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Chapter One

ccYou should have been the boy and he should have been the girl!! Now

this statement seems To Micky looking back after all these years,Is what gave birth to her being the being the Black Sheep of the family.

Micky didn’t want to go back to the old homestead with gran being gone. Seeing her younger brother Seth and even younger sister Angie again after all these years made her sick to her stomach.

Micky was the oldest and for 6 whole years she was the only child in her family, the only girl grandchild in her dad family. Her mother’s family didn’t have another grandchild for another nine months. So Micky was put on a pedestal by both sides of the family or that is how she felt.

Seth was borne six years later. For Micky it wasn’t so exciting the world still whirled around her. Micky could barely remember Seth the first few years. Laying in the playpen with a bottle was about the only memory she had of Seth in the house.While she remembered that they lived in the house next door to gran. She just knew she was the center of the world. And life during those early years were happy years for Micky. With grandparents and aunts and uncles, cousins being together the holidays were also very happy back then.

The neighborhood was a older neighborhood were the parents and grandparents grew up and had close relationships with all the neighbors and people around town. It was a good place to grow up in for Micky at least.

Things started going south for Micky when Micky was 16years old and Seth was 10 years old, That was when Angie was borne. Micky remembers how her mother was sick after having Angie. Even being sick they moved to Whittier California leaving the grandparents behind. Micky helped take care of angie alittle but she was in High School.. And Micky loved California were she had always wanted to return to,e ven with the hard times there. For her it was the best times.So again through her eyes it was not a bad time. So when did go to her being the odd man out. For years she tried to ignore it and take the verbal stabs and snubs and it all came back from her immediate family

Chapter 2

Before going on into town Micky stopped at a café to get something to eat and put off getting to the house as long as she could. Knowing it was not going to be a pretty scene for sure. The café had been there for years and over years Micky had come here to drink coffee and think and just get away from all the crap around her. And today was no different except she was dragging her feet in going to the crap she knew she would face. As she set drinking her coffee she continued to think of the past.

For years Micky told everyone she grew up thinking life was suppose to be like Leave it to Beaver, or Father’s Knows Best or even like Andy Griffiths show. And Seth wanted to know what world she lived in. As if it was a big joke. Of course, her marriage was more like a soap opera thank God that is over now.

So many thoughts from the past, everything that made her who she was or actually wasn’t She came to the realization that her family was just a normal Fifty’s dysfunctional family like most families of this time. Families with grandparents, father and mother with two kids all living together in one house. Having meals together, kids seen but not heard because kids were kids and that was that

The first time the Micky heard that she should have been the boy she was 12 and Seth was 6.Micky couldn’t remember what action made her parents or grandparents say this. They just did. And they said it a lot over the years. It wasn't said in a mean way, in fact it was thought to be funny. Who knew it was taken to heart by two kids and would effect thier view of each other as adults. Even though Seth said he didn’t remember it being said. But, he denied having a typical family so what did he know

Micky realized thinking back to that statement that was probably when she branded the Black Sheep of the family, also. Of course, she heard later on that she got all the bad traits of both sides of the family.But, was it the first statement or both that made her who she was inside and who they weren’t and could never be that made her the Black Sheep

As Micky pulled up to grans house she felt like she was coming home like so many times before. Little had changed in the old nieghborhood as for as looks. Of course, most of the old families were long gone. Because, like her the kids in each family headed out as far as they could get from Vandalia Indiana. And few came back to stay. Parked next to the side of the house it still looked the same as it always had when she came back from where ever life had taken her.

Micky could still see the cherry trees that use to be in the back yard. Close to the two car garage gramps built with the two seater outhouse close to the alley. Thank fully, gran planted honeysuckle plants around the outhouse. The smell would have been bad during the summer heat. Actually, everyone had inside plumbing but some kept the old out houses so when the kids were out playing they didn’t have to keep running in out of the house.

Every house in the neighborhood had some kind of fruit tree and vegetable garden in their yards.

As she pulled into the neighborhood Micky noticed that the old neighborhood store a block from the house was closed and the one on teh next block was closed too. How many times did she go to the store for gran or with her and charge food and whatever else they needed and then paid for it at the beginning of the month.

