Blog

Mar 10

Family tree

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“Like all children, Cheri knew only what the grown-ups told her. When she was old enough to understand that everyone had grandparents, she asked where hers were. When “gone” wasn’t the right answer on the family tree Cheri made in second grade, a note from her teacher shamed her mother into further explanation: Belle and Bernard Matzner had died in a car wreck before Cheri was born, and the D’Ameris, back in Italy, had gone to a “better place,” save for Mama’s sister Alida, who ran off and married Christ.”
Happy Family Part III, different people die

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Mar 9

Family you want to get rid of

470px-Cleaver_family_Leave_it_to_Beaver_1960 © 1960 ABC Television.

“In his fantasy, Sol has a family like the Cleavers – people who resolve disagreements with handshakes and promises they keep. Family members who swoop in bearing starchy foods and know better than to ask you every two seconds how you’re doing. The family you want to get rid of until you’re alone and realize how much better you felt when they were around.”
Happy Family Part I, the baby

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Mar 8

Stacey Walthers

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Pablo Picasso
IMAGE: Artfinder / © Musee d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Liege, Belgium / Bridgeman Art Library / Succession

“She’d always been jealous of kids with big families, like her neighbor Stacey Walthers. Stacey had relatives at every end of the globe. Her house was always brimming with cousins, brothers, and Rottweilers. Cheri’s lack of extended family was another thing that set her apart from most of her friends, along with the fact that she didn't look anything like either her mother or her father.”
Happy Family Part III, different people die

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Mar 7

Buy me a child

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“When it was apparent that Cheri had talent, Gusmanov came up with the idea of having her don the green Girl Scout uniform because he knew Cici couldn’t say no to sashes, pins, and an American Institution. It was the perfect cover for him to take her to shooting lessons at the 4-H and, later, to state junior riflery competitions.” Happy Family Part III, different people die

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Mar 1

Guns and Girl Scouts

80920459_o By Joanbanjo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Do any of these girls have a sardonic sense of humor that would remotely resemble her own? Or will it be a repeat of the Sesame Street “one of these things is not like the other” dilemma she experienced with Cici and Sol? Was it so wrong to want to see herself in her child? To want her child to have the automatic sense of belonging that Cheri never felt? She’d like to be able to say that having a child is more important that having a child of her own. But maybe she’s not that good of a person.”
Happy Family Part II, somewhere in the middle

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Nov 13

Who knew what?

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“You need a flow chart in my family to know who knew what about whom at any given point. Moments of emotional honesty are few and far between.” Cheri Matzner
Happy Family Part IV, what’s left

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Nov 13

Perspective

© Sammy Slabbinck 2013

“Sometimes you have to go to the least likely place in order to find what you’re looking for,’ Marlene says, “especially perspective.” Happy Family Part IV, what’s left

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