My Cousins. We grew up together.
As adults we have all agreed that it was as if we had our parents, but also 3 other sets. Below is my aunt, Florence, appearing to "shake" a bottle for her 2 month old, Rachel. This occasion is my 2nd birthday and that is my head behind the cake. Mary Ann, who would be 4 1/2, is standing there at the end of the table.
Our back yard on Williams Street.
Suzanne at the back, then Scott, Rusty, Mary Ann, and our neighbor, Sherry.
I'm to the left. Rachel is to the right.
On that same day, these are the moms.
Florence with the towel. (I'm guessing someone was going to either give her a perm, or cut her hair.)
That is Mother in the skirt. A neighbor they're talking with. Looks like Evelyn Snowden Booker to me. Rachel is in the white shorts and Mary Ann standing on the other side of the saw horse.
I can tell that's Lucille sitting on...the ground? A stool?
And my fifth birthday party.
I really do remember watching Mother make that cake.
It was pale blue with small silver beads. They have a name. Can't think of them.
That is the same cake stand used at my 2nd birthday party. It belonged to Ella and is now on a table in my dining room.
I won't bore you, but I remember so many details about this party.
That is my grandmother, Ella to the right, in the white dress, with sunglasses.
I'm in the forefront with the parasol, kneeling with my friend, Bobby Small.
Same Party - Rusty behind my little cousin, Jim.
Scott in front of him, blowing up the balloon.
All 3, my cousins.
Scott to the right.
John in back on my tricycle.
John is the oldest brother to Jim.
Mary Ann's birthday party. January 16.
In the back, Rachel, John in the cowboy hat, Scott on the ground, pretending to be shot,
and Mary Ann leaning over him.
January 16, 1954.
First Birthday Party at our new house on Williams Street.
Mary Ann was Five.
My older cousin, Suzanne, seems to be arranging the group.
Her younger brother, Rusty, doesn't look pleased.
Mary Ann in the white sweater and dark dress.
Scott behind Suzanne's arm.
Go back to 1951, I'm in the stroller and Rusty is showing me a duck.
Mary Ann's 5th Birthday, again.
Suzanne, left, Scott, next.
The little boy wandering off is that same Bobby Small in the above picture at my 5th Birthday Party.
And you can see Daddy's telltale shadow of him taking the picture.
I've scanned a lot of pictures today.
These are some that include my cousins.
The cousins not in these photos are Bert, our oldest.
and Melissa, Mary Claire, and Edward - the 3 who were not yet born, younger siblings to John and Jim.
These are a microscopic slice of what I was fed on - growing up - a sample under a slide -
Safety, Relationships, Going Home at Night to Mother and Daddy and Mary Ann.
I know that blogs sugar coat. I'm not faking this one.
I also know that our memories usually include the best stuff.
It's also in a child's mind's eye. I know, too, that my personality is wired to LOVE this stuff.
I did, and I do.