Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photo albums and chatting with my sister

I always enjoy looking through the old family albums. I have four albums of OLD family pictures. One is devoted to my dad and his family with a little of him and my mom at the end of the book. Another is devoted to my mom and her family, with a little of her and dad at the end. The third is devoted to my cousins, the Evangelistas and the Sbaraglias and the Boylls, with some of the Drexler children thrown in. And the fourth is about me and our family of six. It ends at the point where Alan came into my life. Then starts the NEW albums. Anything that is before 1966 is OLD and after 1966 is NEW.

And I know for your thirty-somethings out there, 1966 was before you were born. So those older NEW albums would be OLD albums for you and the OLD albums would be ANCIENT. But I'm trying to let you know my mindset on those albums in case the subject comes up again.

Well, I was looking through those books today and just looking at the clothing we wore, the clothing my mom and dad wore when they were courting and in their early married life. I had a pair of suspenders which I loved and I wore them for several years and then my sister inherited them. They (the suspenders) are in a lot of those pictures taken of me and my sister in the late '40s, early '50s.

And I was looking at the photos taken in our small house, remembering what each item in the picture was and feeling good about knowing that most of those items -- knick-knacks, books, furniture -- is still around in some other member of the family's home collection dust and having to be dusted just as it was in my mom's house.

My sister reminded me about my mother and how she got my father's attention. My mom would call his name, "Carl" in her normal indoor voice. NOTE: we didn't have indoor and outdoor voices back then, it was all one normal tone. Then she would call "Carl" a little louder, and finally, she would take a deep breath and let it blow, and you could hear her down at the pike. Well, not really, but my dear little mother had one powerful set of lungs and one loud voice when she wanted someone's attention.

It wasn't that my dad didn't want to hear her, because usually until she let is out, he really didn't hear her. Rarely, however, did my mom have to yell for my father's attention. We children? She yelled all the time, maybe not as loudly as I yell, but the only way to get my brothers' attention was to yell -- or as I would put it forcefully speak. Some call it yelling, but I would prefer to say forcefully speak. And she would wag her index finger while she was forcefully speaking to any of us who were misbehaving.

Well, I would rather have had the force speaking than the feeling of a switch from the forsythia bush across my legs. That hurt!

I think a prerequisite for mothers should be lessons in forcefully speaking, as opposed to yelling. To get one's child's attention, you can yank the hair, pull on the ear, hit them upside the head, or forcefully speak.

So folks, when you think I'm yelling, I'm not. I'm just forcefully speaking.


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