1962, Christmastime in the city, specifically, Newark, New Jersey. My mom and grandfather are arguing in front of Bamburger's department store.
The topics of discussion are, one, that my mom return to home to Boston, and two, that they immediately find someone to take care of her problem.
I was the problem, and I wasn't even born yet.
My dad, while not present, shared my grandfather's sentiment. He'd taken mom to a miracle worker earlier in the game, but the chop shop was closed.
Sounds blunt, but don't judge these folks too harshly. Circumstances left them few options.
Mom already had three kids with an abusive man who threatened to kill her if ever showed her face again after the divorce. She'd lost everything. So, she moved to the nearest city to find work as a nurse.
She met my dad in a nightclub while out with co-workers. He says, she pursued him. She says, he liked it. Either way they hooked up, obviously.
Dad also had kids and two ex-wives to support, and he just started an auto shop business. While he liked my mom, starting another family was not on his agenda. And Lord knows, they had a tough enough time as an interracial couple, let alone a couple with a mixed baby.
My grandfather only had one child, my mother. He wanted what was best for her, and living in near poverty with a "not nice word" and a "not nice word" baby was not what he intended for little girl who by then was twenty-six. The same age he'd lost his wife, my grandmother to cancer.
Honestly, even though my life hung in the balance, I kinda feel they all had valid reasons for feeling so strongly about my existence. I mean, put yourself into any one of their shoes.
Were my parents in love when I was conceived? Dunno, but looking back on their lives and my life, all I can say is ... Wow, thank you!
I not going to lie, my mom and I always had a strained relationship, but one defining moment speaks volumes to me as I write this. And I have to say, I type in tears.
Maybe she wanted to replace what she'd lost. Maybe she was being defiant. Maybe her telling me nobody else wanted me born is the only way she can express how much she wants me... how much she loves me.
With the argument coming to a close, my grandfather gave her an ultimatum.
Abort the child and come home or never return home again.
She chose me. He walked away. They never spoke again.
We found out he died a few years ago when my mother's cousin found us.
Speaking of surly walk-aways...Do you know the 1962 hit Green Onions by Booker T & the MGS was inspired by a wacky walking alley cat? I remember this song because dad had the album. I love this video.
Anybody remember the body you get with Prell?
This isn't the US original, but it reflects the times. It ran until the 80s and I was a favorite I hit third grade. Don't get dizzy.
The Best Picture at the Oscars 1962 was epic, but I never saw it.
I did see this one though not during the original 62' release.