|My mother's girlhood home in Sullivan, Indiana|
My mother grew up on a farm in Indiana. I traveled to its location this spring, but, sadly, the farm had burned down a few years back [a charming farmhouse my grandfather had built with his own hands, see photo at right]. Surveying the vast flat, rural Indiana landscape, I can only imagine the loneliness and poverty my mother experienced in the 1920's and 30's growing up, though she always said her childhood was a happy one. She was determined to make something of herself and worked her way to a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
|My father's boyhood home in Baltimore, Maryland|
My father grew up in a row house in Baltimore. An only child, he lost his own father when he was 16 and had to quit school and go to work to support himself and his mother. Those were hard times for him too; the Depression loomed and work was scarce. Through a Depression-era public electrification project, he won a job working on the Safe Harbor Dam in Pennsylvania and subsequently went on to TVA as well.
Both of my parents came from hardscrabble backgrounds yet managed through work, hope and dreams of always better times around the bend to create a comfortable life for themselves and a privileged one for me. I am grateful to them. That a farm girl and a city boy met and built a life together is a wonderful and enduring story, of fate, of life-long devotion, and of, ultimately, thankful progeny. Me.