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MY FAMILY CHRISTMAS EVE PORTRAIT, ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA, 1970

Phoenix Family Christmas 1970

I’m breaking my own rule this week. This is not a slide, it’s a snapshot. But it’s the only picture I have of my family at Christmas.

We’re at my Aunt Mattie and Uncle Art’s house. That fake white flocked tree with gold ornaments reappeared every season for more than two decades. I never realized how well it went with the curtains and hanging lamp in the corner.

That’s me in front with asymmetrical bangs. I have no idea what ever happened to the teddy bear; I was never into stuffed animals. But I’ll never forget when the brown corduroy coat I’m wearing got sucked out of the window of our speeding Oldsmobile Cutlass on the way home from Palm Springs. Guess I should not have held it up to the open window. My brother Mike, holding a transistor radio, is four years my senior. He often mistook me for a punching bag-OUCH! My mother, Donna, is holding a terrarium wrapped in tissue. The Compton High School class of 1958 voted her Outstanding Homemaker. She was that and more. A stay-at-home mom who spoiled us by cooking nearly everything from scratch, sewing clothes and costumes, and making sure we went to Disneyland regularly. My dad is wearing his trademark Pendleton jacket and smile. He was a workaholic with four used car lots. Sadly, after a long painful battle with diabetes he died seven years later at the age of 38.

My mother still lives in the ranch house I grew up in. Nothing ever tastes better to me than her home cookin’. My brother and his wife have a spread in Wrightwood with horses, pigs, ducks, geese, dogs and cats. These days they host Christmas dinner –but with a twist. The main course is homemade pizza. What would you like on your Christmas pizza?

A VERY Merry Christmas to you and yours!!