Through Any Given Door

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...]

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...]

1.96 2nd Letter to Verda

1952 • Second letter from Mom to her sister Tuesday P.M. Las Vegas (prob Sep) 1952  Dear Verda, As I did not receive an answer to my letters I guess I am going to be given the silent treatment. It’s a little hard to understand. I can see why Mom would cut me off of all contact because … [Read more...]

1.95 Larry’s Diary, Sep 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) Sep 1-2  (no entries) Sep 3  Trip to Modesto for band practice. No Nellie. Got uniform, too small for me, all they had. $2.50 fee. 4 basses, I'm 1st chair. Back to Sonora then sleep then to Sacramento next morn. Sep 4  Went to Sacramento State fair to … [Read more...]

1.94 Larry’s Diary, Aug 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) Aug 1  Played in 3rd Municipal band concert, only my 2nd. Took Carleen, Betty and Claudia down with me, Carleen got 1st ticket speeding in Modesto Aug 2  Put oil case and fly wheel case back on, took tie rod off and put it back too tight. Steering acts real … [Read more...]

1.93 Larry’s Diary, July 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) Jul 1  Phoned up Dad. Decided to take job at Moccasin. Drove up today, packed car, drove in and met Mirk to work next shift 4 A.M. so slept here without going to Sonora Jul 2  First day at work at Moccasin Power House $20.00 raise this year. On same shift as … [Read more...]

1.92 Tennis and Tonsils

July 1952 • Sonora, California  Even though she hated Mom, Betty was miserable without her. She didn’t want to go to school, complained that her throat hurt, and after the school year (grade seven) of too many absences, Dad decided she needed her tonsils removed. When school was out for the … [Read more...]

1.91 Larry’s Diary, June 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) Jun 1  Valerie Nash had me over for supper, sister Polly and mother and cats there. Baked cherry pies. Took her to see Snow White at Los Altos theatre and then coffee. Wore suit to St. Pats Jun 2  Looked through La Torre with Elaine in morn and Ginger in … [Read more...]

1.90 Letter from Mom to Verda

May 1952 • Letter from Mother to her sister, Verda Monday, Las Vegas, Nevada 1952 Dear George and Verda, I don’t suppose Carl has let you know yet, his pride would keep him, but I have done it, burned all my bridges behind me. Don’t let George get any wild ideas about coming over here after … [Read more...]

1.89 Larry’s Diary, May 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18) May 1  Art Daniel decided not to pledge. After, spent evening at Gingers alone. Girls at A Capella performance. At Mary B's early for Harmony May 2  Grammar School of County came to High School for play day. Saw show Three Godfathers. Took bath again May 3 … [Read more...]

1.88 Umpteenth Time

May 1952 • Sonora, California “For the umpteenth time, I don’t know why she left," my sixteen-year-old sister snapped. "No, I don’t know when we’ll see her again, no, I don’t know where she went and no, I don’t know if she’s coming back. Now don’t ask any more questions. Mom was gone, and … [Read more...]