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2:51 am - Wednesday, May. 07, 2003
Family Values

Family Values

The above picture is the one I wanted to include in my last entry (Still trying to get the hang of scanning stuff).

I can't really tell you very much about what you're looking at, but I'll tell you what I do know...

The woman is Lydia DeHaven, my first foster mother. In the picture, I'm guessing she's around 60 years old.

The older boy is David.

As an adult, I found out David was not Mrs DeHaven's biological son, as I had imagined, but instead, the result of incest between Mr DeHaven and his daughter, I believe from a previous marriage (It's a little murky to me; All I know is that it was something pretty messed-up, and Lydia DeHaven ended up adopting David. I have no memory of Mr DeHaven, so I'm assuming he was out of the picture by the time I arrived on the scene).

I have no memories of "Sissy", the baby in the picture. I just remember that there were other children in the house who came and went, and I assume she was one of them (A rather amazing fact, when you consider we're talking about West Virginia in the early 1960's, is that Mrs DeHaven took care of black foster children. I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining this; I don't remember any older black children, but I do remember there being black babies in the house).

The cat was named "Tip", inventively enough, because the tip of its tail was white.

I don't know how old I am in the picture--I'm guessing maybe two?--but I assume the picture was taken in Martinsburg, in the house on Queen Street (I went back to Martinsburg in 1995. I hadn't been there since I was a child, and I didn't remember a thing. It could have been "Anytown USA". I found Queen Street, but if the old house was still there, I didn't recognize it).

I don't know if you can read it, but I'm identified as "Butch" in the picture; for whatever reason, I guess Mrs DeHaven started calling me "Butchie Boy" shortly after I arrived at her house, and as a result, I was "Butch" from then through at least junior high, when I became first "James" and then, finally, "Jim".

Looking at the picture, a question arises for, interestingly enough, the first time; Who's taking the picture?

I guess that's a mystery for the ages...


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