May 2016 08

Today is Mother’s Day. No Big Deal. I have some very vivid memories of my mother, Emma Penna Mangano, some good, and many bad, memories. I was the first born of three children. As such, I wrongly always had to yield to my younger sisters’ demands, or they might throw a tantrum—knowing that mommy dearest would let them have their way. “Joan, you’re older, you should know better. Your sister’s a baby, so give it to her!” I always had to relent.”
My ears still hear my now-deceased mother yelling at my father, so often calling him a “bald headed bastard” when they fought, which they often did. (Curse words flowed from mom's mouth all too often!) Once when dad was sitting at the dinette table mom started yelling at him. He didn't answer her so mom took a dish and flung it at dad. It missed him and flew through the dinette window out to the porch, breaking the glass of one of the casement windows. Cardboard was taped to that window frame for more than two months.
Another vivid memory is of a girlfriend and me running home after school in 1950 to watch the World Series, for my family had a 12” DuMont television that all my friends loved to sit in front of, to watch cartoons. Dad kept his word and bought a television for the family, which he promised to do if I’d bring home an A in conduct.
Back to my story---I ran in the house eager to watch the Yankees playing. I ran inside to the living room. There was baby sister Susan, less than one year old, lying in her playpen as mom and her boyfriend, Harry Handsman, were cuddling-very-close-together on the living room couch. Harry had his arm around mom, and I know I startled them when I barged into the living room. It was a warm day and the screen door was not locked—so in I went.
Oh, there are more vivid memories of those two together; they’re for another time. However, I strongly believe that Susan Penna Mangano Olmstead Esposito is my half sister.

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