Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A bit of history: 1

A word that's always come to mind in describing my childhood is...  "black."

I don't remember much before the age of 5 years old.
Maybe just a flash of something.

Narragansett Bay...

  Sandwich Beach...          


  Raggedy Ann... and Martin Ave. 

I think the longest one is standing on the end of a dock watching dad in his scuba gear paddle out into the Atlantic Ocean.

He would swim what seemed like miles away, then stop, turn and wave goodbye before disappearing under the waves.

The clearest is "catching" dad as he was heading toward the breezeway door of our home. I called out asking where he was going. Wearing a long business style raincoat and with a briefcase, or very possibly a suitcase, in hand he turned to tell me that he was leaving and not coming back.

It was my fault. I did something wrong. So, why he didn't just give me another chance?

Both my parents were born in New York. 

Dad was the only child that Frank and Margaret had together before the marriage ended. Frank is mostly just a name and Margaret had Sydel from a previous marriage. I don't think Sydel and Dad grew up together, though. She may have been a bit older, as well.

Mom said that most of Dad's youth was spent in boarding school. 

"Mad Margaret", as I heard her so fondly referred to as, was according to Mom, an eccentric, overbearing, palm reading socialite that was into Real Estate and Wall Street.
Mom was born to Peter John and Ida Haich. Peter John and his brother Nicholas were young little immigrants sent over by my Great Grandparents from Bulgaria (?). 

She grew up on a Dairy farm in Upstate New York and described it as a wonderful childhood but incredibly lonely.

She had two older brothers but they were pretty much grown and on their way to gone when she surprised them all. 

Basically, she was an "only child". 

She attended a one-room schoolhouse on the hill directly behind their cobblestone farmhouse with books and education being the focus of life.

She adored her Dad and recalled her Mom, who Grampa met in Chicago (?) as "just not happy". She described Gramma as a great mother but depressed and distant.

Story has it: when Grampa asked Gramma, who was a city-girl to marry- she made him promise that if she accepted he wouldn't take her to live on a farm.

They married.

He bought a farm.

Grampa's mother lived with them for a bit and Mom really loved her.

Apart from hard work,
the family enjoyed travel and board games together, with Scrabble being the favorite.   

Dad and Mom met while in College (?). He was a Lieutenant and she was an Airline Stewardess.

testimony by: Hallie Agar

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