My dad told me the story about this picture and I thought it would be a good first story. My dad was the youngest of three boys. Their mother died when they were young; my dad was only three when she passed away. They fiercely guarded their dog, Fiske, so when he and his two brothers were posing for the picture, they all wanted Fiske, to be with them. At first they all placed their hands on Fiske's head. My dad's older brothers crowded him out and would not let him keep his hands on Fiske's head. He refused to smile for the picture. He said he was too angry with his brothers.
Mediterranean Sandy Kingdom
It was 1963 – summertime. The sparkling shores were tucked away in a sandy kingdom by the sea. There, scattered among rows of palm trees, rested the remnants of the Roman empire. We knew the landscape by heart, each steep and rocky cliff, calling for us to explore, although we were merely small girls. We buried our secrets there. We cast our dreams into the rippling waves of the Mediterranean. Ah, our tiny kingdom, tucked away from the cares of the world, hiding atop Africa. The news of the far country came only once a day, after dinnertime. White picket fences guarded by rose bushes, stood watch over the inhabitants of the small houses that lined the streets. Tripoli was an enchanted land for two unlikely explorers. Beyond our little world, things were changing and our ever-shifting sandcastles with towers and fortresses tumbled piece by piece into the sea each evening.
Home for Christmas
Most of my friends thought I was an only child. I wasn't an only child, so I fiercely defended my status of "Little Sister". My oldest brother left home before I was born and my other brother left home when I was about six. They were my childhood heroes; invincible, handsome, and without fault. When they visited or sent recordings, it was always a joyous occasion. I remember shortly after we moved to Tehran, my father bought a new reel to reel tape recorder. He recorded his massive collection of record albums onto tape. One collection included all of his Christmas albums. One song, by Elvis Presley, invariably brought my mother to tears. The song, "I'll Be Home For Christmas", permeated the house and highlighted the fact that my brothers could not be with our little remnant of the family for Christmas. They were across the world in Korea and Germany. After a few tearful episodes, my dad erased the portion of the tape, leaving a gap. That little gap of tape often seemed as significant as the miles that separated us.