The other neighorhood store was w all the kid favorite store because on the way to the neighorhood grade school they would stop for candy. This store had thebest selection of penny candy. Micky remember when the owner use to sit outside on Sunday and wave and talk to everyone. Actually, the nieghorhood was like an extended family.

as she drove past the houses she could still give name each family that had lived and grown up there. Throubross store,Biddles, Huges, Old lady Jones, Guesses, Rindingers and ,the trueblood store, conners, pinkston, Ms conners daughter. And on and on.Now she couldn’t even tell who had the houses now except for her grans.

Micky realized there was a lot of family history Seth was to little to remember and Angie wasn’t even born yet to come close to remember. Was that the time that shaped her into the Black sheep or strong person she was.

Not wanting to go into the house and face everyone yet, Micky continued to sit in the car and look out at the house and old neighborhood. Thinking back as far as she could remember or at least things that made an impression to her.

Tthe past floating through her mind like a patch work quilt. She could see herself at 3yrs taking a nap on her grandparents bed in the back bedroom with her head laying on the window sill and as she remember seeing her aunt Carrie and uncle Tom bringing home her new born cousin clara.Micky might have been only three ,but that was a important day and that memory has floated through her mind many times over the years.

A patch floats by with a snapshot of the family around the christmas tree in this very house and Clara must of been around two with mother Aunt Carrie being dead 18 months already. That was the year that Uncle Tom gave Micky and thier other cousin Romie thier cinderalla watches from Clara.That watch was still in Micky's jewrlry box only with out a band..Family altogether like every Holiday.

There is patch floating around were Micky was little and she was at a hospital looking at a baby in a incubetor and then a woman in a bed with tubes in her.She could see someone holding her hand and holding the hand of some other little kid going up the stairs leading to the hospital or that what she always thought it was. She has never been sure weather that was clara and her mom or it was clara and then later her own mom in the hospital and her own mother was never able to help her figure this memory out. But, it wasn’t a scary memory so it wasn’t to tormantic

There is a patch showing a little girl standing by a fence and a little boy standing on the other side. She remembers being told years later this little boy would have her put her arm through the fence then he would bite her arm. He did this whenever he got the chance she didnt remember this part only the little boy standing on the other side of the fence.

Then there is a patch where she is riding in a black car it was some kind of ford and she is standing (yes) standing between a really young grandmother and grandfather don't have a memorie of where they had been going or coming from but a small memorie of grocey store flits around.

These memories are memories Seth or Angie wouldn’t have. And to hear them tell it they had no memories from that young . And actually tried to make her feel guilty for having memories of family that was there. But, she actually felt happy to have these memeories

Chapter 3

Seth came out on the front porch hollering for Micky to get out of the car and come into the house. what was wrong with you or you drunk or something? She Hollered back ,”She’d come in when she was ready”. There it was again, they were always thinking the worse no matter weather they knew they were wrong or what. Well she wasn’t going to jump just because they said to. They were lucky she was back and was going to be in the same room with them

She could see that even though most of the old families were gone and some of the homes had little changes it still looked like the same neighborhood she had lived in for so long. There just didn’t seem to be as many kids as there was while she was growing up. Of course the neighborhood elementary school wasn’t around anymore and everyone had to be bused to some other place. She was glad that happened way after her time.

Gowning up here the kids spent most of their time outside and didn’t matter what the weather was. This part of town was closer to being country than city. They still didn’t have sidewalks.

Looking at grans house Micky remebered the story of how the house was built by grandpa while they lived in a four room shotgun house. Then he added the two car garage with his work bench. She could see him out there piddling around. She

Loved to play with all the things on that work bench.The house next door was built by clara’s dad with grandpa helping, So those two houses held a lot of memories. But, only one was still owned by the family

Micky remembered her Aunt carrie standing at the back door of her house and she was little maybe 2 or 3 she must have been outside with someone and she had a red coat and matching hat on. And she walking to her aunt.

Micky always thought it was funny that these little memories are all she had of the very very early years you would think there would have been more. She didn’t have any memories of her dad’s family even though they were around she assumed. Not until she was around 5 or 6. But the feeling of love and being safe during that time has always stayed with here.

