Writing my Mother is so hard, and her letters back to me give me hope. It is strange how you can feel all grown up one minute and the next you want your Mama. Arney is wonderful, but I need her also, to many miles are between us. This is the first grandchild and great grandchild for my side of the family. I am going to LA General Hospital because they have the best doctors. My regular doctor has sent me there. But this is not a good time to be going in that direction. Roads are blocked at different places along the freeway; I didn’t go to my last appointment because of the riot, we are told to stay away from different areas…… Since there were no monitoring systems for babies in 1965, there was no way to tell how our baby was doing. The blood testing was to see if I had become toxic. If my blood was becoming bad they could take our baby because there was a threat to my life. Listening each visit for the sound I prayed for, a heartbeat. I must have seen at least 5 different Doctors, sometimes two or three would check me during one visit. Abortions were not legal unless the mother was in danger. I certainly did not want them to take my baby Everyone was on alert as the hours past. All we had to do was look out our window; we could tell that things were getting worse. The news was constant. We were all in shock; this was not in any way normal in this part of the country. We knew that in the south things were bad sometimes, but never did it dawn on us that someday we would know this kind of anger, this rage, even death on the streets.
Strange what comes to mind while I write….We had a black and white TV, I think it was a 19 inch. While so much was going on that was changing our lives in a dramatic way. This was some of the programs we watched.
Arney is a good man, and as my friend would say, a real tall drink of water. Blond, blue eyed, a young man that grew up fast. His childhood was hard; he needed life to get easier. We were strong in who we were but it was not an easy time for us; work is hard to come by. Arney is a Journeyman Cement Mason, and work is slow. It was hard for a lot of people, a generation fighting for rights, and nothing comes easy. Marching for civil rights, gatherings of all kinds for woman’s rights, drugs were flowing like water, and even our music had changed. The love songs, the fun music was changing one song at a time. We were growing up and it was no longer the life we pictured. We needed good leadership, the government was upside down. Our beloved President Kennedy had been killed. We are restless about the war in Vietnam. The draft was ever present on our minds. “Things they are changing.” So many boys and men killed in this war. The body bags were starting to be shown on the TV, and a daily count of deaths became almost too normal. In 1965 some of us were just starting to really understand, there is a war going on; we were asking questions and getting vague answers. This is not the country of my birth. Even long term friends were into drugs, Arney and I wanted no part of this drug seen, not to say that we didn’t drink because we did. As the music play songs of unrest, and the war, “when would the music stop?”
You maybe asking yourself, why would she write this for her blog? History will never tell my story of this time. It would never make the 6:00 news. You can read about how many died, why the riot started. And you may find a few names of leadership but it is not personal. There are thousands of stories that could be told about 1965 during a very hot summer in LA. I hope that after you read this it will give you a deeper understanding of me, or maybe how in the blink of an eye, your life can change and I was changed….sometimes we just need to share.
To be continued…….