I came across this 8 1/2 x 11 photo of my mother while helping her clean the house the other day.
I hope she doesn’t mind me secretly spiriting it away for use on this blog. It’s such a lovely image, she reminds me of Anna Karina or I think Anna Karina has always reminded me of my mother. No one in my family reminds me of Serge Gainsbourg, that’s probably a good thing.
Perhaps it’s the size of the photo or the starlet affectation of her pose that inspired the joke note to my father (her boyfriend at the time) written on the reverse. Or maybe every young woman that grows up within sight of the Hollywood sign harbors a secret desire to be famous.
My mother and father met when they were 13 at a birthday party my mother’s cousin invited her to on the Eastside (Boyle Heights.) My mom was from the “Westside” (Echo Park) and kids from her side of the river didn’t socialize much with those on the Eastside where my mother said the “cool kids lived.” In her eyes, they were cooler because they were a bit tougher, danced better, girls wore they hair higher/rattier and their skirts tighter.
My mother and father would meet on Broadway in Downtown in front of one of the numerous movie palaces. She said it was easy to get around in those days as they both had the red and yellow cars to transport them around the city. They dated on and off throughout their teens as is typical of young people of any generation. There are many pictures of them together but it’s rare to find any written communication, they might be hiding the letters from me. Maybe I don’t want to read them. In any case, I found this inscription very cute.