You maybe asking right now why I didn't know any relatives. Because of mother.
Do you notice the lack of information I have put on the pages about her? I believe my mother estranged herself and us children from the rest of my father's relatives. I can recall her saying things like "away from her influences" and nonsense like that. But I do remember that my Aunt Dorothy did visit me at one time and got into an argument with my mother about what she was telling me. After that I never saw Aunt Dorothy again, nor was she mentioned around the house.
My mother was the book I was going to write. I may still write it. But for now this web page will have to do. My mother was a domineering woman even if she was only 5 feet tall. She was an alcoholic, Manic Depressive and had multiple personalities. Yes she was diagnosed with all these before she died in the 1980's. However this is something all of us kids instinctively KNEW back in our formative years, before all these doctors made their diagnoses'.
We never called her Mom, always Mother. She demanded that. She was never "mom" to us in more ways than one. All my brothers and sisters are adopted, so no worries about any of her traits being passed on, just the damage she did to us mentally.
We knew she drank though she thought it was a big secret. She had black rages and destroyed things and we knew that there were her times where she was as sweet as they come and then just as suddenly she was hell on wheels; a mean and vindictive woman. Those moods later made more sense when the doctors confirmed to us that she had multiple personalities. I knew there were at least 3 personalities; the little girl, the Mother of the Year , and the mean one. Her voice and demeanor changed to go with those personalities. She was abusive to us. How many of us, I don't know the extent. I can only write about my experiences with her. I do know she had a lasting impression on all of us. None of us are normal. We all have issues and our own demons. What a legacy and not one my father intended.
There came a turning point in my life with her when I was around 25. I had made it into local politics and was in the newspapers. I sent my mother and father each a copy. I never heard a word from either and that's when I realized then that nothing I did or said would make my seeking her approval work...and I stopped trying. I stopped seeing her and ignored her. That did get her attention as she wrote me a nice letter disowning me. I still have that letter. I also forgave her.
It wasn't until later (in the 80's) that she needed me back in her life and I took care of things for her. The girls and my brother Loren put my mother under guardianship to protect her interests. However not all the family was happy about it and they took us to court (for 8 years). I will not name names, but do the math and figure out who was left.
Everyone asks why I took care of my mother after all she did to me, and I always say because I had a son and he watched me and what I did, so how could I expect him to be loyal and honorable if I didn't take care of my mother now. How could he respect me if I turned my back on my mother. He knew she was "crazy" as he described it. He spent many a day following her around the house to make sure she didn't wander off when she stayed with us. He was also very astute when it came to the behavior of his aunts and uncles and understood why they were not around. My poor "only" child grew up with very little interaction in the way of Aunts or Uncles. Somehow that seems ironic considering that's how it was with me growing up and lack of relatives.
She made "Mother of the Year" in Pasadena. 1958 was the first year of that contest, so that makes her the first Mother of the Year.
Here is a congratulatory telegram from the White House