What's past is prologue
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at 01:44PM

The old Stickney School was next door

The above picture was taken on Easter Sunday, March 29, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois.

It is of me (in the white coat), my big sister Kay, and our mother.

Here's one taken on the same day, again of me and my sister, outfitted to play in the spring snow:

Sunday Funday, Sixties style

Three weeks earlier, I had turned seven. Kay had turned eight the previous December. Mom was twenty-seven.

And again on the same morning, this one of our mother and her then-husband, Jake:

Life has a way of snowballing

Kay took that picture of them on the stoop of the building where we occupied a small apartment.

From my birth until I went to college at age seventeen, we lived in eleven states. That's not even counting the state of confusion, of which I at least was a permanent resident.

The reason I know the date and place of these pictures is that Mom wrote it on the back of the photos:

Your children will thank you for photo info

Although my childhood memories are sketchy until later than this, I remember many details of that day.

I remember being taken into a warm, fragrant coffee shop, and perched high on a stool at the counter, where I (and my sister too, I assume, although she has no memory of it) was given a donut -- the kind you selected from beneath a glass dome -- and milk to wash it down with.

And I recall that later, when we returned to our apartment which was kept in immaculate condition by our mother, Jake (we were required to call him Daddy even though that's not what he was to us and we liked him not a bit, because we were afraid of him) had gone to a lot of trouble to make it appear as though an oversized bunny rabbit had visited in our absence and left a trail of goodies for Kay and me to find and place in our baskets.

I switched places with her

In case you're wondering, he did that by obtaining some snow with dirt mixed in, and pursed the fingers of one hand together to mimic the paws of a rabbit, and dipped them in the slush, and placed "bunny tracks" on surfaces where they'd show up (such as white tile in the bath) after they dried.

So I guess he wasn't all bad (Jake, I mean. There is no Easter bunny).

It was pretty convincing. At least to a gormless seven-year-old. Anything that led to candy worked for me.

Recalling how I used to twist my hair

You can probably tell from reading this that I've been doing a little bit of research and a great deal of reminiscing. And that's because I'm working on writing a memoir.

(Yes; I've been working on it for nearly ten years. I'll thank you not to snicker.)

Which leads me to the reason I'm sharing these pictures with you today.

Studying this series of photographs late this past winter, I realized that we were coming up on the fifty-fifth anniversary of that day in late March.

Fifty-five Marches later

And I realized that twenty-five years to the day after that wintry Easter Sunday that I remember so well, my fourth child -- our son Andrew -- was born.

So I invited my mom and sister to come to Columbia on March 29, 2019, and on Andrew's thirtieth birthday we attempted to recreate the photograph of the three of us taken in Chicago fifty-five years earlier.

Four generations

(I would have loved to truly recreate it in front of the Stickney School on West Hollywood Avenue in the Edgewater district -- the building is still there, although now it houses condominiums -- but that wasn't an option.)

The building next door to the Stickney School, where we lived, was torn down in the early '70s to make way for a modern apartment complex.

Putting our slant on it

If you're interested in seeing that, click here.

Click down the street a bit -- past the UPS truck -- and you'll see the building in front of which we posed. There's a wrought-iron fence there now, about where our mother was standing.

Click to embiggen

Other than that, it's unchanged.

Lots has happened to me in fifty-five years, haaahaha. And to you, if you're old enough.

We are family

On the day my mother, my sister, and I got together to commemorate the fifty-fifth anniversary of that day in Chicago, we were joined by two of my three daughters, plus one of my three granddaughters.

Mom, Kay, Audrey, Erica, Dagny, and I first went to Sun Ming for lunch. Then we went to Irmo Town Park, where these pictures were taken of the four generations.

Spring and everything

Andrew was enjoying his thirtieth birthday elsewhere -- probably at work but he and Brittany may have been out of town. It's been four months; I don't remember it the way I do fifty-five March twenty-ninths ago.

Speaking of Andrew, he's going to be deployed again in a few weeks, to Afghanistan. There, he and other American heroes will put themselves in harm's way to defend our freedoms.

Two of my own lovely daughters

This past Sunday, fifty-five years and four months after the picture at the top of this post was taken, I posed with two of my girls, and also with TG and our boy.

(Our Brittany, expecting her own and Andrew's baby daughter, took these pictures.)

It's a big circle that has gone around and is coming around. It's our God-ordained place on the space time continuum. Our lives are but a vapor. We live with eternity in view.

My handsome men

And, looking both to the past and to the future, we greet each day with a great deal of gratitude and love.

I hope that you do the same.

And that is all for now.


Happy Tuesday

Article originally appeared on I'm Having A Thought Here (http://www.jennyweber.com/).
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