Sunday, February 9, 2014

Growing Up California

My dad and I in the Sierra's. We had just moved to the central valley town of Delano and he loved driving us out on the two lane blacktop roads all around the area, exploring. I'm not quite sure what year this was but likely the same year my mother moved back to Hermosa Beach while my dad kept his job as a business manager of the Delano High School. He looked so important at his job with the desk and the secretaries that fawned over me and my blue eyes.

Wildflowers, and fields of poppies...

Another shot my dad took with his Brownie camera, somewhere on a two lane between the Sierra's and Delano, Tulare and Bakersfield. This one became the cover for my 4th album. 

This bongo girl was taken a few years earlier than the others, while we were still living in Hermosa Beach. I recognize the wood panel walls of the beach, and my favorite flannel pjs. My dad and I would sing songs together and from appearances, play bongos. I remember these being some kind of furry hide.

At night I was afraid of the dark, alone in my room, and would have a tough time going to sleep. My dad could be very comforting during these times. He was actually quite patient. He'd let me get settled into bed and then he'd come in and sit by me and tell me stories, often pertaining to our favorite movies. The best "story" went something like this...

"I'm walking down the main street of downtown Delano and I hear a big noise suddenly, it I look around and nothing is there. What was it! Then again it comes A very big sound then nothing and no one. What could it be? Then again it starts up and I realize it's a trumpet and a drum and then a band a big marching band and it's turning the corner heading my way, with a little girl leading the band with her baton at the very front and they are playing Seventy Six Trombones from the music man, with this little girl leading them down the street. "

What a good dad he was. Within minutes I felt empowered and able to handle the dark night of my room on my own. Oh, and with the assistance of the radio station my dad would put on when he'd leave the room, Radio Delano -50 watts of power, playing old World War 2 standards nightly.

My best friend was Lisa Mashburn. We were girls that sorta wanted to be boys. We'd play cowboys and ride bikes with banana seats, we'd make drawings of things like dinosaurs and sell them to the elderly people on the block from our wagon and we'd play Beatles wherein we would be Ringo or Paul and pretend girls were chasing us around the house and we'd have to hide. 

Another adventure with daddy.

With my dad and my little sister Tami. This is in either Fresno or Bakersfield...
Tami was rarely up with us in the Central Valley she lived with my mom and grandmother in Hermosa. My dad was the classic 60s man, cigarette in hand, dashing with his wavy black hair, olive colored skin and slender physique. He told me his mom, grandma Berryhill, never thought any woman was good enough. Somehow he got by.

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