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Big Risk

Life Story Club Contributor

Nov 15, 2019

We did take a big risk moving to California in 1973.vI’d have to go into some personal stuff to explain why we moved.

I’ve been married before. I remarried, I had my daughter Tracy. And my son had been living with my mother up until that point and of course when I remarried I took my son with me. He always wanted to stay with me anyway, wasn’t able to, it’s a long story. There was some personal things between my mother and I. But my husband just came home one day, I had a falling out with my mother. It was real bad and he said, “We’re moving, we’re going to California.” And at his job he was able to secure a job in California working for Debbie Reynold’s husband Harry Carl, had a slew of shoe stores, and that’s what my husband did.He managed shoes stores, I don’t know if you remember National Shoes?

Okay. National, the 1973 National Shoes. Yeah. I worked there also and we took that risk. We just packed everything up.

Did he have the job before you left?

Yes he did. But I didn’t know how we were going to be able to handle LA, you know, because it’s all freeways all over the place. You can’t walk around, you need a car. And I didn’t drive at that time and we managed to, we managed.

Well first we flew out and then we drove out. We had to order van lines to take our furniture out and we met them. We took route 66 straight out, straight out to California and it was pretty nice for a while, but my son was going to a lot of turmoil, cause a lot of problems out there and it was a risk of moving up that way.

Leaving, we felt that, once we got away from my mother, we’d be able to, I’d be able to handle him a lot better without her being around every day. So that’s what happened. But it didn’t work out because he was going through a terrible ordeal. We had to move twice because he was acting up all over the place. We had to, after all that, we left there and came back to New Jersey after three months. Three months in California.

And your mother is in new jersey right?

Yeah, I’ve been in Jersey all my life.

And then you moved back to your mother?

Well, I didn’t move in with her. But… then my husband had some problems also back home…that I’d have to go and get into some deep personal stuff.

Did he get his job back in Jersey?

Oh yeah. He was able to secure a job with Coward shoes in New York at that time. I don’t even think they have them anymore. Coward shoes.

So we ended up coming back and we had plans of staying up there. It was so beautiful when we moved to California. I thought it was the garden of Eden, so beautiful. I come from Bergen County and my mother had a house in White Claw.

Maybe it wouldn’t have worked out all there had we stayed, but I thought it was a nice life, it was very laid back, laid back. My son was having a lot of problems. We couldn’t adjust after living with my mother for those years. I thought that I thought it would work out fine, but of course, you know, he had already been there for so long.

So moving back to New Jersey, did that help you son?

I guess it did. It really did.

Love Changes

Life Story Club Contributor

Nov 8, 2019

Well Rob Ricardo, plus I told you about our next door neighbor, and I pursued him. I was just a child, a kid, teenager, and I went through that. My mother went along with it, you know, it makes her happy and we can set the stage for a future engagement, marriage.

And what happened was, he had gone off to the Navy, and we communicated by letters, and my mother had even sent him a watch overseas. We were very happy, because it’s a very nice family, very nice man, same religion. We all went to the same church. I think the first devastating thing I ever went through in my life was when I received a dear John letter from him stating that he could no longer … Being that I was too young to be in this relationship.

Oh, I was completely devastated. My mother was very, very consoling at that time. My mother was so good. She really helped me get through it.

But these are the things in life that happen. You have to be able to overcome all these obstacles.

And you’re right. That was the first blow. The first really-

Because you were young, right?

Very young, 16. And you’re more or less groomed for marriage, and we came from a very strict Roman Catholic background in the neighbor. My mother was really very good. She just wanted to make me happy.

Well, after … My mother remarried, and we moved away from my grandparents’ house, and so that was the first time, but it didn’t change my life. I was always a still friendly person, still went on being a very friendly person after that.

You met other people?

A lot of other people. I had a lot of friends.

So were you able to distinguish infatuation or love, in retrospect?

No. Not really. I think a love runs very deep. Infatuation is just a …physical, surface thing. Love, I’ll tell you one experience, love at a very early age, at a very young age, but they haven’t experienced life.

So I was glad my mother was there. I’ll beat you to that. I cried and cried. She said, “There’ll be other people along,” you know?

But he really was a very nice person.

So they called it a dear John letter?

Yeah, that’s what they called it then. When somebody was in the service. Yeah.

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