As noted, my sisters and I have been talking on ZOOM almost every week for… what, maybe a year? You would think we would run out of topics to talk about. You’d be wrong.
It’s an odd thing. We’re still hashing out the weird stuff about our parents. The fact that they died in 2000 (Dad) and 2011 (Mom) hasn’t buried the issues. If anything, their passing has given us permission to address the stuff we wouldn’t have dared discuss with them or even fully acknowledge the issues.
In some ways, the three of us had very different lanes growing up. Marcia, as the youngest, was the rebellious “don’t BS me” child who Leslie and I couldn’t imagine being. I was the bookish, somewhat insular one.
Leslie, by contrast, was the child most likely to try to please others. When visitors, friends of my parents, came over to see my parents, Marcia could bail as the youngest. I would come out of my room to say hello then go back to my books/baseball cards/music, which was more interesting to me than people who didn’t ostensibly come to see me anyway.
Leslie was wired differently. She would talk to my parents’ friends a lot more than I did. It seemed that she was like an emcee. This made adults like her more, which was not MY concern.
In some ways, it served her in good stead. She was a very personable performer. Her first job, while in high school, was to be a hostess at the Perkins Pancake House on Main Street, near Glenwood Avenue, in Binghamton. She worked in the hotel industry in a function, not unlike a concierge. And even her other jobs involve communicating well with others.
Three years ago, as I noted more than once, Leslie was in a bicycle accident and almost died. She’s a lot better, though not 100%. There are still some issues with her eyes, her mouth, and a few other aspects. But she’s mostly OK.
I noted that I had seen the movie Summer of Soul recently. It reminded me that three years ago, less than a month before the accident, she was singing duets on a cruise ship with Larry Graham, the bass player for Sly and the Family Stone. Now that’s the kind of situation that being a talented and personable type will gain you.
Happy birthday, Leslie.