Grans church was a couple of blocks over. Her and the ladies in the neighborhood organized the church and got it built when they moved into the neighborhoods. There pictures of grans and mom at women’s clubs and church dinners and choirs and amongs all those ladie there was Micky. She really didn’t remember that except for the pictures and of course the stories that went with it. She always thought it was a little odd there were no other kids in the pictures. But eventually she was really happy during these years and again felt safe.

Micky shook her head, all she could could get on those early early years was her life was not that eventual. And as for as she could see everything sort of whirled around her which was normal to her.

Micky could see Angie opening the back door coming to get her. So she started the car and pulled away from the yard before Angie could get close and yell for her to come in. Angie just stood there looking at her driving away.

Chapter 4

Micky decided she just wanted to drive around the old nieghborood and see if there very many changes. She knew there were some new families but still she wondered if it would feel like home. Seth never left Haute so everything seemed like it was the same as the changes came about slowly for him. Heck, even Angie doesn’t recognize the big changes she is nearly 16years younger than Micky

Grans house was on the corner of 19th and pan ave . As Micky was coming down oak ave and turned on 19th st. the houses all looked the same except whoever had Biddles house ,sure wasn’t taking care of the house and yard like the orginal owners . That made micky a little sad she had always loved that house. She always like the idea of a picture window in the bathroom. Funny thing she never remembered seeing it but everyone said it was there.

Micky continued to drive around the nieghborhood. Some of the orginal people were still in their homes or their kids and taken over the homes

As Micky drove around she could see all the places that had meant so much to her as she grew up..

As she drove back to grans she pulled up in the back by the garage. Her memories were coming a little faster and she was old enough to take part in the activities of the family. Now her mom and dad had to their own homes during the early years and Micky could remember those. But after Seth was born she remembered they all lived with gran and gramps more than not. Which most of the time she didn’t mind at all.

But first, they lived in the house next door to grands. Now Micky did remember her bedroom and how her dad’s sister brought her that neat kitchen set and the dish cabinet had a light in it. Everytime her dad’s sister and family came down they brought her something. Her dad’s sister (amy) didn’t have any daughters only two boys and they were 8 years older than Micky in fact her dad’s brother John had two boys close to amy’s boys age and then John had a boy rob who was mickys age Of course the older boys never had time for Micky as she was younger and of course a girl.

She did remember a family get together that was at her Uncle John’s the only thing about that time she remember being in the back yard.and the youngest boy being around. And smoke coming from the barbucue. Funny the things you remember

Her mom had decided she should take Accordion lessons because her cousin romie her mother’s other sister’s daughter who was 11months younger than her, they were both borned in March. So they took lessons together. Micky could see herself sitting in the kitchen with the accordion sitting on her lap pouting because she didn’t want to practice But doesn’t remember going to the acutal lessons.

Mom always told the story how Micky wouldn’t practice but would go to the saturday lessons and play whatever piece they were playing just like she had practice all week.

But since she wouldn’t practice she stopped the lesson. Micky never could figure out why mom told that story for. But, that was proabley why Micky didn’t remember the actual lessons.

Micky did have a memory of Seth being in the house but it was just the one memory and no others came to her ever. He was laying in a playpen and Peter the Parakeet was resting on the top of the playpen side. She was sitting in a little rocking chair wathing the little black and white tv. It was a Mickey Mouse cartoon and Mickey mouse was a stick figure. She had a doll that Dad’s sister had brought her and she was rocking it.There are no other memories of Seth in that house but he must have been there.But even at that time there are very few memories of him.

Chapter 5

Micky’s memory slid to a home in California again there was no memorie of Seth there. But, he proably wasn’t born yet as she didn’t remember going to school during that time. She had memories of playing with some kids close by as the apartments were connected by carports. So proabley looked like motels or something. One big memory stands out was on a Halloween and her mom and proabley some neighbor or friend took all the kids trick or treeating and she came home with grocery bag full of candy and mom put most of it up.

She also remember being at uncle John’s house because they had moved to california before we had, As Uncle John was older than dad. Micky did remember trips to the beach with them and the time mom was wading In the surf and a jelly fish wrapped around her ankles and stung her.

