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World Wide

Posted By Alex Belth On May 21, 2008 @ 8:44 am In Bronx Banter,Childhood,Memoir,The Old Man | Comments Disabled

During and immediately after the War there was precious little work to be found in Belgium, so my mother’s father, a man’s man in the Ted Williams mold (although far more reserved), who had a considerable amount of wanderlust, moved his young family to the Congo, where my ma lived from the time she was three (1947) until she was a teenager.  I learned about my father’s family, from Russia and Poland respectively, mostly through the oral tradition, endless stories, and even some writings.  But I learned about my mother’s family chiefly through photographs and 8 mm home movies, a) because of the language barrier (they speak broken English, I speak broken French), and b) because they took an extraordinary amount of pictures.  You can imagine how exotic it was to me as a kid to see photographs of my mom in Africa.  "You grew up there and you wound up in the suburbs?" I used to kid her when I was a wise-ass teenager.  

As it turns out, my mom and dad met in Addis Ababa, of all places.  1966.  My father was there working as a production manager on a National Geographic Special on Africa.  My mother was there with a group of friends, making a short documentary for graduate school about their trip from Northern Africa down to Ethipia. 

Dig this.  Which one you think is Ma Dooke?

[1]

And here’s the old man, in full Elliott Gould mode:

[2] 

So, where did your folks meet?


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[1] Image: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/bronxbanter_img/u/bronxbanter/2008/521/0001/untitled-905-16-2008_1080.jpg

[2] Image: http://static.baseballtoaster.com/blogs/u/bronxbanter/2008/521/0002/Rockstardad_1080.jpg

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