It is said we become who reared us and taught us from birth how to learn to love and not just to survive.
Our mother was born into a political and art-oriented family. Her father ran for City Controller of East Chicago however came against strong opposition during his campaign. A mob would burn down the newspaper office which supported his run and he would later succumb to death under a doctor’s care in the hospital from an injection into his heart. This is according to our late mother’s account of the history her father had in being very outspoken against the mafia’s established politicians and his stance against the gambling and strip clubs of the time. His wife would later continue where her father left off on petitioning for a more equitable healthcare process while raising our mother as a young child of eight.
Before Chicago they had lived in Florida where J.K. (her father) established a bank and owned real estate near Orlando but later to lose it all during the Great Depression.
Our one uncle, David R., whom we would travel many times to New York City was a Set Designer for the Metropolitan Opera. He found his passion as a young man building doll houses for his sister which led him to his career transforming the world stages for some of the best known operas including Madame Butterfly and countless others.
Our other uncle, Jerome R., would work with former Vice President Dan Quayle while he was an unknown Indiana Senator. Jerome would author legislation to promote safety in student transportation for our public schools. He was an advocate for seat belts in all buses at the time.
Our late father was a veteran of the Korean War; or as he commonly said ‘the frozen chosen.’ He loved the Korean ladies but hated the Kimchi. He would later back in the States meet my mother at a Catholic dance after her arrival back from a trip to Mexico. She used to go there with her fellow teachers. She had taught school in Chicago then later in Venice, CA.
Our father would later become a police officer but would leave not too long after the passing of his best friend and colleague whom had taken his shift the night I was being born as he rushed to Daniel Freeman Hospital…