In 1946, I was 3 years old and starved for attention. Our home in Worcester, Massachusetts was on a dead end of a sparsely populated street. There were no children my age and I was lonely.
I was always Daddy’s Girl. I waited patiently for Daddy to come home every night. I was devastated when my grandfather got sick and my Daddy didn’t always come home at night.
My sister Linda was born in 1946 and got all my mother’s attention. I was stuck with my grandmother, who shared my room. My father and my grandmother had a very uneasy relationship so my grandmother hung out in our room when my father was home. When my father was gone more, my grandmother ruled the roost. My mother withdrew. I remember being so sad.
In 1947, we moved to Weymouth, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. My father’s business was in Hyde Park, a section of Boston, on the south side, closest to Weymouth.
Our family was the first family to live at 24 Belmont Street, a community of starter homes in the “Levittown Tradition”, i.e. mass-produced, affordable housing for Veterans returning from World War II.
My father was not a Veteran. He enlisted in the army but flunked the physical, due to an old football injury.
I loved living at 24 Belmont Street. All the homes had children or so it seemed. I made a best friend. JoAnn Lorden lived at 57 Belmont Street, with her parents Florence and Johnny and baby brother little John.
Our house was just big enough for my father, my mother, my sister Donna and I. I think my father planned it so there would not be room for my grandmother. My grandmother went back to her old jobs doing resort work in Florida during the winter and the lakes north of Toronto in the summer.
My grandmother would stay in the unfinished attic when she came to visit between seasons. There was a big old bed in the middle of the attic and a space heater for chilly mornings. My grandmother would sit in her bed, knit and drink tea that she made with an immersion heater on the cardboard box table next to her bed.
Sometimes I would come up to her room and drink tea. She taught me how to knit.