ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vignettes of a Baby Boomer Part 6

Updated on June 13, 2019
JEscallierKato profile image

Jeaninne is an award-winning fiction and essay writer who is the author of "Manuel's Murals."

Making It On Our Own

I only stayed with the sitter through my fourth-grade year. Once I turned ten, my mother trusted me enough to stay alone for two hours after school. My brother was supposed to babysit, but always sneaked out to hang at La Bonita Park with his friends. Besides, I preferred to be alone inside of our boxy, 900 square feet tract home without the distraction of a loud television through paper-thin walls. I learned at a very young age to rely on myself for sustenance and comfort when my family world fell apart.

My mother had an antique rocking chair in the living room. When no one was home, I would load up several of her Columbia Record Club albums on the turnstile of her mono stereo console and rock away the hours to the imaginings of my mind. I was a slave escaping captivity to the gospel standard “Follow the Drinking Gourd” by Joe and Eddie; I was a singer in a cool jazz club to the smooth crooning of “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin; and, I was Anita dancing for her life on a New York skyline to the Latin rhythms of “America” from West Side Story. I found much solace in that rocking chair to the music of my life.

We had been spending every other weekend with our father by the time he remarried in 1965. Billie seemed nice enough and I was too naive to understand how my first impression of her might have hurt my mother’s feelings. She was a petite woman who looked like a faded copy of Elizabeth Taylor. After hours of hair and make-up, she could pass for a reasonable facsimile of the stunning actress.

So, after our first meeting with my father’s new wife, I bounced in the door yelling, “Mom, Billie looks just like Elizabeth Taylor!” My mother handled her hurt like a champ, as she has always done. Mom gave me a weak smile and then promptly changed the subject. What I failed to tell my mother on that day was that her natural beauty and superior intellect far surpassed the caked-on beauty of an insipid woman who drank too much.

I soon figured out that our weekend visits were simply part of an obligatory court mandate on my father’s part. He and Billie went about their usual business of drinking and smoking in front of the television while I played with Billie’s younger daughter, three years my junior, in her frilly pink room with the canopy bed. My brother opted out of the visits early on in as he had no one with whom to relate. And, he couldn’t have cared less about my father’s corporate career. All of Jack and Billie’s children had to fit into their life, but what we wanted to do wasn’t a consideration. In fact, we didn’t suggest otherwise. Ever.

I never thought about my father’s drinking much as he was a very successful salesman for several well-known corporations. I was always proud of my funny, outgoing father and I loved listening to his stories. Even though we didn’t do much as a family when I stayed with him, except for the occasional meal out and an R-rated movie in downtown Los Angeles, my father made me feel intelligent by conversing with me as if I were one of his peers. It wasn’t until we truly needed him, that our father’s veneer began to crack.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)