This is where it all began for me… Derfus Lane. These pictures where taken, I believe, 1n 1949 during the construction. It was one of the first developments in Orangetown, located directly across from Rockland State Hospital for the criminally insane. Yep. True. A stones throw. A beautiful facility in terms of construction. Almost a small city. But I digress… anyway, here is our first home in Blauvelt, New York.
I think it was #26 but I’m not sure until I come across something with the correct address. I do have one thing that my father recorded all of our addresses (up until his death), so I will be able to verify the actual address…
Anyway, this is where I made my appearance on July 15, 1954. According to my mother, it was the hottest G-D July on record, and when she was in labor at Royal Hospital on the Grand Concourse, she understood why there were bars on the windows… (ahem….). The day of my birth there was a severe electric storm and she said she watched the strikes against the George Washington Bridge.
She was in labor for over 40 hours… and according to family lore, I expired. I had difficulty in the canal… and I expired due to whatever. Dr. Rosenstein delivered the bad news and they were preparing my mother for a Cesarean section. I couldn’t break whatever sac I was supposed to, was too far down the canal, and they could cut whatever because of whatever and I gave up. (please pardon the lack of proper terms for child birthing – but the fact is I know nothing about it. ) Hours had passed without a heartbeat, according to story, and my mother was in danger as well. She wrote a card to Thomas if anything should happen to her… (as one would expect), and my mother asked for a few minutes by herself. She took out her prayer to St. Jude, and according to her, when it came to the part *the petition*, she said she wanted this baby, she wanted to go home, and she wanted everything to be okay. And suddenly she got a kick in the ass, her water broke, and she yelled for my father to help her into the emergency room (down the hall), she got up on the table – herself – and I came out kicking and screaming. Dr. Rosenstein and staff where absolutely taken all yelling – in a very jewish accent *Its a gurl, it’s a gurl*.
My mother loved Rosenstein. He was our family physician until moving to Rockland. He had cared for both my grandparents, and everyone in the family. He was considered family. Anyway… Fast forward – when I turned 16 my mother brought me to Dr. Rosenstein so I could personally thank him for my being alive. (It was *accepted* that I just went into a very deep sleep for those many hours from exhaustion…) So there you have it. I made my appearance at 6:30 p.m. Astrology: Sun in Cancer, Mercury in Cancer, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Cancer, Part of Fortune in Cancer, South Node in Cancer. In astrological terms, I had a loaded 7th house in Water. Thank the gods, on the opposite side of my chart, I was saved by Mars on the Ascendant in Saggitarius and a cool moon in Capricorn in the first house. (but later for that).
Here is a picture of me at my Christening dinner (sp?) November 15, 1954 and on July 9, 1955 with my precious aunt – aka Julia Mary Elizabeth Agnes McCann Drewry, Julie-baby and Sister. I adored my aunt who was my very best friend for 29 years. She was simply elegant. She was beautiful in every sense and I was very lucky.
My world was complete – and I was truly a little happy child. Here is a wonderful picture of my “nucleus” family. My mother’s parents were dead, so I had the incredible good fortune of my grandmother’s sisters – Eileen and Marion (spelled with an *o*), and my great uncles to make me feel special. I am three years old in these pictures – and I so treasure these pictures because in a snapshot I see them all…
And just about this time, I was beginning to realize I had a brother too. Thomas and I were incredibly close as brother and sister go. Fought like cats and dogs… but we truly enjoyed each other. Thomas was a huge part of my life – and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. But in the early years… he was my buddy… and my champion.