Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beginning Year 70

Antelope on the Eastern Plains

I have always said it is about quality and not quantity. But I frankly never thought I could have both. I was born a year before the baby boom. Not sure how my folks worked that since my father was an US Air Force pilot. And there was WWII going on. Never wise to question your parents too much. The story is he was flying over Omaha when I was born. I think it was the city and not the beach. But my parents and both sets of grand parents died before I could figure out what questions would be important later.

I was never all that rooted to truth. Growing up I found there were my father's stories and my mother's silence. Mother was the truth holder and she held it very tightly behind pursed lips. Dad was the source of legend. I liked Dad's version of life far better. It was grand, and exciting and it did not result in those vertical wrinkles on your upper lip. It gave you laugh lines instead. It would be decades before I discovered that was genetic and not a lifestyle choice.

I was also never that rooted to life. I had several opportunities before seven to just leave. And had developed a relationship with several relatives Mother informed me had died before or shortly after my appearance. When Mother released tidbits of the truth it was always a joy killer. At least that is what my paternal grandfather told me. BTW he was one of those I could not have known. But I have such vivid memories of him. He used to wink at me when I told a tall one at family court. I was late in learning Mother had the only deciding vote. Boy, my English setter, told me that as we sat in exile on the front steps. It was our secret that we enjoyed exile.

So I have no truths to tell about my family. My mother later told my baby sister some of that. She has told me a tidbit here and there. I found it largely boring in relationship to my father's epics. Truth, he once told me in confidence, is what you want it to be. And as we moved from AF base to off base housing to AF base, I got to remake my truth as I wanted it. That got a lot harder when we "settled down" in Albuquerque. So I turned my creative talents to writing "Fairy Tales" and illustrating them in a series of books for by baby sister.

Sent home from school one day for telling lies, Dad, nodded me into the garage workshop for a "talking to" meted out by She Who Must Be Obeyed. Granddad still appeared from time to time at these talking to's. "There is a time," Dad said, "to remain silent around them." Granddad nodded. And so I learned my greatest survival skill. Silence.

Mind you, I have not always used it wisely. But that brings us to the point of this blog. My Father's sagas. I am not interested in genealogy. Boring. I do not even want to know all of Mother's secrets. They are not my roots. I want to spend some time on this blog from time to time recording what I saw on Bellamah Street (apologies to Dr. Seuss and Mulberry Street) and the streets before and since.

PS: It won't be the truth. People do not want to know the truth.

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