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Myself and my mom in front of US Treasury – September 1972

Ten years ago today – April 6th – my mom passed away from melanoma. Ten years. It doesn’t seem that long at times, but in reality, ten years is a long time. A milestone, if you will. I was 42 at the time.

I found 4 photos of my mom that I hadn’t posted before to share for this year of remembering her. Each one carries it’s own memory of her life at the time the photo was taken.

The above photo was when my mom took us on a vacation back east to see family in North Carolina and to see our nation’s capital in Washington DC. This picture is of the two of us standing in front of the US Treasury Building. I don’t know the exact date, but it was in September 1972. It is the only time outside of airport layovers, that I’ve been to Washington DC. I was 9 years old.


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My mom and Hank Gorman, someone she dated. Photo taken on her 52nd birthday – January 3, 1975

My mom divorced my father in 1968. I’m not sure when she started, but she used to go to the dances at a place called the Phoenix Club with her friend Rena Stram. She met Hank Gorman one night and they started dating. I remember my mom was pretty taken with him. He drove a nice car [a Chevrolet, if memory serves me right] with a stereo system that made the music she liked sound great. Hank smoked and my mom didn’t like smoking, even though my dad smoked for years. Perhaps she was attracted to men that smoked. This particular time we lived in an apartment on Jetty Circle in Garden Grove. Hank lived in Pasadena. I wasn’t quite 12 yet, but I obviously took this photo of the two of them. It was my mom’s 52nd birthday and Hank obviously came to take her out for the evening. I’m sure she had a wonderful time.


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Myself and my mom when I got my Eagle Scout – April 1981

My mom was very happy that I finally got my Eagle Scout award. A lot of kids that I grew up with got their Eagle Scout when they were 15. I was 17. You had to get it before you turned 18. She pushed me like crazy to get it. I wasn’t interested in scouting much when I was 14 and 15. I was more interested in drinking, smoking and getting high. Then I got more serious once I turned 16, even though my interest in girls was pretty strong. Regardless, my mom felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished my Eagle Project [I collected food for the homeless and needy over Christmas 1980] and a lot of the work she did to help me finally paid off at the Eagle Scout Ceremony. That smile on her face in this photo shows was very proud of this moment in her life.

Monkey Wards

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Mom and myself at Montgomery Ward department store – December 1981

There was a chain of department stores in California called Montgomery Ward. My mom loved to shop there and had purchased several electronics items there over the years like an 8-track stereo system for me when I was a teen, as well as a couple of TVs. Right around Christmas in 1981, we went shopping there and they were doing a demonstration of different instant cameras. This was one of the photos that was taken of the two of us. I had on a winter coat, which I’m not sure why I would have needed such a heavy coat, as Southern California doesn’t get that cold during the winter months. My mom was weeks away from turning 59. I was 18 and had graduated high school in June.

The Start of another 10 years

And now we start another 10 years of her being gone. I will be 62. That seems so far away, yet 10 years ago, this day seemed very distant as well. Nothing like good memories of my mom to recall on this particular date.