Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Animal Shows with Doris

I remember acting not so responsibly one day when my friend and I stripped all the oranges off the orange trees in our yard. We walked all around the neighborhood selling oranges and then we split the profits 50/50. Mother was furious. How could we sell her oranges and my friend get half the money?

This friend, Doris, was always coming up with some childlike ways to make money. We had a large front porch across the front of our house. We would sell tickets to our neighbors for 5 cents and we'd put on a skating show or a play or sing and dance. They must have liked it. They always came. One time Daddy set up the old tent Grandpa had given us on the front lawn and Doris sat inside reading palms and telling fortunes for a price. We had animal shows with our dogs, cats and farm animals. Sometimes we'd get other kids in the neighborhood like the Zovacks next door to join in our performances, but no one was a ham like Doris, who peed her pants every time she laughed too hard, and we did a lot of hard laughing. A strange thing about Doris, she was gang raped when she was 16 and then married one gang member who tried to stop it. Doris was illegitimate and raised by her old grandparents. Her mother was a prostitute and would sometimes come around. I remember she had pretty red hair and lots of jewelry, and she took us out to eat in a bar sometimes.

I have met many of mom's friends, but I never knew Doris. Even though her childhood situation was a sad one, Doris sounds like she was lots of fun. I'm proud of mom for being her friend and I know she must have been very supportive when Doris was raped. I hope Doris' life turned out well.
Above is a photograph of mom in her roller skates around 1940. She loved to roller skate and even knew how to skate backwards.

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