- Bunny is my mom and Tallo is my aunt. Bunny's real name is Dolores and Tallo's birth name is Maria del Rosario which became Rosemary. Chayo is the nickname for Maria del Rosario but through the magic of Spanglish and the spoken word, Chayo became Tallo and I'm not really sure who decided on the spelling. In Spanish, tallo means stem. No, we don't call her Auntie Stem.
- Auntie Tallo is about 3 years older than Bunny.
- Auntie Tallo is a road warrior, able to drive long distances with ease, grace and facility. When Uncle Joe was still alive, they belonged to a trailer club and took serious road trips with other seniors. If it's a state or national park in the Western U.S., Tallo's been there.
- Bunny and Tallo not only finish each other's sentences, they let each other know what the other should continue saying after that.
- Bunny and Tallo served their aging mother like a couple of champs. My grandmother stayed in my parents' home until her death at the age of 97. My mom was still working as a nurse and Tallo would come over and take care of Mama while Bunny was at work.
- Where there's Bunny... there's Tallo. They do EVERYTHING together. Read on for their most recent discovery: "culture".
A couple of years ago, Bunny and Tallo found a class on opera at the local senior center. Neither of them had ever listened to opera, been to an opera or studied anything about opera, but for whatever reason they signed up. My mom would call me after class with reports on what they were studying. First it was Carmen.
"She was a loose woman, if you know what I mean" Bunny told me.
"A real you-know-what", chimed in Tallo.
"Yeah", I replied, "I saw Carmen a couple of years ago. It's really cool."
"Uh-huh", interjects Bunny, "but did you know that she was a gypsy?"
"Well, yes... that's kinda the whole Carmen thing..."
"Did your mother tell you that we watched the video of Carmen in class and that everyone in the class is a former teacher and we told them that you were a teacher and then we told them about your baby and everyone wants to know if she's OK now and..."
I cut her off mid-sentence. "Actually yes, she told me that..."
"But", added my mom, "did we tell you that next we're going to study La Traviata and then Voggggggggggggggner?"
It goes on like this for a while. Who told me what, in what detail, etc. I rather enjoy it especially when they discover a minute detail that the other left out. That's the whole Bunny and Tallo energy. Up, up, up.
These two busy seniors then signed up for a class on Broadway musicals, Shakespeare and enhancing vocabulary.
"Nancy, do you know the story of Julius Caesar?"
"I taught Julius Caesar to my sophomores..."
"But did you know that..."
The beauty of talking to Bunny and Tallo is their awe of new information. Whether it's new to you or not isn't the point. When it's new to them, they share it with the whole world. Since they never were much for literature, opera and the like, there is a lot of new information for them to share.
I let them tell me whatever they want. It doesn't matter if I've heard it, done it, seen it. I think that by talking about it, they're relearning the material and becoming more knowledgeable in the process.
That's just a taste of Bunny and Tallo. Stay tuned for more Bunny and Tallo reports as they develop.