Brooklyn Heights 1958

This is a photograph of my  grandmother, with her eldest son John, in Brooklyn in 1958. They had just recently immigrated to the United States from England. 

My grandmother loved this apartment on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. “It was very arty in those days,” she once told me, about the neighborhood.

Of course she put a lounge chair on the fire-escape so she could sit in the sun. She was a beach bum at heart (like me), and loved sunshine, which she said seemed so abundant to her when she first came here from England.

She was 50 when this photo was taken, divorced, struggling to get by, to make a new life, and still grieving the loss of her two eldest daughters in a car crash. But she looks pretty pleased in this photo. She was definitely one to appreciate the small pleasures of life. Like a lounge chair on a fire-escape on a sunny day.

The End of Secrets

Ted in tuxIn October of 2014 I learned the identity of my biological father (a man whose name I had never known) as the result of an autosomal DNA test. The test results connected me with cousins in my paternal family, and led to the knowledge of who my father had been.

After decades of fruitless searching, finding my father was an incredible achievement. But success stories like mine are far from unusual these days. Continue reading The End of Secrets

The Diary Gene

I met my half-siblings for the first time last year and it delighted me to discover the things we have in common, especially our tendency  to write things down, keep diaries, create archives, and put it all in chronological order.

I grew up as an only-child, so having siblings is an amazing phenomenon to me. As soon as I found Fred and Freida I began to take note of the similarities in our physical features and personality traits. Continue reading The Diary Gene