Various memories of my parents that I will add to over time.
We called our mother "Mama" or sometimes "Ma." We called our father "Daddy" or sometimes "Dad."
From me: My mother loved reading books. She and her sisters would buy books and then pass them around among themselves and write inside when they read the book. The only book I remember that my mother read and then I later read was, "Harvest Home." It definitely has some pagan, occult - ness to it. I wonder if she read more of these types of books and I wonder if this is why I like pagan, occult, metaphysical stuff. I guess maybe I got that from her.
My mother would watch afternoon game shows on at least some weekdays, particularly on Mondays when she did her ironing. I would watch with her after I got home from school. My dad was at work during those times, so we had those times to spend together. Our favorite game shows were: Concentration, Hollywood Squares, The Match Game, Queen for a Day & Password for sure. Others were probably: Let's Make a Deal, The Price is Right, To Tell the Truth, Truth or Consequences, I've Got a Secret & What's My Line. (Thank you to Wikipedia for having a list of old game shows, so I could come up with that list.) I now wonder if any of my sisters and brother did the same before I did; they probably did but I only remember the times when it was only me and my mother.
Speaking of TV Shows, she would also let me watch Dark Shadows in the afternoon, probably the entire time it was on from 1966 to 1971. I liked that show!
Evening shows we really liked were Star Trek & The Wild Wild West among others.
As I now recall, from when I was young, at times my dad would be looking like he was ready to go somewhere and someone would say, “Where are you going?” And he’d answer back, “Going crazy, wanna to come?” Other times he’d be doing something and someone would say, “What are you doing?” And he’d answer back, “Playing Tiddly Winks with Manhole covers.” Does anyone even know what Tiddly winks are any more? (look it up if you wish).
From one of my sisters (Arline):
My mother with Jacqueline, Arline & baby Irene
"I am compelled also [to write something]. I remember living at one Lasalle Ave. [in Lawrence, MA]. Living there at first were Mama, Dad, Jacqui (Jackie at the time), myself and Irene. Richard came later. I remember Jackie and I shared a room with bunk beds, she on top, me on bottom. Jackie, of course, started school before I did so I spent many days alone with Mama while dad worked. I remember Mama used to bake and I would take a nap in the afternoon. When I got up from my nap, sometimes Mama would have saved some brown sugar from her baking for me in the top (cardboard at the time) of the crisco container as a treat. I appreciated that so so much. It made me feel special. (now i am tearing). Then I remember a hot summer day probably in 1943 or 1944 when Mama was sewing something at her sewing machine, which was located in the "front", kind of a sun room facing our street which was a short narrow dead end street. Kids in the neighborhood were out playing and I remember Jackie had a kind of a halter top on. I remember going in for a drink and saying I was hot. And Mama said, well of course you would like a halter top in this heat also. So she stopped what she was doing and made me a bolero type halter which I wore for the rest of the day and loved it.
"While we were living there, one Christmas, I desperately wanted a music box which when it was opened had a dancing ballerina inside. I wanted it so so bad that I knew I would get it. Of course I didn't get it, but that's ok.
"I remember Dad making [root beer] behind the kitchen stove [sometimes they would burst, according to Jacqueline], raising little chicks in the same place. And most specially, I remember I never felt as safe as I did when, at night, I would hear the garage door open and Dad would drive his car in and then close the door. The garage door had a very unique sound. When I heard it close, I knew all was well."
From my sister, Irene:
- I remember walking down the street and meeting our mother when she came home from work. that was definitely a highlight of the day.
- Also following Dad around the garden, that's when I learned all about the [Boston] Red Sox.
- Coming down the stairs and going into the living room on Christmas day and seeing all the presents with all the different colored paper that our mother wrapped for us.
- We often went to different places including Shadow Lake in Massachusetts with my parents and various family members especially my Aunt Rita. She would take us lots of places while my father worked.
- My parents loved to play cards and did so in the evenings quite often with various family members. It was fun watching them play cards. I think they played poker.
- My parents, especially my mother, loved to play Cribbage and scrabble. My mother was really good at scrabble and played this game with us as well as with her 4 sisters. Eventually in the 1980s they started playing Trivial Pursuit and Uno as well. I played Trivial Pursuit with them a couple of times but never had a chance of winning.
- If asked how she was doing, or if asked how she and our dad were doing my mother would often say, "We're still alive and kicking!"
- My mother would always write S.A.G. under the stamp of any mail that she would send out. S.A.G. stands for Saint Anthony Guide. I saved some of her S.A.G.s. They are in a special box with other memorabilia of my parents.
- As mentioned in another story, my mother worked at sweat shops in Lawrence, MA and sewed shoes and things on old sewing machines. Once when I was quite young she came home and the sewing needle on her machine had gone through her finger. She went back to work the following day with no complaints. She worked hard for many years for her 5 children.
- We would often go visit other family members - aunts and uncles. I remember many fun times during these visits. I got to spend time with my many cousins.
- My mother cooked and sewed and took care of all of her children. She also crocheted and knitted many wonderful items of clothing. Even later on as she got older she continued to sew for people and hardly charged anything for her work. She was extremely generous to her family and friends.
- My mother made most, if not all, of my halloween costumes. Once she made a halloween costume for me out of crepe paper - I was Judy from the Jetsons, a Saturday morning cartoon TV show from the 1960s. I wish I had a picture of me in that outfit! She also made a Papoose costume for me, and a nurses costume for me, among other costumes. I have pictures of me in both of those last two costumes.
- My Father learned to use a computer and the Internet when he was in his 80s. Once when I visited, I showed both my father and mother some things on the computer and on the Internet. My mother really liked learning the things that I showed her and so did my dad.
- I played Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble with my mother and one or more of her sisters and I NEVER won! It was fun though, spending time with my mother and my aunts at something enjoyable.
- I also played Uno with her and my daughter in the later years. We always liked playing games together.
Somebody.... family members that is, please write up some brief memories and send them to me about our parents / grandparents / great-grandparents, etc. Then I will put them here. If they end up long I will make them into separate stories.
See more back-in-the-day photos from another part of my website.
All photos by me, my parents or other family members.
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