In writing my memoir, I find myself with the odd sensation of living in two separate places at once; my feet planted partly in the past, while my life carries on at present. The facts are so off the charts in some respects… certainly removed from the life I have lived since then. In writing them down, it almost feels as if I made it all up!
To those who imagine that I am exaggerating the facts, I understand. I can only answer that I am not.
Most of the people described in this book are gone now. The few that still live know about the book and are OK with my doing it. On occasion, I am referring back to some who were there at the time as I write, to be sure my facts are correct. Otherwise, this book represents what I know, how I lived within that family universe and who it was that shared that space and time with me.
Writing all of it down has been a thought I’ve had for many years. I think I hesitated to do it in part, because some of the major players were still living and it would have been a difficulty to them to know my feelings. They are gone now, and so that reason is no more.
I have also hesitated because it seemed impossible to imagine anyone would come to my story without prejudice… a wealthy family is not traditionally one that gets empathy. Understandably so… This has been a large part of my hesitation to write my story at all. Somehow, the players would have been more sympathetic if they had all lived with little and suffered by their lack of material things. It is the American way, and perhaps the human condition, to think that the lack of material wealth always builds character, and that money always corrupts. I say here with confidence, that those assumptions are not always true. They are certainly not true in the case of my family. Still, the life I knew was so filled with unusual characters of all kinds, I am going to try my best to relate the facts as I know them, and to describe how it all felt to the little girl that was me.
It is my hope that those who read this memoir read it as it was written; the truthful story of a family, my family, warts and all. No more, no less.