I was born many years ago on a dark and dreary October night in Detroit,Michigan. There were 4 children in our original family 2 boys and 2 girls. my Father went off to war and never returned,no he was not killed (dang it) he just found another woman and we never heard from him again.
My oldest sister,5 years old at the time, was dropped off at my Grand parents home by my mother and she never went back to pick her up, so now we are 3 kids and a mother. My mother was not very educated so she never had a job or a desire to have one so we lived month to month on a meager ADC check (Aid to Dependent Children)
So while sister number one lived in the lap of luxury with my Grandparents we on the other hand lived (survived) on that small ADC check every month, how my mother managed to feed us for a full month every month on such a small amount of money still escapes me to this day.
Things were going along just fine we were living in a house owned by my Grandmother,my Grandpa had been in the real estate business before his death and left 2 other houses to my Grandmother,.
Unfortunately!!!! my mother met another man 25 years her senior..and unfortunately again she married him. He turned out to be one Bad,Angry,Hateful Dude. When my Grandmother met him she took an immediate dislike to him (or maybe hatred would be a better word) So she kicked Prince Charming and the rest of us out of the one and only house we ever knew as home.Well we then went to live with his daughter,from a previous marriage who was as old as my mother, and her family We were given the whole attic as our only living area..oh boy..you had to bend way down to negotiate around the rafters but it was home. Every night I would hear him stumbling up the stairs drunk as usual then trying to find any spot to fall for the night. I do believe I wet the bed every night and blamed it on my brother who slept in the same bed. I even failed the second grade that year..really who and how can you fail the second grade? After a year we were kicked out of the attic, which was a good thing as I was beginning to get a hunched back from trying to stand in what was really a crawl space.
So we moved to a little basement house by a small lake, the place was hot as fire in summer and cold as ice in the Michigan winter. We lived there for approximately four years, no running water,no real flushing toilet a small ice box and a small wood burning stove. My brother and I hauled water from the lake all summer and winter, for flushing the toilet, bathing once a month, laundry every six or eight weeks. I can remember my socks would get so crisp that I had to work them over to get them soft enough to put on, and yes we smelled bad and I remember the teacher remarking about my body odor. but what are you going to do we didn’t have a change of underclothes or clothing.. My heart goes out to my sister even today who had to live under those conditions, boys are expected to smell.. BUT NOT YOUNG GIRLS . We lived without a lot of the things most kids take for granted, there was no money for tooth paste or a tooth brush, there was no going to a clothing store for new or used clothes or shoes..We counted on the GOOD FELLOWS AND THE BOY SCOUTS for new clothes and shoes for Christmas. With the help of cardboard for resoling our shoes we made the clothes last for a year till Christmas again.
My Grandmother and oldest sister who lived with her, in the lap of luxury, would drive out to the poor indigent relatives basement house and start all kinds of trouble until they really pissed off the mean hateful bugger who was our step dad YEA and then get back in their car and return to their beautiful digs and leave us to deal with the angry one that they so graciously pissed off and who had no objection to kicking our butts and beating the heck out of our mom..thank you for that Grandma and Sis.
Well there is a lot more to this story but I have succeeded in really depressing myself so I think I will have to continue this wonderful saga at another time ..John’s saga part 2 to follow