There was a point when this became my favorite picture of my “baby sister” Marcia. She’s the one in the foreground, in front of my sister Leslie and me, in our driveway at 5 Gaines Street in Binghamton back in the mid-1960s.
My appreciation for the photo certainly developed after March 12, 1995. That was the day of my parents’ 45th anniversary. There was a family blowup. I remember the details amazingly well.
The part relevant to this piece involved a discussion the three of us had in the parking lot of a Montgomery Wards. Leslie and I were telling Marcia how awesome she was.
Specifically, our maternal grandmother, Gert Williams, would fill our heads with stories of boogeymen and other creatures designed to quiet and tame us. Roger bought into it. So did Leslie. Marcia never bought into grandma Williams’ nonsense.
She would also stand up to our father in a manner Leslie and I would never have DARED to have done. One of us said back in ’95, “we thought he was going to KILL you!” I think we were speaking figuratively.
So I suspect that the photo bugged me a bit when I was a kid as lacking order and symmetry. Now I appreciate it as an act of individualism.
As the youngest, Marcia was the only one of us to permanently move to Charlotte, NC in 1974 with our parents, though both Leslie and I stayed there for brief periods. Ultimately, That has meant that she is the one who is the keeper of the family photos. I own virtually no photos from my childhood, save for a few duplicates I’ve managed to find on visits to North Carolina.
The photo here I found on her Facebook page, which is a treasure trove. Some of my cousins who are working on genealogy totally agree. Unfortunately, my grandmother never bothered to label the older ones.
I should continue to note that Marcia I the person most likely to send a card, not just birthdays and anniversaries, but for Easter and Thanksgiving. I didn’t send her a birthday card this year, or probably last year; this post will have to do.