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Updated on May 18, 2011
The Cow Palace Where the Beatles played twice
The Cow Palace Where the Beatles played twice
Me (second one in from left) and junior high school pals
Me (second one in from left) and junior high school pals
My little brother and  me
My little brother and me
Little brother and me about a year later
Little brother and me about a year later

Part 5 of 5 in an ongoing series


Reading has always been a great escape for me! I become so ‘involved’ in the story and the characters that I cannot wait to pick up where I left off. There is actually excitement and anticipation; a physical response to the material my mind devours. The experience of reading takes me back to my grade school days when, everyday in the afternoon after recess, our wonderful teacher would read aloud as she encouraged us to (for the girls) knit or crochet and, for the boys; lay their heads down on the desktop while the magical words describing the current escapades of the main personalities drifted into our imaginations. Often, I pictured myself as the first person; thrilling to a new experience, fearful of the unknown, heart beating with trepidation at a first encounter or emotions soaring as a victory unfolded into a happy ending. Oh, the stuff of fantasy.

Life had taken quite a complicated and complex turn for this young girl, at age 12. Mother had given birth to a ‘bouncing baby boy’ who, soon, became almost my sole (soul) responsibility. Still working two jobs to keep the family bills paid and a roof over our heads, mother did not have enough time to properly care for her baby. Looking back, I can see how unfortunate and sad a situation this was. At the time, necessity took front place in day to day living. My step father’s sickness continued to keep him in bed and unable to function normally so, the onus fell upon my young shoulders.


We rise to the occasion! I found a certain joy in this duty; a feeling that I held the happiness and the cohesive “glue” which held our fractured family together. I learned to do so many “adult” things~! Cooking, proper cleaning, ironing, food storage, canning, freezing, bathing my little brother, being his ‘significant other’ and mommy fill-in while making sure his needs were always met. Up early in the morning and awake late into the evening waiting for mother to return from her evening job so I could tell her of the day’s events; those times of trouble and the moments of joy!

Little brother had a few challenging physical needs which added to my obligation of proper care. He had digestive issues which meant that he required a special formula rather than milk from the carton. Of course, mother could not nurse him due to her work schedule and, for some reason, breast feeding was not the norm in those days; viewed as an inconvenience or just plain old fashioned. So, along with cooking, cleaning and caretaking, I was the creator of the magical mixture which my little brother could tolerate. I became very adept and fast at mixing and heating just right…not too hot; not too cold; and, pretty soon, it was just another part of life.


Just as I was about to enter my teen years, Little Brother was moved into my bedroom so I could hear him at night if there was a problem which included diaper changing. Oh boy! Welcome to the real world, my dear! But, this, too, became commonplace and not a big deal. He, mostly, slept soundly through the night with only the occasional screaming fit which was loud enough to wake the dead! We’d get through it, though, and drift sweetly back into slumber.

About this time, my older brother was around the house less and less. As the tension in our house grew, his presence diminished to the point that I rarely saw him. Out in the early am hours to school, off to friends’ homes after school, away at the dinner table -(that stereotype never really existed, anyway, as we were all off on our own one way or another )- and in late at night; he had become a memory, almost. Once in a while, our paths would cross but few words were spoken and less conversations occurred. We were growing our separate ways. I was more involved in the home life; or what little there was of one, and he found any and all ways to be absent. Something was not right and, soon enough, I’d find out what that was.


Besides reading, I found company and solace in music! Just at a time when it was changing rapidly; when new musical combos were emerging with fantastic messages, amazing instrumental arrangement which included strange and unfamiliar sounds, and completely unique styles! Listening to the words gave me the feeling that others yearned for that magical life; something other than a day to day existence. Possibilities abounded within the creativity and imaginations of so many of the new artists. They were speaking to, singing to me! Personally talking and sharing their experiences, their dreams and desires. I felt I had friends there in music land. Friends who knew exactly what I was going through because, they were going through it, too! Music was my refuge and the stuff of many a long distance love affair. In my mind, of course; and only there.

My last preteen year was spent this way, taking care of the family and living in my imaginings.


I just had to see the Beatles and they were coming to the States soon! Only 55 miles from my house, too. This could be done! I called my best friend, Gail, and asked if she’d like to go. Like I didn’t know. She was wild about the Beatles, too, and her crush was George. No competition! We talked for hours about how wonderful it would be to see the Beatles and to meet them! I called my father, who could do anything in my eyes, and begged him to get two tickets to the Cow Palace in S. San Francisco to see the BEATLES! I never questioned his ability to deliver on this request; it never crossed my mind, that he could do this. Just pick up the phone and ask! This had been the relationship that developed over time as a result of the divorce and subsequent ‘part time parenting.’ Out of guilt, no doubt, my brother and I were the beneficiaries of some pretty incredible ‘stuff,’ and privileges. So, with heart on sleeve and fingers crossed, I waited…..only hoping that the seats he got for us would be perfect! Up front and CLOSE!

I called Gail to tell her the news; that I’d asked my father for Beatles tickets. She came over and we waited by the phone for father to call saying he had them! The clock ticked and daytime turned into dusk. Still, we waited; playing cards, listening to (guess what!) Beatles albums and talking talking talking about our (we were SURE) upcoming adventure. Dusk gave into night and there was no word from father. We began to worry; to fret. What if!?!?!? Oh NO!!! We HAVE to see them!

We were watching late night movies on TV when the phone rang! I RAN to answer it and, sure enough, my father’s voice spoke from the other end.

