From the Fortress of Solitude
For tonight's post we set the Way Back Machine to the early 1960's, Rapid City South Dakota. Rising up from the center of the city was a hill the residents referred to as Signal Heights. The Charles Williamson family lived on the top of hill at 39 East Signal Drive. To the south of the hill was the neighborhood of Robbinsdale, and to the north, a neighborhood called North Rapid.
The Williamson were your typical, and not so typical American family of the time. Charles worked for the South Dakota State Highway Department. Luella worked odd jobs here and there to supplement the family income but mostly was the young mom of a growing family.
Tonight we're going to look at a few snapshots taken of the Williamson children. Brace yourselves, some of the images you're about to see may not be suitable for younger children and those with weak constitutions. That being said, we begin:
This is a picture of Charles and Luella's first two children. You have Princess Kim on the left and Uncle Gomez on the right. I warned you to turn away didn't I, and you didn't heed that warning. I'll wait a moment so your eyes can adjust to image................................................
OK, now that you're not looking at the picture through your fingers I want to say a few things.
1. Notice Kim has the toy. I'm left to my own devices. Can you see the frustration in my face? Can you see me pleading for a toy of my own? Did they give me one? No. So, with nothing to hold in my hands they were left to flap about.
2. Did you notice who has nice pretty white shoes? Notice who doesn't have shoes?
3. Notice who has what appears to be a bunny rabbit on his shirt? What's up with that!? And why am I poised to resemble Jabba the Hut?
4. What's with the bald head? Couldn't something have been done about that? This picture was taken at Penny's Photo Studio. I'm sure they had something in their bag of tricks to cover that head. How about a hat of some kind?
Well, at least I wasn't born with Kim's monster tongue. Look at that muscle protruding from her teeth! It's a wonder she learned to talk at all. Luckily for her she grew into it (although the opposite could be said for those on the receiving end of a Kim DelGrosso rebuke. Zorro's blade has nothing on Kim's tongue. An inherited trait from my Grandma Elda).
Here we are again. We are older and YES, I've been given shoes! I'm still a bit crooked but I'm OK with that. I'm also glad they got a picture of me without my mouth wide open like some newly hatched bird chirping away for something to eat. I'm liking that awesome head of hair coming in (though sad to report much of it is finding its way onto the bathroom and shower floor).
Wow, doesn't that sofa look comfortable? I think I can still remember it. It gave you splinters if you slid across it.
This is a picture of Janice
This is a picture of her twin brother Jonathan.
Notice Jon is also minus a toy but at least he has shoes. Dad got a raise.
What does one say about our family's set of twins? On the baby cuteness scale how does Jon and Jan compare to Kim and I (Although Kim and I aren't twins, we are 11 months apart so that's close enough for comparison's sake)?
Even today Kim and I have a tendency to ooze baby cuteness whenever we enter a room. I, of course, always let her enter first, you know...... to warm the audience for the real zinger about to enter.
Jon and Janice, on the other hand, are...well, Jon and Janice. Are they clever? Yes. But are they "pinch those baby cheeks" cute? Hmmmm....
Legal Disclaimer: OK I'm joking. If I don't say it now neither of them will talk to me at the next family wake. A bit touchy sometimes, but that comes from being middle children. There I go again; best to move on.
And finally we have Kevin. He was the child stuck between Kim and I, and, Jon and Janice. He was truly the middle child, with a temperament capable of melting steel when ignited. Kevin would only take so much sibling abuse and then explode, so you had to be careful not to push him too far. Those of us that lived with him knew when and where to run when he erupted. It was either run and hide or dodge the Tonka Trucks, chairs, knifes, iron, lamps or vases thrown at you with his dead on pitching arm.
Kevin looks so sweet and innocent in this picture but let me say this, you could use this picture as a movie poster for The Shining III. Don't let that innocent expression fool you. It would be a mistake. Others did and are alive today only by God's grace. Behind that face was a cold, calculating brain. A brain that looked for any opportunity to get noticed. A brain that schemed for ways to survive middle childhood. It was a brain that always pondered the proper moves to get that bigger bowl of ice cream or that second slice of pizza.
I always had a lingering sense of fear during the years he and I shared a bedroom. You never knew what he'd do in the middle of the night if you upset him earlier in the day. I always made it my policy to inquire about his mood before shutting off the lights. If there was any doubt I slept with one eye open. A survival skill in a small house with eight children, each odd, and unique, in their own way :)