“Tall…Dark…and Handsome, DADDY”

If  and…   or even   if  ‘you’… just happen to be  are the first child in the FAMILY – – count yourself especially blessed – – since you receive so much attention.  This is a real learning ‘HOW’ and also a  first class ‘HANDS-ON’   stress related situation – – that as a  newly married couple – – you received no instructions – – on what this  real “LIVE-DOLL”  – – that speaks in cries – – never seems to be filled with the baby food – – and only sleeps for vary long periods of time – – when traveling long distances – – Missouri to Ohio and back.

“What a wonderful child  this is and  she was especially selected for you… if  necessary… read the BIBLE, Psalm 139.

It would not do any good…  NOW… but – –  if you look at DADDY’s right hand – – he either was born smoking – –  or he has large amounts of money invested in the  “CAMEL” cigarette company?

Here we are… in Circleville, OHIO – – – at “Grand-Mother McClarren”  house – – every SPRING and FALL – – just like clock-work – – my DADDY would drive  all of us – – and I’ll bet at least at  “100 miles an hour” – –  at night – – no traffic – – and we  “babies”  would  all sleep – – that is until the  automobile would stop.

“WOW” – – My MOTHER  had told me that  – – as long as the motor was running – – I would be sound asleep – – but from time to time they had to make stops for gas  and food – – and … whatever – –  then…  I would let the ‘whole wide world’  know… that my sleep was being disturbed – – and if…  there is to be  ‘PEACE in the WORLD’ – – get that  “motor running’ and…  NOW!

It is funny… when you stop to think back – – some of the silly things you remember – – but when I  put two and two together – – I have a radio in my bedroom – – and when I want to sleep – – there is a station I turn on – –  I start to listen and want to hear every word – – but since I have it turned so low – – that it must be the same as that automobile motor running – – at just the right decibel that puts me to sleep – – just as the traveling in the automobile did so many years ago.

Some of the silly things that can come to mind – – when it is a day to remember your  DAD – – and also…  for your MOTHER – – and even when it comes  TIME to remember  the members in the FAMILY their extra special days…  like their ‘BIRTHDAYS’  – – just  any and so many  other occasions – – I think I shall chalk this ‘all’   up to… “Keeping the BRAIN YOUNG AGAIN” – – If one does not keep the  old “BODY” active – –  you ‘can be’  rolled around here and there – – but…  without ‘the marbles’  running around in the…  “Old  noggin” – – you will end up…  just sitting around… like “Yesterday’s Old News!”

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“MOM is HERE and There – HOT WEATHER or COLD”

How’s this…  for the “HOT” weather – – 

“Talk about your “COLD” weather… we kids can take it – – but for “MOM”  – – she was anemic… so pale  and weak with very little red blood – – really needed  some real good health care – – and a lot fewer worries.

In the beginning… we were a very happy FAMILY. We had everything  – – my MOTHER provided for us… for as long as she could – – but lots of money going for everything and my Father not working… there does come a time for drastic changes.

My best memories were of us three children together always – – and MOM right there with us.  MOM loved to read to us – – and when she would read stories to us… she would change her voice to sound like a small child, if a child in the story was speaking – – and then for a woman or a man – – whatever the story called for – – she would put so much into the story  with tones  of  her voice – – I was just mesmerize… just listening. We could just sit on the sofa and listen for hours – – and of course she like to sing and we would all sing to some of the songs on the radio.

As the eldest child – – I sure did learn lots about having FUN as a FAMILY – – I was learning everything and  all this  good stuff  before…  KINDERGARTEN time – –  – – that I would need to know – – for the day when I would have my  very own children – –  and especially  for the day that the Grand-Children would arrive on the scene – – and do all the same  reading and playing  and more singing – – that I remember as a small child at HOME with My MOM!  

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Every one has a PHOTO of someone  – – or maybe even of their own self – – at a special time – – or event – – that the LOOK – the DRESS – – or maybe even the occasion –  is just exactly the only way – – our brain… remembers – – when we say that “PERSON’s NAME!” 

Tom's WD 001

****** Click on PHOTO to enlarge – for clarification ******

Left to Right…DENNY Jr. – his wife JUDY McClarren – Aunt IRENE RILEY – her younger sister MARIE McClarren – and her son, TOM McClarren – – and this is at a wedding reception for TOM  – – and I am guessing his wife and new Bride, ROSE is taking this PHOTO.

At the time of this “wedding” – – I was living in Florida – – so…  I was lucky to receive some PHOTOS – – and this one is a favorite of mine – – in that the suit that my MOTHER is wearing … is one that I always thought she looked so cute and since she was so small – – It is really remarkable – – that she had such tall children.

Tom was the tallest of us, children – – as he was “six foot” when he was in eight grade – – and later grew another couple of inches – – DENNY… was close to “six foot”  –  and  –  –  I was “five foot six and a half inches” – – and to be tall – – sure does help – – at least I always thought so – – could always get that which I would be reaching for.

