This is me as the caption on the back says, “the day before I left for New Jersey.” It was February 1957. I was four years old. My parents were from New Jersey but moved to California six months after they married in 1948.
My maternal grandmother made regular trips to see us. I have a very vague memory of jumping up and down on the couch begging to go to New Jersey with grandma. I left in February and my parents and baby brother came out to NJ in August to get me.
There’s a picture somewhere of my me sitting in the sink for a bath at my grandmother’s house. I have memory glimpses of staying with my aunts and uncles. I was told that while at one uncle’s house I cried so much and ended up on the floor outside my aunt’s and uncle’s bedroom that he called my father’s family, my grandmother and aunt to get me. They did.
Some more of those memory glimpses are a church and rice for a wedding, losing a ballon out a window, and my first snow fall.
I have long pondered why my parents would ship me off for six months. My parents were always cagey about the answer. Mostly they said that I begged them to go. I think however, the more logical answer was dad was finishing college, mom was working nights, and there was a baby brother in the house. And money was tight.
This six month living arrangement created an infinity for New Jersey.
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