.

.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The summer before I left


We posed for a photo before heading off for the day to San San Beach, near Blue Hole on the southeastern shore of Jamaica. We were assorted siblings and cousins and neighbors and school friends of my brother and me, then 19 and 18 respectively. That's me with the 'fro in the middle, and my brother sitting in front. His first wife-to-be, my dear friend and still my sister Hilary, is on my left in the picture, arm linked in mine. She lived four houses away down the street. In the white tank top on my right is my cousin Nicky, who will arrive from Trinidad for a visit next week (Amazon packages in her name are already piling up in our hallway in anticipation). Another pair in this photo would later marry, and then divorce, but back in the summer of 1975, just weeks before I left home to attend college in New York City, and never returned, we gathered in the driveway of our house at 37 Paddington Terrace, not a care in the wind.

My darling Hilary just emailed me this photo because it brought back memories. "Don't we just look confident, ready for the world, and full of mischief?" she wrote from where she now lives in Germany. After she and my brother divorced, she married the love of her life, a German scientist she met at a nuclear engineering conference. That mischievous little person in the picture is a nuclear biochemist herself, a braniac, who is also a wonderful artist. And dancer. Today, in a small town in Germany she teaches dance and crafts to local women and schoolchildren and solves a few equations on the side. I'm being just a bit facetious. What I mean to say is who knew where life would take us? Who know I would leave Jamaica and never again live there, and that she would marry my brother, divorce  him and then find her true love in the form of a German physicist? She and my brother are still the best of friends. She is even the godmother of his firstborn. We all grew up together after all, and in the most charmed of places, on that magical street.


13 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful-looking bunch. The 70's was the last decade for me of being carefree.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, that's a great picture and a great story to go with it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This entire thing- photo, and stories- was fascinating to read and gave me a particular feeling that I love. Novel worthy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely photo and time, and so wonderful that you have retained those relationships. How are you feeling?

    ReplyDelete
  5. how wonderful!! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Isn't wonderful that you grew up with so many people around you? I had a gaggle of cousins and it was so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this. Love. It. Thank you for sharing it

    ReplyDelete
  8. We could none of us imagined where life would lead when we were that age. Amazing, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for your lovely compliment today!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love when you write of your family -- the spinning of personal history is your gift.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a wonderful photograph, and stories. Let's see, in the summer of 1975, I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and getting ready to move to Atlanta for the first time. Those were the days my friend...

    ReplyDelete
  12. A great photo. Your cousin Nicky looks just like an actress who was in one of our popular " soaps",(Eastenders) for several years. She returned for one episode last week! in summer 1975 I was 1 year married, living in Morpeth, which is in the beautiful county of Northumberland in the NE of England. I had moved after my wedding from Leicester, a big city in the Midlands. I worked in a bank in Newcastle upon Tyne. 3 years later my firstborn son arrived and 10 months after that we moved here to Harpenden, a small town about 20 miles north of London.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...