I was born on a sunny Friday the 13 in Cleveland, a great city on the North Shore of Lake Erie. It was July, in 1934.
My next claim to fame was in 1939, when my Dad and I set out on a cross-country train trip–heading to California. The train stopped for some reason, and Dad got off the train with some other guys for a smoke out in the middle of Arizona. Five-year-old Me, known as Patsy then, was very worried about Dad being left behind…but fortunately the nice ladies who were in charge of me gave me water to drink from a really nifty cone-shaped paper cup. The rest of the journey was uneventful, except when temptation got the better of me and I chomped an enormous bite from a pretty gourd that was intended as a gift for Mom. The gourd memory is not pleasant.
Except for a circle driveway and some orange trees, a wicker chair on a screened porch, and a hideous bite of a persimmon — (which I figured out several decades later was probably rotten,) and some fond memories of my kindergarten teacher, Miss Fairy… I don’t remember California.
There were no jobs in California in those bleak final years of the Great Depression, and our family returned to Ohio prior to the start of World War Two.
CHAPTER TWO — ME AND THE WAR (coming soon…)