Monday, November 30, 2009

Francesca Riviere

"My Birth"

I was born on January 8, 1945, a few months before Harry S. Truman dropped the bombs on Japan. My father was a captain in the Army, stationed in China, at the time: Francis John Sims.
My mother, Virginia Marie Sims, had received a medical discharge from the WAVES, after she became pregnant with me, and was at the movies with my grandfather watching a Western, when she went into labor. (I have always disliked Westerns, guns, and shooting noises.)
I was born in Glendale, California, a third-generation California native.
My parents had met at Hollywood High School. When my father came home from the War, I was about one year old.
Although he had a degree in Geology, my father could not find a decent job at that time, and worked pumping gas for Standard Oil.
Things deteriorated quickly between my parents. They divorced. My mother signed up as a policewoman with the LAPD.
My own official greeting to the world occurred at church one Sunday, when I was one year old. As the priest bellowed his sermon, "And the Lord cried out..." I said, "Hi!" breaking up the congregation and the priest. From my lips to God's ears?
To this day, I still get myself into trouble, blurting things out.

-- Francesca Riviere, writer, is a proud member of "Tea and Tales," a Family Recollections and Personal History class, offered by the Programs for Older Adults, LAUSD, North Hollywood Community Adult School.

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