Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Who's Writing this Blog, Anyway?
My father was an explorer of Tibet, a daredevil newspaperman, and an "Old China Hand." I was well into adulthood before I grasped the extent to which his life had been ruined in the 1950s. If heaven and hell do in fact exist, may the late Senator Joseph McCarthy enjoy a richly deserved roasting in the latter.
Until age 10, I grew up thinking I had two sisters. Here we are, visiting George Washington's Mt. Vernon in the late 1940s. My father, per usual, is out of the country. I am sitting on my mother's knee. Jackie, my sister who turned out not to actually be my sister, is standing on the left. Today Jackie is celebrated for her sunny, sandy, watery, beachy paintings of eastern Long Island. My brainy sister Brenda is seated on the right. Brenda, who was 15 when she left for college, is a veteran of heavy duty think tanks, the Pentagon and the Lockheed Corporation. I don't know who the other girl is.
I was a charming little boy, but not celebrated for anything in particular.
In 1958 my father drove my mother and me to Hollywood in hopes of taking a job. It didn't pan out. Harrison never had much money, but he had a lot of style. Pity I don't still have that car.
I was a typical fraternity boy in college. It took years to grow into my looks, and out of those attitudes.
After college, I became a pot smoking hippy.
I got married in 1975 and for many years we were a loving and mutually supportive couple.
We lived in a string of big houses, moving from one to another more from necessity than desire.
I don't know if we had a reputation for big parties, but we did give a lot of them. I continued after we separated.
We had a little girl, with whom I'm very close. I was a single parent for about 9 years, which is a story for a more confessional blog than "Big Old Houses."
I married for love, but after my separation fell madly and profoundly in love with Andy. It didn't last, but I am richer for the experience. After Andy, I met Joe, who literally made my blood race every time I looked at him. I guess it wasn't mutual since, as the kids say, he dumped me. Man, did that ever hurt. Joe would be pissed if I posted his photo on my blog, so I won't.
My daughter went to boarding school, and then to college...
...and then she got married...
...to a nice guy named Mike.
And now they have a baby named Lily. Both of them work. He reps medical gas and owns rental property and she teaches special ed.
For many years, I rode with the Millbrook Hunt. The Great Recession of 2008 put an end to that - and to my horse, and to some fancy club memberships I don't miss as much as I thought I would. I still ride most weekends, albeit no longer amidst such pomp.
I don't mind getting older, but I'd like at a certain point to be able to stop aging - like, maybe at this point.
That's obviously not everything about me, but it's a lot.