All of us came from a set of parents. A man and a woman. Whether they hung around after we were conceived, or not, all of us are by-products of two people. And whether we like it or not, we will share characteristics with a long line of family members. Some may have inherited Grampa’s flat nose . . . or Great-uncle Elbert’s talent for playing armpits. Some inherited traits are welcome, but for some reason most are not. Very few women like to be told that they look just like their dad, and very few men like to be told they have their mother’s legs.
Especially young people. They feel fiercely individualistic even though they dress EXACTLY like their peers. Many are angry when mention is made of the traits they share with their family. However, when you get older, you start marvelling at how much like your parents you really are. It doesn’t necessarily make you happy, but now, for the first time, YOU are starting to notice it as well.
Of course, it is never the traits that we would choose. For example, I did not inherit my mother’s eyes – I inherited my father’s. By the time I am 50, I will be able to use my own eyebrows to file my fingernails.
I still marvel that I could look so much like my dad when he was a teenager, which is odd since I am comparing his graduation photo to the one Olan Mills took of me in first grade. Give me five o’clock shadow and you have my dad right before he joined the Air Force.
My two brothers also share strong family traits. For example, one of my brothers is a near replica of my mother’s uncle in Germany. Great-uncle died when the Russians took over their village in WWII. However, if you slap my brother under a gray beard, you have Uncle Whatsit right before he was shot.
So, to finally get to the point of this blog, let me introduce you to my parents. Once you meet them, you will better understand me . . . unfortunately.
Here is a picture of my father taken in the early 1950’s, well before he met my mother . . .
In the above photo he’s in a Japanese bar . . . where he lived life to the fullest.
Another photo at the same bar, but at a different time. My father is the ‘sober’ one with the ‘escort’.
Here is a picture of my mother . . . ALSO well before she met my father.
She is the one on the right. The lady on the left is her dancing partner.
And in this photograph, my mother is the silvery one on the far left. Even though they’re all dressed a bit like Hefner’s Bunnies, they did classical pantomime dance along with modern. My mother apprenticed under Isadora Duncan’s protege, Mary Weekman, and mixed ballet and contortionism with modern dance . . . which, in hindsight, explains her two knee replacements and present dependence on Oxycontin.
In the next blog, I will tell you how my two parents met – two opposites born on different sides of the Atlantic.
And I will have some great pictures . . .