Friday, October 16, 2009

3rd Culture Kid







The Beginning of Being a 3rd Culture Kid.
1960 Mom and Me in London

I was such a little thing when I went to England with my Mother to live. My step-father was in the Airforce and was stationed 1 hour outside London. Mom always dressed so nice. We were exhausted after a day of walking across Hyde Park. She was very pretty. Lovely blond hair and she kept her self so well and me too as you see. I was a bit of a mess. But mother had every hair in place and her makeup was always perfect. She taught me to spend the whole day getting ready for a party at night. Nails, hair, clothes.

There is a sadness in her face. She had Bi Polar and lost her beloved Mother when she was 18 and a new mother with me.
At 2 she went into a deppression and manic state from her grief. Leaving me with my Grandparents. And later being taken to the State Hospital for a year. When she remarried my step father and I was 6 years old she wanted to take me with her. It took 4 years of court battles to get custody of me. Another leaving those I loved happened.

This photo was about 9 months after I came to live with her. I remember England being such a shock. Mini dress girls on bikes, foggy weather. Men in tight pants with gold strips in them. And most of all a very strange Santa Claus! (Father Christmas) And yet I got the most amazing education. Visiting great Manor houses and art museums. Experiencing a new culture and learning history on the land we came from. We lived in a little house in Ipswich a Tudor town. The house was fully furnished with English Country style. A little old lady rented it too us. Feather Beds and coal stoves. The milk man, bread man, flower man came to the door. And little English children sang on your doorstep at Christmas to get large English penny's to give to the poor. Chintz curtains and mothers smooth romantic Frank Sinatra music crooning out of her record player. Beautiful English Gardens with fountains and Gnomes in people personal yards. And finally a real Welsh teacher who made us learn poetry and paint. He was so sever and yet I got an amazing education out of him...the Head Master!

England caused my little artist heart to sing...all the BEAUTY!
Mother and I in 1962. Mom had made for herself the most beautiful wool suits and dresses. She had sweaters knitted for us out of English wool. I loved my shoes. The Mods called the very pointed shoes Periwinkles. I had a white leather coat too. I was heading in the Mod fashion way. The rockers wore black leather. I was a real piece of work when I arrived in Cocoa Beach Florida in 1964 a Surfer town with ratted hair, a pink mohair bushy sweater and my pointed shoes and white leather jacket. They couldn't wait to get rid of my hairspray, give me straight bands and all one length hair..no layers. It was hard moving about showing up out of fashion where every I went. Learning a new culture. But I got to go to Dances where young men in bands played music just like the Beatles and could have been famous for all I knew because it was just the start of the movement.

1960's England Mods and Rockers

Whilst Mods were part of the 60s fashion revolution, Rockers were left out of it. Their liking for the purity of 50s style Rock music and a rebellious look from a decade ago meant they were outcasts.

Mods and Rockers did not get on. Rockers thought Mods were effeminate, stuck-up or snobbish. It was a common jibe that they "couldn't tell the birds from the blokes". Mods thought Rockers were old-fashioned, dirty, greasy and uncouth. However, there was not an all out war between the two tribes.







2 comments:

lk moonwood said...

Wow! Look at that hair! (My mom made me get the pixie cut - I did not love it at the time!) It's interesting that in the picture where you are younger you can see so much more of YOU, especially in the eyes.

Dayna Collins said...

I loved reading of your time in England and seeing photos of you and your Mom (or would it be Mum?).