Last night while talking to my dad he mentioned a few things that I want to write down before I forget them.
Oddly enough, at 41 years old, I still learn new things when an elder starts opening up about family.
Here are some brief bullets from lasy night’s call that I hope to build on over the next few weeks.
I learned today that the reason my father and his brother had 5 years between them was because my grandmother had miscarried a baby girl. Ummm, a possible aunt? That would have been nice.
During Air Raid Drills or power outings my father, grandparents and my uncle would pile into “the bathroom with a candle in the sink to wait it out because it was the safest place to burn a candle”.
My grandfather was an air raid officer. I had no idea.
My dad and his family had the first TV on the block because my grandfather built it. This story I had heard before but I didn’t know that he was able to build it because he went to TV and radio school. TV and radio school? What the hell is that? He was a construction dude when I knew him. He helped build the Brooklyn Bridge what happened to his education?
My uncle was born on V-Day in Brooklyn NY. He was what they called a Victory Baby and everyone at the hospital was very excited so much so that someone stole the placenta. Grandma had a vaginal birth but my uncle was born inside the placenta like a calf or a horse. He had to be cut out of it and it came on with a V shape on top. Sounds like some crazy, old Italian malocchia thing. Malocchia by the way was used often in my house whenever someone was ill or if I wanted to get out of school. “I feel over looked.” Don’t ask because I don’t know where that term came from but “over looked” meant someone gave me the malocchia and it was taken very seriously in my home.
Anyway, I digress…as I was saying, my uncle had to be cut out of the placenta like a fowl. The placenta was wrapped around him in the form of a “V”. Ummm, ok…I am just relaying a story here people, these are not my memories. Anyway, when he came out a nurse exclaimed, “we have a victory baby.”
From two accounts of the story, my dad and today my sister who heard from my Grandmother, things are sketchy here. My dad says that my grandmother wanted to keep the placenta to put into a necklace because supposedly she heard this would keep you safe at sea, as if she was boarding an ocean liner in the near future! Anyway, when she asked for it she was told that it disappeared and that perhaps one of the nurses had stolen it.
My sister says, my grandmother told her that a nurse had wanted it for a necklace and when she asked for it, she was informed that it was missing.
Weird, either way I say. No?!
I also learned tonight that my dad was an RH factor baby and that when my uncle was born very ill. He was sickly as a child and very blond with blue eyes. My grandmother and my grandfather both have brown hair and brown eyes. The story is that when my grandfather came home from the war, he asked “whose baby is that?”
I am here to say that my cousin’s born from my uncle look like my grandfather, especially the oldest. He is the spitting image. It is actually a bit disturbing considering my history with my grandfather.