Through Any Given Door

Archives for 2018

2.04 Uncle George Day, 1954

March 1954 • San Jose ~ Word reached Mom that her sister's husband, George Day, died in Chico on February 17th. He too, like Mom, was high strung, and also like Mom, had suffered a nervous breakdown. March 23, 1954 • San Jose, a letter to Verda from Mom: Dear Verda,       … [Read more...]

2.03 Small Talk

1954 • Sonora to San Francisco ~ Dad found a flat on Belvedere Street in the Haight and settled in San Francisco. He made one last trip back to the town that had been his life for the past decade. On a visit to the Davises, where Claudia was finishing out the eighth grade, he asked for some … [Read more...]

2.02 Blackened Toast

1954 • San Jose ~ Mom still cooked and cleaned house for the priests. While she dusted and vacuumed the rectory, I starred in my own variety show, singing and doing the Hokey Pokey on the back patio where no one could see me. I had a red plastic portable record player and a record collection of … [Read more...]

2.01 Part II, Torn Pictures, San Jose

 San Jose, San Francisco, Hawaii 1954 – 1957 1954 • San Jose, California ~ I’d reach up and rap the doorknocker twice. I’d say, knock, knock. She’d say, who’s there? I’d say, Cathy. She’d say, Cathy who? I’d say, Cathy me, silly, your daughter! Wouldn’t we … [Read more...]

An Indoor Girl

Look, I’ve hiked the Cinque Terra, ridden a donkey up the cliffs of Crete, and waterskied down the Colorado River. I trekked through the Mayan jungle and climbed Tikal. I hiked the pine forest above Rio Caliente, scaled Nevada Falls, and climbed rickety ladders to peer into ancient painted caves in … [Read more...]

Through Any Given Door, Part I (in full)

  from the beginning... Through Any Given Door, a Memoir Part I Faded Snapshots Sonora, California (with family history and backstory) 1943 – 1953 (herein presented in full, without photos) ~~~~~~~~~ Teller of Tales This tale is a history, a fable, a prayer of those gone before me, … [Read more...]

1.99.9 Private Matters, 1953-1954

End of 1953 ~ Along with everything else, Dad’s store was having financial difficulties. Trying to keep his head above water he worked all day running it, then in the evenings worked at Ben Franklin up the street. Adding to his misfortune, the Pickering Lumber Mill, the largest industry and employer … [Read more...]

1.99.8 Larry’s Diary, Misc Entries 1953

1953 • Larry’s diary (age 19) Jan  Took Marian to movies many times Jan  Night class, square dance. Church orchestra. Montalvo (private artist retreat) in Saratoga with Marian, May, and Jim for Rudolf Serkin piano concert. Feb  Took Marian to Santa Clara University concert, … [Read more...]

1.99.7 Pick-Up Stix, Sep 1953

Sep 1953 • Tuolumne ~ Our family scattered like a drop of Pick-Up Stix. Mom was now living in San Jose. Larry had returned to college. Carleen, Chuck, and the baby would soon leave Sonora and move to Southern California. Claudia stayed with her best friend JoAnn Davis to begin her eighth grade … [Read more...]

1.99.6 From Betty’s Best Friend

Letter to me from Lorna Harrington, Mar 18, 2005 Dear Cathy: When we last talked you were surprised when I said that Betty didn’t have other friends that I was aware of. While trying to give you an idea of what our (Betty’s and mine) lives were like during our Sonora grammar school days I didn’t … [Read more...]

1.99.5 Summer 1953, Minnesota

July 1953 • Pinecrest ~ At the end of July, Chuck and Carleen (who was nearly eight months pregnant) took us three girls to Pinecrest for the day in Dad's new car. It was good to get away and have a picnic of potato salad and ham sandwiches, to hike and be in the sun. I have pictures from that … [Read more...]

1.99.4 Summer Solstice, 1953 (2)

June 22, 1953 • Sonora (part 2) ~ For the next few hours they drove around in the isolated hills and did things to my sister she would not want spoken of again. Ray intended to kill her but Wiley stopped him; he had a sister her age, and pleaded to let Betty go. In the dead of night after … [Read more...]

1.99.3 Summer Solstice, 1953 (1)

June 22, 1953 • Sonora (part 1) ~ It was a summer solstice evening. Betty, and two younger boys who were a year behind her in school, headed home down the hill at dusk after the Monday high school baseball game. The three of them paid no attention to the 1940s dirty sedan with the black … [Read more...]

1.99.2 A Wedding and Graduation, 1953

March 1953 • Sonora ~ During Mom's return she didn’t cook or clean, didn’t wash dishes or clothes or windows, she didn’t do anything. But she didn't do much before she left home anyway, other than fix dinner and sew our clothes. Dad always did the laundry, stripped the beds, and mopped the … [Read more...]

1.99.1 Mom’s Letter to Nellie, Mar 1953

1953 • Letter from my mother to her mother in Chico, postmarked Sonora, Mar 9, 1953 Monday: Dear Mom, I think you are entitled to the whole story. When I came home I did the best I could here, but it hasn’t worked. All the time I was here Carleen had just had everything her own way, all the money … [Read more...]

1.99 Carleen and Chuck 1952-53

1952-53 • Sonora ~ Carleen met Chuck at the end of her junior year when she was seventeen. He graduated four years ahead of her at Sonora High, and was 21 and pumping gas on the corner at Paneros 76 station when he took a shine to her. In April of her senior year, he told her he loved her … [Read more...]

1.98 Larry’s Diary, Dec 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) Dec 1 - 4  (misc. entries) Dec 5  Played tuba and bass drum for Fresno basketball game. We won again. After the game Marian McLellan and I took Cathy to Alum Rock Park and Santa Clara Dec 6  Took Lois Parkinson to semi-formal dance, gave Rosie corsage … [Read more...]

1.97 Larry’s Diary, Oct-Nov 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) Oct 1 - 6  (typical entries about classes, band, dating, friends, and work) Oct 7  Band marched, rehearsal. I'm on inter-departmental commission, $9 dues. Then did Harmony, over 6 hours on one paper, 10 to 4 A.M. Big smile from Gail at school in morn. Didn't … [Read more...]