Monday, August 13, 2007

Tippie, 1925 - 2007

You are looking at the irrepressible Mealdine Principe, or "Tippie" as her friends always knew her. Here she is in 1944, looking absolutely radiant as a U.S. Army Pin-Up Girl. I always knew her simply as "Granny." She passed away this weekend in Texas.

Some of my best memories of Granny are from my childhood in New Jersey. I remember when I was in second grade and had become obsessed with Star Wars, and she told me all about how much, as a kid, she had loved going to the matinee to watch Buster Crabbe in each serialized installment of the original Flash Gordon.

Over the years, Granny also told me strange tales of UFOs over Texas skies. She was from Big Spring, Texas, where the mysterious Hanger 18 is supposedly located, and was thrilled when a movie was made about the subject in 1980. She was forever a Texan - born and bred - and we shared a playful running joke about Texas over the decades...about how everything there was bigger and better.

Like me, Granny always loved the movies, or at least the movies of her generation .She didn't care too much for the modern cinema, and there's a funny story about her walking out of the theater when we took her to see Good Will Hunting in 1997. Still, if a movie had been released in the golden age of Hollywood - the golden age of Tippie's youth - she could pretty much tell you who the male and female leads were without batting an eye.

I'm glad Granny was able to meet her great-grandson, Joel, at least once, last Thanksgiving. I have a photo of him (at just about a month-and-half old) sitting contentedly on her lap. When he's old enough, I'll be certain to share with him all my tall tales of Texas Tippie...


  1. astrid9:14 AM

    She was beautiful, John. Sending hugs your way...



  2. Howard Margolin12:27 PM

    John, my condolences to you and your family for your loss. It's great that you had so many years with her, filled with so many memories.

  3. joey_bishop_jr.12:19 AM

    I'm sorry for your loss, my friend. I'm here if I can help...

  4. My friends,

    Thank you for all the good wishes and condolences. I'm truly blessed to have friends like y'all!

    Thank you for sharing my memories of Granny with me.