Sunday, May 8, 2011

Locke and David and Barbara Josephine

This is my mother and her two brothers. My mother was Barbara Josephine. Her mother was Helen Harper.

Helen Harper was born to Josephine Frost and Horatio Harper.

They owned a large plot of land on the lake at Lake Tahoe, California, and ran Rubicon Park. Until (as legend has it) Horatio ran off with the maid and was never seen again. He took the money and search as they would it was never found either. My mother had a framed photograph of Horatio for years and years but when she died it couldn't be found. A very handsome man with a long nose and blue eyes, just like my mother.

Josephine remained at Rubicon Park and my mother (her granddaughter) spent her summers there. Tents were erected each summer with wooden plank floors and the children spent their days exploring and running free on the property. A bell would call them to dinner.

My mother's mother, Helen, was in New York, or somewhere else most of the time. She was a high-living bon vivant and my mother spent a lot of time with her grandmother.

There were strains of alcoholism and depression in the family. There was wealth.

But when my mother met my father in high school she was living again with her mother in San Marino and my father always said, "She was different."

My mother always said they were "provincial."

My Uncle David, the little one on the end, was very funny and an alcoholic. He died at 49 from complications of diabetes and alcoholism. I vaguely remember a well-dressed man making cocktails in our kitchen when I was very young.

Uncle Locke, on the left, lived a long life and was the only family member who retained property at Lake Tahoe when the big house was sold.

Bobbie Jo (no one ever called her that; but she told me that was her nickname), we miss you and your wicked ways on Mother's Day.

A drink, a cigarette, a cup of coffee, a great book, a unique and expensive piece of clothing, and a taste for big, handsome had it all!

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