Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eliot Glazer's anthology: "My Parents Were Awesome"


Editor: Eliot Glazer

Title: "My Parents Were Awesome: Before Fanny Packs & Minivans, They Were People Too"

Publication: Villard, ISBN 978-0-345-52392-1, 220 pages, original paperback, Introduction and about forty short essays (typically 4 pages each), published April 2011.  Amazon link

The book, in fact, invites you to write a cursive essay about your own parents in the back.

The range of parents includes traditional married (often from somewhat radical backgrounds), and single and divorced people.

I came into the world in a stable home, as an only child, of parents who had married in May 1940. It would be years before I could grasp that they had come from early 20th Century backgrounds varied from each other and from what I knew. My father was born in Iowa in 1903 and grew up on a farm. He went away as far as possible, after Drexel, to school – at Berkeley decades before its radicalism, overcame his stuttering, became a salesman, bouncing back from not making quotas, and provided a stable world for Mother and me as a manufacturer’s representative for Imperial Glass, a career that would not exist today.  He was living in a YMCA in Washington DC in the 1930s, in a day when single people didn’t have their own apartments, when he met my mother, who had been born in Ohio just before WWI.  She lived in a YWCA and took a streetcar to work  at the YMCA where she met him. If you made a movie about my parents, it would provide a fascinating look at rural Midwestern life up until the Depression, and life in Washington DC (and nearby Arlington) during the Depression and then the War.  My parents moved to a one bedroom apartment in the Buckingham Community in Arlington, and then to a larger two-bedroom after I was born in 1943. In those days, apartments in Virginia were segregated.

My mother recently passed away. I’ve just taken on getting old 8-mm home movies of their lives in the 1930s and 40s digitized and preserved on DVD.  It could just make an indie hit. 

More parental pictures:

Buckingham, Arlington VA apartment, around 1943.
Father prospecting in CA:
Father portrait on bridge in Iowa:
Mother in front of first family car near family farm near Route 20 and Oberlin/Kipton Ohio:
Maternal grandparents, Kipton, Ohio
These BW images are restored from family photos. I own these images and reserve the right to use them commercially in media in the future. 

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