comments.

Donna and Bllly (back in the day)

Donna and Bllly (back in the day)

On the couch, we three oldies are talking to the youngster.  We all hold our phones and share bragging rights on the only techy things we know how to do on them.  Billy shows us how to copy and paste (I’ve already forgotten how).  He says things like, “Don’t be afraid.”  I ask Emma how to take a screen shot, which I think is just brilliant, but my fingers never seem to be able to make it happen.  You need two fingers at the same time.  She makes it look easy and I grab a shot of someone’s selfie – of her cleavage on Instagram — which ends up immediately in my photo library.  Genius.  Then we all start grilling the young one.  She is in the know.  I say, “Don’t you think Billy should be on Instagram?”  She says the only important one to be on is Twitter, and then we all fall totally silent because we just don’t get it.  Then she says, “When I Gchat…” and she continues but we hear nothing after G-chat because we don’t know what that is.  Finally my husband says what we were all thinking: “You lost me at Gchat.”  We all laugh.  Yeah, what the fuck is Gchat, Emma?  From her answer I gather that it’s a live chat you can only have through Gmail.  When she said something about an icon at the bottom of her Gmail, again, silence.

Step-daughter Emma and her dad, Michael

Step-daughter Emma and her dad, Michael

I just loved that it was maybe all of fifteen minutes together on that couch, but so well spent, like a tutorial from the young sharp one to the three dinosaurs.  I laughed and learned a lot in those minutes.  One thing I know is that it will take Billy another two years to catch onto Instagram, and in the end he will thank me.  Another thing I learned is that we all won’t necessarily be signing up for Gmail, which is free.  Billy hangs onto AOL, for which my husband made fun of him.  Michael, my husband hangs onto to AT&T, for which his daughter made fun of him.  And I have one of those Apple me.com accounts, which, well, everyone makes fun of.  When you’re old and trying to keep up with the times, it’s hard to be hip.  But there’s one thing I can count on to never change  — my friends.  I know them forty years, some fifty years, some even longer.  When the phone rings in my house, and by the way, I do still own a landline, it’s going to be the same cast of characters it was in 1974.

Lou, me in the middle and Beverly on right at dinner that night!!

Lou, me in the middle and Beverly on right at dinner that night!!

Today is Billy’s birthday.  If he lived closer here is the cake I might have made him.  The recipe comes from my friend Cathy who I have known

much longer than I even know Billy who I’ve known since I was around nine years old.  I’ve known Cathy since kindergarten.

I won’t even say how long that is!!  Almost 55 years!!

Sin Cake Recipe (From a Childhood Friend)

Beat with electric mixer

1 Stick Butter

1 Yellow Cake Mix

1 Egg

Press mixture into 9/13 pan

Mix with electric mixer

1 Box powdered Sugar

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

2 Eggs

Pour over cake mixture.  Bake cake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown in a 350 degree oven.  Cool for 20 minutes.  Cover with powdered sugar.  The recipe Cathy gave me says now to eat and gain 10 lbs!!!

Cathy, I know her...

Cathy, I know her…


Donna, Billy, me at lunch in the village.

Donna, Billy, me at lunch in the village.

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7 Responses to “Time Stands Still in My House”

  1. David Malvin says:

    As a closet Luddite, I can appreciate where Billy is coming from with respect to the electronic universe. Unfortunately for me, much of my work requires me to sound intelligent about all the technological who-ha around us.

    Thanks for sharing this blog posting with me. It is great to celebrate our friends and I love hearing about you celebrating Billy. If you talk with Billy tomorrow, let him know I’ve got Carnitas for him, when he returns to Las Vegar.

    I enjoyed seeing Donna today, too. Back in the day, I’ll confess that I had a mild crush on her. There was something about he directness that I liked.

  2. Alan says:

    “Lou? I know him a ‘huned years’. And he’s still full of shit!. Do a little dance Lou.”

  3. janet graham says:

    oh fredde-i just love this! and you. the kind of person and friend you are. this says it all.

  4. pauli says:

    Well, you put it all into words so well – the generation gap is getting wider by the minute. I’ve learned from the young ones that no one really “emails” anymore which is why they love twitter. Everything is limited to 140 characters. I’m thinking about it though, as I really hate all the ads on FB. Your writing is really addictive!!

  5. cristi ulrich says:


  6. Linda says:

    I know you 40 years … XOXO

  7. Linda says:

    G-chat … never heard of it either. I know him/her 40 years … brilliant l!

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