All these times were normal to her and made her feel that she was loved and safe during those days.

She did remember a time she was in the car with Aunt chris , Uncle John’s wife and her mom. She was in the back seat with her cousin rob and there were no seat belts in those days. Rob wore glasses but he didn’t want to so as they were going down the freeway he through those glasses right the window. She remembered Aunt chris tried to stop and get them but it was to late.

She thought Aunt Chris was cool because when she spent the night Aunt chris would fix chocolate malts for breakfast . And her mom woulld never do that, what she found out later was Rob wouldn’t eat eggs or anything for breakfast so Aunt Chris made chocolate malts with eggs in them. Now that wouldn’t get by the kids now adays. But it was neat at the time.

She did remember playing out in the yard with rob in a sand box he threw sand on her she threw it in back got it in his eyes and got in trouble or it might been a neighbor kid and they both got in trouble.

The one thing at that time she didn’t remember was his brothers because they were holder thant them.

Chapter 6

Micky shook her head and looked out at both the houses. When Seth was borned they must have been living next door but she spent the night at grans and it was a Sunday morning and it was actually Easter Sunday. because she remembered granps talking on the phone and turning to her and gran saying that dad had just called and said we had a jackrabbit and he’s okay

So Micky did have a memorie of being in school living that house that uncle Tom had built. It had to be first grade as Maple Ave school didn’t have a kindergarden at the time. She remembered how little jimmy had been picking on her at school as he had a crush on her. And Big Jim made little jimmy come over and apolize. Then she had a crush on Big Jim as he looked like a big Lumber Jack to her and always did from that time forward. She had vague memorys coming home from school then.

But, the next year they were back in california. For the middle of second grade and all of third year. She had quite a few memories of that. They moved into a home about three blocks from school. Her mom didn’t work and was a housewife as were most of the ladies around. That was were she met her friend rosie and there was a brother jo who was a little older than seth.So both boys were never on radar her and rosie.

Micky remember coming home from school for lunch and while she ate lunch she watched Howdey Doody time. She remember the school had a cafateria but the kids that lived close went home. She remember the day she came home and had a paper marked with her last name misspeled and her dad set her down at the little table in her room a keep rewriting her last name until she could spell it. She forgot that again.

She learned to roller skate with the old key skates. And since roller derby was a big deal at that time. She learned to skate fast but it took a while to learn how to slow down and stop. Even learning to ride a bike(a bike so big she couldn’t sit on the seat) but she learn to ride it, but the only way to stop was to run into a tree. I guess that was something in her that she did all her life. Go for it and stop anyway she could.Alway fearless.

She remebered when her and Rosie were arguing and thier parents separated them and said they couldn’t play together. They would drag their little table and chairs out and sit on either side of the chain link and had all their papers and books then they played school thinking they out smarted their parents.Of course the parents knew what they were doing. Except she got heat stroke and had to stay out of the sun for a few weeks.

The only thing Micky could think of when she thought of Seth during that time was he had a tractor riding toy and every picture from that time he had wet pants on because he wouldn’t take the time to go to the bathroom.

And everytime he did something he would tell mom seth did it. Of course Micky would laugh thinking it was funny and of course when she did something she said Seth did it. Until hegot older and knew what was going on.

Micky remember they had a little dog named King. And from what her dad and mom said he was a smart dog. They told how dad slept days as he worked nights and one day King and Seth went into the beroom and dad’s feet were sticking out and Seth and King each bit a big toe. Now that would have been something to see.

Micky remebered the christmas tree but not the actual christmas. But, her dad did most of the decorating as after the lights were on and all the ornaments and garland was on he put on a very thin veil of angel hair and since it was itchy he wouldn’t let mom or any of us touch it but it was really beautiful and it was set in front of the picture window and people would drive by looking at it.

There it was again a normal loving family safe and nothing different .Surely something here showed she was different.

She remembered that there was a teenager that lived next door on the other side. She didn’t remember her name but she wore those shirts they called poodle skirts as there was a big poodle on the front. Micky thought maybe she babysit for her and seth some time. But she also remembered on the porch playing records. And how her mom didn’t really like Elvis presley.

