One of the most striking things about my mother's diaries from the years that my dad was gone is the prominence of my parents' friends. It's no wonder that they're an integral part of the puzzle I'm trying to sort out. Friends from the neighborhood, from church, around VB, POW families, Navy old and new, friends that crossed categories. Their friends had children, so their children were our friends. There were many (beaucoup, as mom might've said) friends in our lives.
One family that was a big part of our lives then and an even bigger part now is the Bordone's. Dick and Mary Belle Bordone are mentioned over and over in my mother's diary. He was a shipmate of Dad's and it was they who Mom asked to come help her go through Dad's personal effects when the Navy sent them to her after Dad was captured. Mom told me many times that Mary Belle went to Mass for the POWs every day and I know Mom admired her. Widowed about the same time as my dad, Mary Belle and Dad were reacquainted after many years and are now husband and wife. I don't have any old pictures of the Bordone's which is a darn shame, because those Bordone boys were so cute! Right, Kimmy?
I took this picture from Carlen's restaurant (Colington Cafe in Kill Devil Hills, NC) website thus the food theme. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan were my godparents and my parents were Carlen's. Helen Sullivan was French. I was so touched to see her at a memorial service for my mother at our old parish in King's Grant and she's since passed on. You know the old round oak kitchen table that I'm obsessed with (on Dad's sun porch now)? Helen and Mom bought that at a junk shop in VB, painted it yellow and Helen painted fruit border on it. Little did they know how iconic it would become.
Slumber party. Some of the Kirkpatricks with some of the Dentons - the early years. Don, in the back is making a mustache out of Laura's long blond hair. There was a metal sewing box, with a cross stitch patchwork motif, up in Mom's closet on the right. I used to lay on the bed and read the sayings written on the side in faux thread. One of them said, "Littlest said is soonest mended." It was a sewing box, remember? The sentiment stuck in my head and is partially responsible for the fact that I'm so socially awkward. I get ready to say something, in a group, and remember that box and decide not to speak. Funny the things that stick with you.
New Year's Eve - Me, Dee Dee Kirkpatrick, Mary Beth and Wendy, a neighbor - under Jimmy's corrupting influence. One can practically see Wendy shaking her head in amazement at Jimmy's poor judgment as he appears to be berating his baby sister into drinking Falstaff.
Thanksgiving at the Carvers' - the little kids' tables
Don, Jim, Bill with Karen and Ralph Beatty - the Beattys have been friends of my family since before I was born. The year I was born, Dr. Beatty and my dad collaborated and were credited with "revolutionizing naval strategy and tactics for nuclear war as architects of the "Haystack Concept." This strategy called for concealing aircraft carriers from radar by intermingling with commercial shipping and avoiding formations suggestive of a naval fleet." according to Wikipedia.
Me with Dr. and Mrs. Beatty
Dottie and Bobby McFarland (mother and brother of Bill McFarland, Jerry's best friend who was killed in Vietnam) - Easter dinner at our house. It must have been before Bill was killed, because Bobby, Dottie and Jerry all have genuine smiles. When it happened, Jerry had to drive to the Outer Banks to get Bobby, who was down there surfing, to tell him his brother was gone.
Janie Tschudy, far right, watching presidential election returns with us. Jimmy giving us a peace sign.