When  ever… I am  just thinking about my MOTHER… and even when I might be talking to someone about her… I am mentally  seeing “MOM” dressed – – just as you see her in this PHOTO  – – – this suit was made just right for MOM!

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“ME at 8:20 A.M. on MONDAY – Ready for Work”

When… “You”  enter this world at  8:30 A.M. and on a MONDAY  morning… You  are ready…  for the WORK PLACE – – You will always know “how” to be on time – – as… that is what  most employers LOVE – – their workers to 9-13-37 001be wide eyed   with  lots of  “get up and go” – – as the “work”  needs to be done NOW!

All the places where I worked – – were well pleased to have me working for them  – – as I was  one of those types that  like order and  for me  – – to be  put here on earth at the precise time – – where most people start their day’s work – – well… everything worked out just A-OKAY for me. – Does this almost  faded  out  PHOTO of me, as a new born baby  – – give the   impression  – – that the bright  CAMERA Flashlight  kind of woke me up?

How’s this PHOTO  of    “ME” sitting on these steps where we were living? The legs  at the top of these steps… belong to my MOTHER. In those daysME on steps 001 – – most  Mothers’ to be soon – – did not like  to be PHOTOGRAPH – – and this was the case here. I am a couple of months older  – that is just past the one year mark – – as my younger brother, DENNY Jr., will be born in JANUARY.

As the first child in our FAMILY – I was on the go – – go here to see this relative and visit these FRIENDS – and whenever my PARENTS  had to be some where – – well I did get to go – – and the way that –  –  I am  sitting on these steps – – just looks like I am ready to “GO”  – – and right NOW!   Sure am glad that I did receive all the good care as a baby – – as that is what it takes… to keep you “going” … when you get  – to be  “gray and old!”

This  is another of my favorite PHOTOS – when I was small – – that…  old rocking chair was the best place to be ME rocking 001– – especially when someone was taking care of  me –  – that was one thing that I really did like – and that was to rock and rock. When my younger brother, DENNY Jr., got to be old enough – – then this chair was DENNY’s as you will see him in this very same chair – – guess that I must have really broke it in – just right. -Each time that my MOTHER had to go to the hospital  – – for another baby – – they   (my parents) had to bribe me with something – –   guess that  – – I did not like to be left with other people – – –  will have to tell you those stories again, later.

Denny 75 001

One more FAVORITE PHOTO – – this is when DENNY Jr., was a brand new baby – – and I was so on the job – – checking out everything –  – I had dolls and they did not talk and they did not need my MOTHER to take care of – – but NOW this is a NEW BABY in our house and – this is all NEW stuff to me – – FRIENDS and RELATIVES to see – and make over the new baby – and like this PHOTO – – well that was something I knew about – – and I did like to be getting all this extra attention –  – –  and you can see – I am paying attention – – just making sure that everything is done right – – and all from my “ROCKING CHAIR” – – which someday soon will belong to DENNY Jr.,  – as he will enjoy as much as I do!



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To “Graduate” from the eighth grade – – was a terrific day for me!  “Graduation DAY” was the secimg028ond  SUNDAY of the month of JUNE – -and this year  1952 – –  that would be the eighth day  – – the second Sunday… and I could finally leave – –  did not have to spend one extra day in a place that –  I did not like and prayed to be able to leave  – – for all the seven years that I was there.

By saying novenas and every special prayer – – that I was informed – – that this PRAYER – will get the results you want – – and never ever was going to happen – – because … what I did not know – – is that  Catholic Charities was collecting my Falter’s pension – – to pay for us  – – collected through the Court system in Saint Louis. In fact  – – they kept collecting my portion of his pension for over a year – – after I left and was living at home with my MOTHER. I have the papers from the Court – – and they never  reimbursed my MOTHER – – for those funds – – that is called CHARITY.img064This PHOTO of my PARENTS with my  younger brothers, TOMMY on the left and DENNY is between DAD and MOM. This was in the Fall – – getting colder – – nothing like having a PHOTO of the front of the building – – and before the changes were made to the entrance area.1st communion 001Do we look like “ANGELS” – we just made our FIRST COMMUNION – – and had to have our pictures taken. We are eight and seven and six years old – and  all in “WHITE” could have passed for “SAINTS” that day!

Only if…  you  are old enough – – will you remember that  –  – that there was a “FAD” going on – – that ofPoodle skirt 001 having a “POODLE SKIRT” – – and here I am. My Mother knew … that I would like one…so she bought me this skirt and brought it  with her on this “VISITING SUNDAY” and of course my Aunt IRENE made the blouse,  that I have on – – to go with this “POODLE SKIRT”  – so I feel good for this day – – but  – – had to turn these new clothes in – – and they were not suitable for everyday wear – – so I did not get to wear them any more – – where they went – probably to GERMANY – – as there wee NUNS in GERMANY  – and lots of clothing went there – – WWII left lots of people there in need – – and this order of NUNS came from GERMANY.  In fact…  there were  kids who could speak German – and it was taught  in the ORPHANAGE  – – before I came to this home.

