Monday, October 22, 2007

happy birthday

In a previous post I mentioned cousin Jon Loomis' new novel, and his brother Dana's move to Nevada. Well, here is a photo of us Loomis cousins, being "arranged" by our fathers for a nice photo in Grandma's Ruxton garden -- dated June 1961. Uncle Dana is clearly trying to force Jon and Sara to hold hands against their will. Young Dana is politely standing by, holding his little car. Dorothy has her squinty mad face on. And Dad is trying to keep me from escaping with a death-grip to my head. I guess the photographer gave up trying to wait for a better shot. "I'm taking the damned picture now!"

Dad's birthday is coming up on November 2nd. He would have been 78. The year before he died, he told me that he didn't care if Brud and I got married (we'd been living together for 6 years at that point) -- he just wanted more grandchildren. So for my birthday he gave me glow-in-the-dark sheets (I guess to get that baby-making action going), and a copy of Dr. Spock's Guide to Baby Care. Thanks to those sheets, Nick was born the year after Dad died, and I kept the Dr. Spock guide on my bedside table for instant consultation every time that poor child made so much as a peep. So, happy birthday, Dad, and thanks for your help in getting my family started.

Here's that favorite picture of Dad, Uncle Dana, and Aunt Esther -- brothers and sister / 3 monkeys -- circa 1989.


  1. Thanks for posting that picture. Every time I see it I miss them (all) all over again.

    Happy Birthday to Uncle El!!!! What I remember most about your dad was he was a nightshirt man and when I was little we would stay with him whenever we visited G-ma Loo. He would regularly offer to trade nightgowns with me....of course mine was always a little girl type with pink flowers or something and his was always plaid...made me laugh every time!

  2. That picture is great. I especially love the death grip on the head thing. Your recounting how your dad wanted more grandchildren and the sheets etc. made me think of how worried my mother was that the girls might choose not to have children. And how, it was being with her at the end and knowing how important family is, or, as Erin said, "Knowing the family stories had to go on being told." that gave the edge to them starting their own families. Maddy was born the following year and Harry the year after. Pretty cool.

    Today is Grandma Loo's birthday. She and Uncle El began the tradition of sharing a half orange/half chocolate cake halfway between, when he was little. I remember her chortling over it. I also remember a birthday party at some restaurant in Baltimore with such a cake when my Dana was very young. It was eons late by the time the restaurant took our order and even later when the food came and we were all keeping her occupied. Your Dad was doing things with napkins to amuse her, and getting the waiter to bring saltines. It was a riot. Actually, I think Sara was there, because she was at Goucher then. Wonder if she remembers?

    I'm with Erin, sometimes I get caught off-guard and just miss them all. Thanks Lucy.