Two doors down was a boy and again she use to know his name but years have pasted. But he was in her class at school and he had and older sibling micky didn’t remember if it was q sister or brother . She did remember he had been sick and his mother had her and rosie come in and they had a old player piano so she put in some the player rolls in and played music. They all thought that was really great.

As Micky was thinking back on those family times she also remembered the Mexican girl across the street her name was Isabell and she a a couple of siblings older and younger. And they had a big birthday party and everyone was invited and they had the pinata. The kids really liked that. They all went to the park swimming pool to learn how to swim. Theyhad to walk over the walk overpass that was over the freeway from behind Isabells house. And Mom let Micky walk alone with the kids to the swimming pool.Mom always never seemed to be afraid to let her do anything. Mick y wondered why she herself was so tight with her on kids more times than not.

Micky remembered how everyone loved her dad and mom. Even Rosies grandpa loved dad and kept telling her dad he should be like Micky’s dad. Of course rosie’s grandda had cancer in his mouth that was sad.

One of the funniest things that she remember was the day every one heard this big bang and something fell from the sky. So everyone ran out and everyone was trying to find out what happened. And dad decided to tease this elderly gentleman that lived on the street. So dad told him it was a Spudnik that feel. The old gentleman went around telling everone. Until the news came on and told everyone a small private plane and crashed intoa building. That was a joke in the neighborhood for ever.

Micky started to remember when they moved from that house to another house. They didn’t live there very long she didn’t even start school there that year. She remembered the house had a garden and barbucue grill in the back and there were snells all over. But, she remembered they went back to Haute to visit grans then dad left and came back with all our things and we didn’t go back to Californa

She found out later there was some issue her mom and dad were having issues that after coming back to haute things seemed to work out. And it really didn’t touch her. Except she did remember having mom sit down by her and said something about dad wasn’t going back or something about staying but I was little an getting back to grans being surrounded with the family and friends in the neighborhood. She didn’t pay any attention to the adults . Micky thought this much have around the time mom and gran and granpa told her and everyone that dad was going to be working in Chicago. And maybe he was suppose to come home on weekends. Funny Micky didn’t remember missing dad being around. She did remember around that time just before school started Dad’s dad and wife came down and bought school cloths. And Micky really didn’t remember when dad was around all the time again. So Micky still had her veiw of a great happy family because adults didn’t share the issues with them and life to her was all happy and safe.

Chapter 7

Sitting there Micky decided she had to go pee so she could either go in the house and face everyone or go elsewhere. Just as she was trying to make up her mind.Seth came out and banged on the car window. When are you going to come in he asked her with that snippet smartassed attitude like he was better her. Which quickly made up her mind. So Micky started the car and told Seth she’d be in when felt like it. But now she had something else to do. Micky pulled out and headed for the filling station to use their bathroom and get a coke.

Driving away from the house she really wanted to go back and just smack Seth in the mouth but decide it wouldn’t do anygood.

Micky drove back through the old neighborhood. Around the creek remembering how she had played with the kids around the creek. So she pulled over she knew they wouldn’t see her down here. Looking around she saw only two homes that had the same familes init. Then one on the corner had the familie that Seth ran around with and then when Angie got old enough she ran around with their younger sisters. Micky had very little to do with them in the early years.

But there were others that were her age and she ran around with.them. Of couse, there homes that had people her grans age and Micky was the only one of the them that even remembered them.

Micky decided that they stayed at grans house until she got to 7th grade. So this block of time was proabley was were most of personality was formed or so it looks.

Micky decided before going around the old neighborhood she would take a little drive around the old town that had old memories attached. She decided to go to aunt DeeDee’s and Uncle Doyle’s old place. Those three blocks was like a little area all its on when they were little. On weekends Mom and Dad would be there with friends of all of them and there was drinking music etc. The kids all played outside and never bothered the adults. So if there was arguing or hard feelngs during those times the kids didn’t know it.

Her aunt DeeDee worked and so did her Uncle. He worked nights. So when she spent the night he wasn’t there. She remember one of the breakfasts aunt deedee fixed was the fried glazed donunts and chocolate milk. That was still one of her favoirte snacks. Her uncle worked at the Bordens milk mtg. She always thought was neat too.

