France and Germany Interwar Relationship Term Paper

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Larissa

Mom. Can I interview you for my class?

Mom

Sure, but aren't you getting a little desperate if you're stuck with me?

Larissa

Oh no. It fits the assignment. I have to interview my mother. So, first, where were your parents born?

Mom

My mother was born in San Francisco, and my father was born in Kansas City, Missouri

Larissa

Ok, and where were you born?

Mom

San Rafael, California

Larissa

All right. So what differences did you notice between your mother and yourself, generation wise and personality wise.

Mom

Wow, differences between us were so numerous that you would think we were not related. I mean you think you and I are different, and we are, but we do like some of the same things, and have some of the same values. The likenesses between me and my parents were only skin deep. My mother was the youngest of 7 children born during the depression, and she was used to getting everything she wanted. She was spoiled rotten. She had a twin brother and she was the darling of the family. Your great-grandfather was rich at the beginning of the depression, so his family never went without, but he was back to window washing by the end of it. My mother always had her family. I was an only child, and did not even know who my family was until I was about 7. Then when I was eight, my mother left.

Mom got up to refill the coffees, and get two bowls from the fridge.)

Larissa

Perohe?

Mom

Yep. You're going to stay for supper of course?

Larissa

Oh yes. So what happened after your mother left?

Mom

Well nothing so much really changed. I never had a stable home. I had only been with them not quite three years. So I started the rounds of relatives again, until I got fed up, and demanded to be a ward of the court. I ran away when I was thirteen, got caught, and had a long talk with the judge. It's a good thing for me I got one of the good ones. So I spent the last five years of school in a boarding home for girls run by nuns.

Larissa

The relatives, were they your mother's or father's?

Mom

Mostly my mother's. She had six brothers and sisters. I stayed with all but one of them. Uncle Bob I don't even remember at all. I just remember his name. I stayed with Grandma Ross, her mother, and my Aunt Phyllis and cousin Cookie for a year or so before I was five. I also stayed with her brother, Uncle Bill and his wife, Aunt Reete, and their kids. I was really close to my cousin Bunny for a long time. She was my age. Her real name was Rita. She had a bunch of brothers.

A stayed only a short time with Uncle Ken, my mother's twin brother, and I don't remember his wife's name. I was with Uncle Don, her brother, and Aunt Nancy and their kids about a year. Uncle Don was the only man in my family that I wasn't afraid of. He never tried to touch me. I spent the most time with my Aunt Valeria. I was with her before I was four for nearly a year with Uncle Alden, her husband at the time, and fifty boys on a ranch. The boys were delinquents, I think. She married one of the, Uncle Bart, after she divorced Alden. I stayed with her a year in San Francisco, and two years later on in Petaluma. I ran away when she started to get a little nuts. I heard she was insane when she died.

Larissa

So that's why you are so independent? You had to be?

Mom

Oh yes, I didn't get anything I didn't go after myself. My mother was totally dependent upon a man.

Even when she left, she left with a man. My father's boss. Me, I grew up totally independent. I was never in any one place long enough for the brainwashing to stick. I was the first in my family to get a degree. My mother and father both had high school diplomas, but my mother's ambition was solely to be taken care of by a man. I doubt if she ever had a single thought for developing her own talents.

Larissa

Why do you think she was the way she was? Why did she leave you and your father?

Mom

Oh I think it was her family mostly, and my father, I mean the whole idea of marriage and children must have seemed wonderful to her then, until she was alone with him and me. They used to fight all the time. I'd hear them at night. I didn't know then how overbearing and downright mean he could be. I guess I mean abusive. I don't really blame my mother for leaving, and, for a long time, I thought she should have taken me with her. Now, I doubt it would have made any big difference. She left with the same type, only he was a drunk on top of it all. I think she was what they call a co-dependent. My father always said that he didn't understand it that she left just when he was becoming successful.

Larissa

Whom did you admire when you were my age?

Mom

Well, let's see. It wasn't my parents. Between the ages of 18 and 22, I admired Joan Baez, Pat Boone, Bob Dylan, Helen Hayes, Robert Frost, Jaques Kerouac, T.S. Eliot, Rod McKuen, Shirley Temple Black, Jane Fonda, Grace Kelly, and Agatha Christie.

Larissa

Why did you admire them?

Mom

She peered at the list, then got up to start the Perohe) Joan Baez was a folk singer, but she was big on protest songs. The war in Vietnam was going on then, and it wasn't popular. She and Bob Dylan sang about it and war in general.

Frost, Kerouac, and Elliot were my favorite poets. I don't know if Frost was Poet Laureate then, but that's what he became. I wanted to be a poet then, but I just couldn't write like that. I think, maybe, I was just to self-centered at that time. I don't mean selfish or anything, just mostly concerned with my own needs and my own pain. I was too much inside it to write about it. Not that I write like any of them now, but at least I write poetry now. Then I just sort of bled on the page. It was really bad. Sometimes I find some of it and read it, and I wonder how I could have written that. It always sounds like a totally different person, and seems so long ago.

She looked at the list again as she put a big pot of water on to boil, and floured the top of the butcher block. She got the dough from the fridge, and began to roll it out.) Pat Boone, he was everything a girl wanted in a husband then. He was handsome, and his voice was like liquid gold, smooth and mellow. His image was one of the "All American Boy," and he wrote books too. I remember reading Twixt Twelve and Twenty.

Now Grace Kelly was the "All American Lady," a princess who married her prince. She had a big career in films, and she gave it up to become princess of Monaco. I mean we all admire royalty when they behave well, but Grace Kelly was special. She was American. I admired Queen Elizabeth too, because she was so young when she became queen, but she did the job. She didn't disappear while someone else did it. Remember, I was American then. I had only heard of Canada, and England was the mother country we left behind.

Who else is there?

Larissa

Shirley Temple Black, Helen Hayes, Jane Fonda, Rod MdKuen, and Agatha Christie.

Mom

Ok, well Rod McKuen was another poet, more modern, and he was young and handsome too. I read A Cat Named Sloopy, and it touched me so deeply that I felt like he knew me.

Agatha Christie I still read. She was just a great mystery writer. I never really felt I wanted to write mystery, but I think she would have been good in any genre.

Shirley Temple Black was the great child star who made good. She wasn't into politics herself yet, but you sort of knew she would be.

Then Helen Hayes was simply the best actress I ever saw. I don't remember which of her pictures I saw first, but she was fantastic. She could act without any words. I wanted to be her.

Larissa

What changes in gender roles have you noticed in your lifetime?

Mom

When I was born, few women worked, and those that did were generally restricted to certain jobs that were "suited" to…[continue]

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"France And Germany Interwar Relationship" (2006, November 17) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/france-and-germany-interwar-relationship-41698

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"France And Germany Interwar Relationship", 17 November 2006, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/france-and-germany-interwar-relationship-41698

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