Chapter 6 - Après Julia, le déluge - Life 1 ends and life 2 begins

A well wasted youth comes to a frightful end

What a charmed life I led until now. After this baptism of eros I frittered away the rest of my teen years when home from prep school.

When I came back home after graduating from Culver, my parent had divorced, and mom's business could not afford to pay for a private college, so I worked my way through the University of Connecticut by driving a milk truck among other menial jobs.

But Culver had spoiled me by jamming so much knowledge into my reluctant brain that my courses at UConn didn't reach the levels I had in my final years at Culver until my third year when all hell broke loose.

In less than one year both my parents died.

My relationship with my father was solid and above par for the era, but I was truly a "mother's boy" with a deep and kindred relationship with her.

We were so much alike, and not just our personalities.

If you want to know what my mother loved like, imagine my face with a woman's hair style of 1950 but without my mustache.

I was (some say still am) a snotty-nose little egoist who thought the world was his oyster, and no one else deserved a clam knife.

As I ended my teens and began my twenties, the normal "leaving the nest" syndrome began, and our friendship was testy at times.

She even set up a completely separate apartment for me in our sixteen room home to give more more freedom than any of my peers, but I was (some say still am) a snotty-nose little egoist who thought the world was his oyster, and no one else deserved a clam knife.

A day came in the Fall of 1952 when we had a pretty bad argument after which I stomped off to bed and mom went out for a walk to cool off.

Very early the next morning I was awakened by a delivery man pounding of our front door.

He had come upon my mother lying at the corner of our house in the rain in a coma.

She never regained consciousness, and I was never able to make amends.

It haunts me to this day over a half century later.

I have almost no memory of the months which followed. It was such a traumatic experience that it literally drove the thought and image of her out of my head for over a year. I walked trough the wake and the funeral in a daze.

Her estate was in shambles, and our home was sold to pay her debts, probably for my prep school education, and I left Woodbury a few months later penniless and without a single personal possession except my clothes.

I kept not even a single photo of my family, nothing.

Dating with dad

During the next few months I lived in a studio apartment in Waterbury while I attended college sporatically.

Dad and I even double dated a few times, and we must have resembled two lost souls.

Then one day the second knock came on my door.

My father had died at his desk at the Waterbury Republican & American where he had worked since leaving college.

He lingered a day or so in hospital, and then joined my mother in the family plot in Woodbury, less than one year after her death.

They had both died of coronary thrombosis, a stroke.

In retrospect, given the era and their diet and high blood pressure, I assume their arteries hardened and were clogged with cholesterol. Theirs was the first generation to sit at a desk rather than work on the family farm, but they continued to eat like their forebears with tragic results.

It would be another generation before American began to alter their diet for the times.

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