Friday, July 17, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday--Every kid needs a cool aunt in California

My mother was born in New Jersey, but spent her tween and teen years in southern California (Taft and Hemet). She moved back to Pennsyltucky at the tender age of 19 and was a young bride not too long after that. She met my father when she was a child (5 or so) when my father's older sister married my mom's older brother (Don't think about it; your head will explode) and a romance kindled when she came back to town. The rest of the family (except the two sons who lived in Pennsylvania and Hawaii) remained in California. Mom has/had two sisters--Frances (aka Wicki), who is about 14 years older, and a twin, Janet. Just saying "I have relatives in California" made me feel cooler than the other kids.

Growing up, we never met Aunt Janet but Aunt Wicki visited quite a bit and each visit was like Christmas. Aunt Wicki is the sweetest woman and cute as a bug. My first memories of her are when she was going through a divorce and spent a few weeks (if not longer) visiting Mom and Uncle Bill. She went camping with us and joined us on this trip to Gingerbread Castle* in New Jersey.So young and already seeing pink elephants. Tsk, tsk.

Aunt Wicki was married again in 1970 to a man named Harvey. Here's a photo from their wedding day.Uncle Harvey was very religious (a little too religious), but he was fun. They would drive across the country in a camper/van which they parked in our side yard when visiting. We kids were allowed to hang out and watch TV in the van, which gave the adults some time to play cards and enjoy adult beverages. Aunt Wicki always brought fixings for burritos and we thought it was the most exotic food ever. You couldn't get the good stuff in Pennsyltucky. Aunt Wicki was cool just because she lived in California (even though she lived in Corona). Of course, swinging outfits like this didn't hurt, either.
Aunt Janet, Mom's twin, was single most of her adult life, but married twice later on. There's hope for me yet! Here's a photo of her on her wedding day in 1974 in Las Vegas with her new husband, Tiny.While I looked just like my mom when I was younger, I think I look a lot like Aunt Janet now. I finally met her at her brother's 50th Wedding Anniversary party. She was a hoot, if a bit eccentric. Sadly, Mom and her twin didn't get along, but Aunt Janet always tried and sent us wacky gifts, like a crate of raisins when she lived in Fresno or an electric hair detangling comb which just got caught in our hair most of the time.

Now, I'm the cool aunt in California. I hope I can live up to the legacy Aunt Wicki left, although I don't think I could rock a zebra print quite like her.

*I encourage you to click the link and check out the photos. See the gingerbread men? Somewhere there is a photo of Kate and me holding hands with them. I'm totally into it and smiling. Kate, however, hated it. It's the funniest picture. Right, Katie?

1 comment:

Ellen Bloom said...

The Gingerbread Castle is soooo coool! Is it still there? I want to go!

You are definitely the hip and cool Aunt in California now, Ms. LaurieAnn