Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Looking Back

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The interesting fact about this photo is that it is the only one I have ever seen of my Grandmother (bottom left) and all her grandchildren. Well, all the grandkids at the time. Missing are only my youngest brother P, my two sisters, and two of my cousins. All yet to be born. I would guess the year is 1956. Can you find me?

Never again were we all together for a photo. Our family moved to Kentucky. We were the only faction of the family to leave New York. Others followed, but much later.

Several times after this frozen moment we could have gathered together as a clan and smile for the camera. It never happened. It was not due to distance, we got together for several weddings before Grandma passed. It was due to my cousin (the cute blonde on the couch tickling one of the babies) marrying an Italian and "killing" my grandmother.

If she refused to go to one wedding, she could not go to any others.

As I look at this photo I am startled as I realize Grandma is smiling! As a child I never remember her smiling. I was scared to death of her.

My mother was the apple of her eye. She was mad at my mother also, for marrying my father. The reason? Because his sister is an albino and she was convinced the gene would transfer to one of us kids.

All the sisters and the one sister in law look so young, so happy. Tragedy, the step-sister to Life, had yet to reach out and touch them. To remind them that there are a lot more tragic things waiting for them than Italians.

Germans were okay. Not Italians.


IndigoSunMoon said...

I barely remember my maternal grandmother, and my paternal grandmother I don't remember at all. Any pictures I've seen of my maternal grandmother had her not smiling. I never remember her smiling at all.

Lisa :-] said...

People of that era often had a tendency to be unbending about things...and in the proess, make themselves and everyone else miserable. I had a grandmother like that...maybe we all did. :-]

Lisa :-] said...

Oh...and I'm thinking you are one of the ones sitting on the floor...

Don't you just love these old pictures?

Theresa Williams said...

Re your comment on my blog about muses: places can definitely be muses. Even though you are no longer in that place, you can use your longing for that place to create your essays, poems, and stories. Some of the best muses are those who are far away, dead, or otherwise lost to us. I remember that Dorothy Allison once said the women in her family provided her drive to write: she wanted to raise them to the status of heroes.

ggw07 said...

This is a tremendous potent image of the women and children in your family. Treasure it and keep it safe. It could be the inspiration for great writing too. When you are aware that you take them and these stories with you wherever you go, you will bloom.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Great family photo! And certainly one to spring forth from with a longer story!

LightYears2Venus said...

I'm with Lisa--the smaller one on the floor looking off stage left with a white bodice?