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  Tuesday, August 02, 2005


This story is a sequel to one a few days ago, Sunk by Submarine.

My parents met when my mom heard my dad speaking at a college event, and went to chat with him afterwards. I wish I could have been there, but for some reason I was unable to make it.

My dad had been a communications officer in the Navy during the Korean War. He traveled to exotic, distant lands and met exciting, unusual people, but he didn't have to kill any of them. He did learn some Japanese and brought back a lot of stories to tell. My mom loved that.

After they married, they lived in an apartment for a short time, then purchased a small home. Homes back then cost less than economy cars do today. The house had been built on former farmland, and for years we'd get random vegetables growing spontaneously in the backyard.

Our house was a couple blocks from the corner store, and my mom would have me walk there to get her chocolate bars. When she felt ill, which seemed often to me, she would stay in bed and want me to fetch everything for her.

My dad has a fondness for foreign languages, and he would teach me phrases in Spanish and Japanese. We'd be in a nursery buying plants for the yard, and he would call out to me, "Kudasai, hayaku!" Come here, quickly. The Japanese gardeners would turn to look, and see a little white kid come running. I thought it was funny the strange looks I'd get.

They divorced when I was nine. My dad moved out, and after a year we sold the house and moved to an apartment. I turned shy, and would get embarrassed reading in class, which had never been a problem for me.

My mom dated a bit. She played hard to get. Then she wondered why the guys she ended up with didn't take "no" for an answer. When I was twelve, she married an insurance salesman. He taught me how to make puns, but he didn't get arrested for it.

At fifteen, I went to live with my dad. My mother and stepfather divorced some time after that. My mom dated some more after the divorce, but never married again.

Mr. Hansen, the best English teacher that ever was, once quoted to us, "The child is the father of the man." In looking back, it seems to me that the same holds true for women. I can see how my mother's childhood influenced her the rest of her life. Her invalid mother. Her parents' divorce. Her brother in the Navy. Her brother the insurance salesman.

I've never wanted my life to follow the scripts others were writing for me. I have my own family, and we write our own scripts.

Blog Tag: Chatter


At 8/03/2005 12:55 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Great story and photos. You've inspired me to do a similar story on my family, one of these days. I first have to get a copy of the picture of my mother posing on the wing of a bomber in a swimsuit. (My mom is different from most moms.)

At 8/03/2005 11:16 AM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

I'd like to see that. Your mom is great.

That middle picture above amazes me. It's strange how blond my hair was back then. How happy everyone looked. My dad's hairline was already receding, while mine is barely receding even now. I still have that lamp.

At 8/03/2005 8:42 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

I'm surprized that you were blonde at all. When did it turn dark?

What color hair and eyes does Debbie have? I can't tell from the sketch who she most closely resembles.

At 8/03/2005 9:33 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

When I was about 8 my hair started getting darker.

Debbie's eyes are blue like her mother, her hair is halfway between blonde and brown, depending on the light. Some strands are blonde, some auburn, some brown. The genes were stirred well. :)

At 8/04/2005 6:00 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Dave, i too live by your last phrase. However, my parents lives have had major influence on my own because i've changed all their negatitivity into positives for us. I certainly am judged by extended members of my family, mostly in a negative way because i never do "the right thing"...because it's what they all see as right and they're "you will feel guilty when their not here anymore" doesn't bother me one bit because in my mind. i know what i feel and do is right for me.
Great story!
Btw, my daughters hair was platinum blonde till last year (9) when it began to darken. Her father and i are both auburn.....never blonde!
Great story :)

At 8/06/2005 12:13 AM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

Thanks, Michelle! Keep doin' your own thing.

At 8/06/2005 7:50 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

excellent story. You write well about your family.

My parents both came from families where my grandparents were married until death separated them. My parents have been married, through thick and thin, although I wondered many times if they were going to make it or not. I think in part they did because that's the example they had. That example has carried forward to the rest of us, as well. Not a bad ideal, really, but unusual these days, right?


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