|My grandparents and me circa 1958|
But on the average day or year, I learned almost nothing about the early lives of my parents. Was it that they didn't find their lives interesting enough to recount? Were their childhoods unpleasant and they didn't want to relive them? Was talking about the past a waste of energy to them?
Although they were both on the quiet side, my mother liked to talk about politics and Hollywood gossip. My Dad--well, I can't remember him talking about anything other than the most ordinary things. Like the best way to get to Atlantic City. Or the price of an oil change. Or whether it was time to clean the kitchen fan. He worked long hours and we saw little of him except on Sunday.This was certainly not by choice. He was devoted to his family.
And most conversations in our house played out over the din of a TV. It was always on in both our house and my grandparents' house. My grandmother would put on a golf tournament rather than have dead air. The TV was on from the Today Show to the Tonight Show. So it wasn't that my mother or grandmother didn't like stories. They just didn't tell them.
Was yours a family of story tellers?
|My parents in the fifties|
|My parents and my brother, Jeff. Early sixties|
|Us in 1954|