Jerry, Skip, Anne, Jim, little Jerry

[Photo and narrative by my mother.]

That’s Jerry’s Uncle Jim holding his son, another Jerry, on his lap. His wife, Anne, sits in the middle. They spent that evening at our apartment, but we didn't see a lot of them. Anne was a little special, and she had spunk. She was quite pretty, dressed nicely, was animated, imaginative, and intelligent. She had talked Uncle Jim into changing the vowel at the end of their name to make it seem less Italian.

 

Their life changed drastically when Uncle Jim discovered she was having a romance. Jerry told me, "Uncle Jim got rid of her right away. That day." Indeed, she disappeared from sight and conversation. There's so much left wanting here that I want to scream. A child raised without his mother. A woman probably impoverished overnight. Was she so guilt-ridden she didn't seek legal help? Was she so fear-filled and accustomed to that kind of "justice" she simply accepted it? Hers is the saddest story I know. I should say "theirs."

 

Typical of the young, I simply moved on in my own full life. In the darkroom, eliminating Anne, Jim and cousin Jerry, I made that year's photo Christmas cards, with just the comfy and smiling couple on the left [previous photo].

 

Our wall art at the time featured 8x10 black and white enlargements. Jerry hung the 16x20 unframed mats, which hinged open to accept whatever darkroom success we favored that day. On this December night in1949, Jerry is pictured in a bow tie, me in a hat, and in the center, girlfriend Marvel DeWinter.

 

Marvel fascinated me. She seemed so sophisticated and worldly. Whatever apparel she threw on looked just great! Her handsome husband didn't expect her to work, so she just did as she pleased, shopping, trooping around with friends, going to the beach, playing bridge.

 

Her apartment had a small lawn – ours didn't – so on my Thursday afternoons off I occasionally sunned in her yard with her. One day we stretched out on one of Jack DeWinter's old army blankets in the sun and discussed Kinsey's book. (Everyone was!) She asked me, "Did you read that chapter on masturbation?" I loved the way she talked, in low tones making everything sound kind of personal and confidential, enhanced by her smoker's throatiness. I answered "Yeah!"

"I think that must be what Jack does in bed at night!" she said casually, but she puffed at her cigarette with unusual intensity.

 

My mom used a tripod and a timed shutter release on this photo. -- Joey

 

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Taken in December 1949