Thursday, September 19, 2013

Glad All Over

My sister Dale taught me how to dance. She also, unintentionally, taught me how to say "damn it" and "go to hell" just as I taught (also unintentionally) our little brother Chuck to say much worse. But, being taught to dance was a more pleasant activity (although learning how to swear was much more practical). (Click any of the photos to fill the screen with love.)

DALE IN THE ARMS OF THE DUCHESS, 1952.

Because today would be her birthday, (I suppose it still is; she's just not here to celebrate it) this post is all about Dale (mostly all about Dale), in pictures. Two years and nine months into her life, it became all about me. And then another five years and eight months later, it became all about Chucky, and it has remained so. (Not really, but I like to say that.)

DALE, DAD, AND THE DUCHESS.

Anyway, Dale had me brushing up my dance moves to her LPs and 45s the evening before every wedding, bar mitzvah, and school dance. I was never as relaxed a dancer as she was. And, although she always encouraged me, I did get some mixed messages. She taught me to dance mostly to The Temptations and The Dave Clark Five. Good beats, she would say. But she oddly always taught me the back-up dancers' moves. I guess she was meant to be the star.

DAD AND DAUGHTER ON THE RICKETY OLD BACK PORCH.
DALE IN BLUE.
CHECK OUT THE YOYO, MA!
DALE, THE DUCHESS, AND LITTLE BROTHER #1 (ME) ON THE WAY.
CONEY ISLAND. DALE WANTED A PONY FOR CHRISTMAS (EVERY CHRISTMAS).
(FIVE PHOTOS FOR 25 CENTS???)
DUCHESS, DALE, AND LITTLE BROTHER #2 (CHUCK) ON THE WAY.
(MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS THAT SHE WAS LOOKING AT HER MOBILE PHONE!)
AFTER ANOTHER LONG NIGHT OF DANCING AND DRINKING.
(MY BAR MITZVAH...)


24 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Dale, wherever you are. Mitch, I'm sorry you lost such a lovely sister, but happy you have such wonderful memories. Great photos... even (especially) the last one of you suffering from... fatigue.

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    1. Sharon:
      And both trying to keep from laughing in that last photo. We thought the photographer was so clever. 13 and 15... what did we know?

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  2. What a lovely tribute.
    The sad thing about losing a loved one is that, while it does get eaiser, it never gets better.

    Happy Birthday Dale.
    Now...let's dance!

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    1. Bob:
      You are so right. Easier but not better.

      And you're also right, let's dance! (I can do back-up.)

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  3. What a beautiful family, Mitch! And how dear your sister was in all those photos. Happy Birthday to Dale!

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  4. Mitch, this made me feel 'glad all over' for you and your family to have had such an adorable sister/daughter. Sisters that need a dance partner before 'events' are the best! That is how I learned to dance as well!
    I assume she 'lead' you while teaching. Who leads now?

    Your Dad is one handsome man!

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    1. Jim:
      San Geraldo and I tried to learn Texas Two-Step. Since he loves to dance and I don't, he was to lead. So, we'd take two steps and he'd say, "Who's leading?!?" When Dale taught me (and she wasn't teaching me the back-up dancers' moves) I led.

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  5. A lovely, warm tribute, Mitch. Your affection comes through in these memories loud and clear.

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    1. Raybeard:
      It took me years before her birthday month became just another month and then I day to have happy memories. There are a variety of reasons why this one was difficult again. Our lives weren't as joy-filled as they appear in pictures; Dale was no saint; she wasn't always easy to get along with; and "god" only knows how our relationship would have evolved over all these years... but she was my childhood lifeline and protector. I adored her.

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  6. Oh how absolutely beautiful, Mitch! Dale is still here, through DD, Chuck and YOU!!!!

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    1. Ron:
      San Geraldo never met her, but I think he knows her really well. Sadly, Chuck can't talk about her, but he adored her, too.

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  7. I am sorry that I did not get to know Dale
    better. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DALE & Mitch !

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    1. Anon:
      I think I know who this Anonymous is and I'm also really sorry you didn't get to know her better!

      Delete
  8. A wonderful tribute to your beloved sister, who I know remains with you always. Happy Birthday, Dale.

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    1. Stephen:
      Sometimes, I wish she'd take a f^@&!ng break. But then I'd miss her even more!

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  9. She looks like she was such a bundle of fun, smiling broadly in almost every shot. No surprise you miss her so much. Lovely memories Mitch. Is that a bottle of JB in your hand?
    Di
    xoxo

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    1. Di:
      It wasn't all a bed of roses, although she always brought The Duchess daffodils in early spring on her way home from work. But, I couldn't have asked for a better sister.

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  10. Lovely tribute to your sis. That last photo is my very favourite!

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    1. Knatolee:
      I'm glad you like that photo. I just scanned the entire bar mitzvah album, which was fading after 46 years! That's the final photo in the book. I can remember posing for it and how happy we both were. She left me lots of sweet memories.

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  11. Mitch, I wasn't able to comment on this post, because I was on my laptop (which suddenly isn't permitting most blog commenting), but I sure did enjoy these photos :) That bonnet in the first one is priceless. I hope the day went smoothly enough for you.

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    1. Judeet:
      Thanks so much. Except for the final photo, these were all from my father's slides. We had them digitized before me moved to Spain. My mother hadn't seen them in more than 30 years, so she really enjoyed the photos, too. I LOVE that first one. She looks like a daisy. The day wasn't too bad. A lot better because I was able to share here and because so many people have been so kind in their comments (like you)!

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  12. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul! I loved looking at these photographs of your sis - the one after your Bar Mitzvah made me really chuckle. Thinking of you all my friend.

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    1. Jeff:
      Thanks so much. I wonder if they still set up corny photos like that for bar mitzvah albums. I've got some others I'll have to share.

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