Micky always admired her aunt she seemed to have it all together. Aunt DeeDee didn’t have anyother kids than Romie.

Micky pulled over looking over the two blocks were Aunt DeeDee had lived,Now all the houses were gone what a waste that was. She wondered were the families were that Romie and she played with were. She knew Romie would know were some of them were.

The one family she remember was were one of Romie hung around with a lot. And Micky thought her name was bonnie and she had a sister in her early twentys. She remember when they went over to play Bonnies dad would but on a record of Nate King Cole singing Rambling Rose. And then he wanted her to sit on his lap. She didn’t he tried anything but he always made her feel uncomfortable. And She tried not to go m there after that.

She remember that one weekend they got the news that Bonnies older sister had been in a car werck and died. She didn’t remember going to Bonnies to much after that.

Of course, the kids next to Bonnie went to school with romie to. And they had to cross a four lane Highway to and from. There was a girl nancy who was Romie’s age then a little boy and girl in back across the alley. And school Nancy sister and the little boy were hit by a car the little girl died and thee little boy was hurt. That affected everyone. And that is when they built the over pass over the road for the kids. But now that the neighborhood is gone and the school gone they tore the over pass down too.

Thinking back though she always felt like the odd man out. Somewhere she saw they had their own home and her and her parents lived with grans ,and gramps

But she never let on how she felt. Even down deep she did feel that even then. But, at that time they still spent a lot of time together. As families do.

Micky remembered when Romie had to spent a year in a body cast from her waist down her one leg and foot. Aunt DeeDee had to take a year off work. Micky knew now it had to be a hard time for Aunt DeeDee and of course Romie. Then she had the year on crutches with her leg in sling. But it did come out in the end.

She remember the syrain grocery store on the corner where they took their pop bottles in to get their pennies for returning them. The sons of the owner set on the back porch and mean little kids would make from of them. Would regret that years later. But of course that store was long gone too. One thing Micky remembered walking down to that store through the alley there all these sunflowers growning and they fansnated her.

The only thing left from that time was empty loads and the big cementary. What a waste.

Micky looked down a few blocks and realized the little drug store building was still there and across the street the building were Saps Bakery use to was there.But both were empty and look like they werefalling about. She remembered how her and Romie and her friends would come to the drug store and get chocolate malts with barbucue chips. Sure didn’t sound good now. But the also got nickel chocolate cokes or cherry cokes. Everyone went to Saps Bakery for baked goods. To bad that was gone too. Micky liked those times they were nice.

Micky drove on and past a laundry mat next her old junior high school. And it was still there. She remembered how she broke her tail bone there. It had been snowing and aunt deedee had brought her and romie with her to do some laundry. Outside there were to big propane tanks so they decided to climb on them and slide off of them. When she slide off the tank her feet went out from under her and she fell on her but so hard she broke her tail bone. She still suffered from pain from that if she sat to long. That was a long weekend were she could barely walk.

She decided to head back to the house even though she didn’t want to but everyone was there. As she headed back to the house she saw what gran use to call the chickent store. She remember how her and gran would go there get fresh chickens and eggs. She always thought it was a shame when the placed closed down. The building has changed hands many times since then now it was empty again.

As Micky coninued down Pan ave, she still got that at home feeling even though it just didn’t look taken care of like it use to. She saw the house that grans church use house the minister and his family when the church was still there. She wondered who had it how or if it was still part of the church. Across the street is were grans sister’s son use to live. Boy place had gone down nobody could live in it the way it is now.

As she got closer to the house she saw the old IGA store she remembered when they tore the brick store down and built the bigger one. It had been there since before she was borned. Then they put the small fire station next to it. She liked the fireman they were always nice to the neighborhood. Kids.

She decided to park down the street from grans house and get her bearings befor e going into the house without mom and gran being there.Even though it has been a while since they have been gone.

Actually looking down the street at grans house she could see where she had played and grew up. Since there was no sidewalks her and all the niehborhood kids played kickball using each corner of the street as bases. Especially when it got dark and the street lights came on.

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