Something different… in the boys’ wear – is the “KNICKER BI took this 001OCKERS” that my brothers are wearing – never saw these until coming to this  ORPHANAGE – – and – –  as there were lots of donations  – – of used clothing – and  – in those days – – well…  who would see you and who cares – at least you have something on.

In this  PHOTO with my PARENTS – – looks like  DENNY is still a little taller than TOMMY – – but by the TIME…  that TOMMY  was in eighth grade  – when  DENNY and I had already left – – TOMMY shot up to be  a “six-footer”  in the eighth grade – his legs were too long for the little “class room desk” – – I have something from way back  in those days – – TOMMY’s comment – do not remember how he described his discomfort – – but he is NOW the tallest of the three of us kids.

I say us… “KIDS” because – after a certain age… I think that “KIRK DOUGLAS” said at age “70” – – you start all over  – – it is like being in “FIRST GRADE”  again – – it’s FUN  — for the rest of your YEARS  – here!









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“We are 6 – 7- and 8 and BABY make FOUR!”


When you are in need of some temporary help – Mom & all 4 001– be careful of  “who” you are seeking help… from. The “HELP” you think will be short term – – will not be short term – – it will be the complete disruption of the FAMILY for LIFE!

These PHOTOS are of my younger brothers, DENNY Jr., and TOMMY and this first  one  is with  our MOTHER, and she is holding our new baby sister, EVE KAREN born February 16th, 1946 – – and we are standing on the side yard of the GERMAN ST. VINCENT ORPHAN HOME – – this is a “Visiting SUNDAY” – – and visit’s are from one in the afternoon till  five o’clock.

This next PHOTO includes my brothers and sister – – me of course – Baby Karen 001 –   but… with our FATHER – – and he is holding our baby sister – – and our MOM is taking this PHOTO.

We came to this “ORPHAN” home after having  – – first going to the “HOME” of St.MARY’s in South St.LOUIS and for girls only – – then checking out “ST. JOSEPH” home for boys only – – but …  our AUNT IRENE  – heard of this ST. Vincent’s – – that did take boys and girls. So for $10.00 for each child and for each week  – -this is where we went – – and only for six months.

Once we were here… there was no changing – more is written in other places – – and  what most people HOPE for – is that this generation will be able to stand up and make a LIFE for their selves – if only you believe that  – –  that your CREATOR is watching over you each and every day. As you can see we were not “ORPHANS” – -but were treated as if…

The next two PHOTOS are of us three  – – DENNY Jr., TOMMY and MARY ELLEN  – and of course…  on another “VISITING SUNDAY” – – when we were first in this  – – – A Sunday Visit 001home – there was only one VISITING DAY a month – – and just so you know – – when our parents were here for the very  few hours – – that we could enjoy just being together – – we were so HAPPY – -but when “FIVE O’CLOCK” came – – it was like having to go back to HELL!  All  – – that I could do was to cry – – and when it was “TEN minutes after SEVEN” we were headed off to the third floor dormitory – – and all I could do  – – was to cry my self to sleep –

Not all the children in this “ORPHAN HOME” would even have visits – they had FAMILY – – but no one came to see them – -I just do not know img027how some FAMILIES – – who have children – – do not ever care to see their very own children.


This PHOTO shows the play ground – and you see very few parents here to visit their very own little child. How you think that – – those children – who never ever get a “VISIT” feel – – and the problems that will develop – – later on in their lives???

This last photo is of our MOTHER  – TOMMimg096Y and DENNY Jr., and I am taking this PHOTO. If you look into the back ground – –  – that is our DADDY standing on the Pavilion – – and just above and behind DENNY  and TOMMY – – wish that there were more light – – so DADDY could be seen better – – but this is just one of those extras – – that you get by being “LUCKY”  – since we were having so much FUN – – taking PHOTOS – – of which I am so Grateful and Thankful – – that I was the oldest and allowed to  use DADDY’s camera. 

PHOTOS – – the one thing if ever there is one thing to tell everyone – – is that if…  at all possible – take PHOTOS – – especially of your FAMILY and FRIENDS – – whenever you get together – – – you may look at these PHOTOS and think that they do not look good enough to keep – – but – – no matter what they look like – – there is a “MEMORY” in this photo – – and a  “hundred years”  from NOW – – when you are  “old and gray”  – – you will just LOVE to sit back and remember…  all that  this PHOTO is recalling for you – things you have forgotten – and even some things you just never ever gave a second thought – but –  on this  day – -you will feel so good – – with your MEMORIES!


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