“Kathryn,” my father said. He always addressed me using my full name. I used to be known as “Kri” until I was almost 13 when I insisted that no one call me by that name again. I thought it was embarrassing and I demanded that I never hear it again. Looking back, I regret that. The nickname came from when I was a baby and my older brother would hear me in the crib, crying. He wasn’t able to articulate enough to say “hey, mom; the baby is crying.’” No, he could only say, “Cry!” “Cry!”..pretty soon, it was “Mama, baby cry!” My mother thought it a great idea to call me Kri; with the ‘exotic’ spelling. It took. Soon, everyone called me that and only that. I LOVE the name now but, sadly, will probably never hear myself spoken to by that moniker.

Anyway, I digress…

“Kathryn, “ my father said. His voice low, slow and matter of fact.

I said, “yes, daddy…….”

He paused (for effect, I’m sure) for a time which seemed like forever! 

He replied:  "Section PP, Row 13, seats 1 & 2!"


More silence

Gail had come over by now and stood there with her mouth open and eyes shining..she knew even before I did! Then, in an instant, “Really!!? Really!? Did you REALLY get them??”

I looked at Gail as I began to say thank you to my father over and over. Tears were welling in both our eyes! We were going to see the Beatles! My father could do anything!

Stay tuned for our first concert and WHAT A SHOW!!! And how the ‘60’s were a panacea, a refuge, a saving grace, a Godsend and so much more in the double life of a young girl.

This offering is part II of "Double Life of a Young Girl" which are parts IV and V of the series beginning with "Double Life of a Little Girl" which comprised parts I - III.

More pictures coming when I can find them!!


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    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Gail! Those were crazy fun days! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this story. I agree, too, that old photos are wonderful. In fact, just yesterday, while going through my deceased mother's files, I found more old pictures of my brothers and me and so our childhood homes, and more...including lots of kitties. I had forgotten so much of it, the pictures brought back so many memories. Thank you for the nice comment.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      Really great story! I'm glad that your father got you the tickets to see the Beatles. Your story is enjoyable and fun to read. The photos are really nice, too. I've always loved looking at old photos of family from the past.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Haha! yes, the "dome" hairstyle..would you believe I used to cut & style it myself? I thought it was "the bomb.! Thank you , Augustine, for revisiting my crazy past. Hopefully, I'll get over my writing 'block' and begin another..but, it's off to California in a few days so I'll be out of touch for a while as I'll be driving a big van along w/my friend..yikes! I'm NOT looking forward to all night driving!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      I'm so glad I revisited this hub, if I hadn't I would have missed the new pictures! I love walking down memory lane with people. You were (and are) so cute. Even with the dome hair style from that time period. Awesome!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Marcoujor, you two! So so happy to see that you're here...I have to get to my homework and do a little catching up, too! Such talented, thoughtful, thought provoking and wonderful writers you are..I am so lucky to know you. Kathy

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      I am really enjoying this series Kathy. Your writing is awesome. It get's me "involved" as if I was there with you. Great job!


    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      DUH, I read this backwards but re-read and now have followed the flow and wanted to express an UP & UAB...!

      Your comments to others are so nurturing and I believe this series is helpful to many of us. It is good to reflect back on our childhoods, what has helped make us into who we are today. Your writing is a spark for this. Thank you.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Amy, this is truly uncanny! Not only was my grandmother a fearless entrepreneur but, my mother was, too. She bought and sold real estate which allowed her to "retire" at age 47. It always worked out for her. Her education was limited, too, but she was sharp and capable. I learned a great deal from her; and I began doing the same thing which has (knock on wood), up until now, worked for me, too. Several generations of independent, strong women who found ways to make this life work. I'm sorry your mother had to to through the difficult times; life isn't always fair in fact, often times it isn't very kind. You have a daughter and that is an incredible amount of responsibility. I had no children; my own decision as a result of some of the history which I'm beginning to share here on HP's...don't know if this is the most intelligent thing I've done but, oh well! I think being honest and vulnerable actually draws people together, not apart. thank you, as always, for commenting which is a way of supporting our efforts here, Amy..always so very appreciated! Kathy

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      A lot of what you write, Kathy, reminds me of the stories my mom tells about her childhood. My grandmother, a woman before her time, worked in real estate as my grandfather lost some excellent jobs due to drinking. My mom was in charge of her two brothers. She left school by 8th grade to take care of them. If their behavior was difficult, my mom suffered the consequences. Her family had to split up to live with relatives for a while. My mom still is visibly upset when she talks about those times. I admire your courage, ever present hope and great resilience, Lucky Cats. You are an inspiration to me.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Sunnie, AA and good to see you here again..makes me very happy and hoping that this little story is entertaining enough for you to return. I thought it fun to remember and share this was such a crazy time and it only feels as if it was yesterday. time has gone by, I've grown to appreciate Elvis so much more than I did as a teenager. What a soulful, easy talent he had. Such a loss and way too soon.

      well, the next chapter is out so...hope you enjoy! Kathy

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Your story is an enjoyable read. You were fortunate to have an influencial Father who could give you special gifts. I've told you before that your Mother reminds me of my Mother's unintentional bad decisions throughout her life. The Beatles were not my favorite back then..I loved Elvis, still do, but i must say that i've grown to love some of their music, esp' ' Imagine ' The lyrics ring so true to me now. Thank you for sharing your life with us..Looking forward to more.


    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      Thank God your dad got the tickets. My heart was in my throat! I need to know, how was the concert?! Till the next chapter...

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      What a great hub. Thank you so much for sharing. I use to love the Beatles too..What a unique time you will never forget.