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Joel in 1974

Joel in 1973-1977

In the summer of '73, when we had to wait in long lines to get gasoline and when our daily radio fare was the Nixon hearings, Maureen and I headed east from Hollywood to show off our shining new baby. We were driving a dark green Rambler (had left our beloved Econoline in Gilda Haas's driveway) and we had wedged Joel's porta-crib into the back seat. And back there with him, crazily enough -- I shudder at the craziness of it! -- we had a plastic container of gasoline, because it seemed probable that we would run out somewhere along the way.

We saw Winibee and Shery in Perry, Iowa, my parents in Washington, and Joey and Mary in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and probably stopped to see Gary and Susan Goldsmith in New York before going up to Boston. Maureen took the baby to her parents' place for a few days while I spent a night or two in Dave Humsey's MIT dorm and sped down to Truro with Betsy Grady in her black 280Z. It was my first nude-beach experience.

Joel's first visit to Michigan.       Joel outside the Michigan information center right after we've crossed back from Canada. It was August 4, 1973, and Joel was nine months old.
      For most of the trip he was in the porta-crib in the back seat of our Rambler, and because of the long gas lines that summer I was carrying a plastic container of gasoline in the back seat as well. The thought of it gives me the shakes.

We spent a night in Belchertown with our Fountain avenue buddy Gerry Desrosiers, and then crossed New York and a bit of Canada to Michigan. We stopped in Minnetonka to introduce Joel to our friends Butch and Elaine Beaty and in Cheyenne to see Julie and Alan and then continued down through Utah and back to 5744 Fountain Avenue, LA.

      Sometime in the spring of '74. Joel is playing on the sidewalk on Fountain Avenue in front of our courtyard one-bedroom, and he looks very tired.
      My little boy. I want to lift him up right now into my arms. That is what happens to you when you become a parent. You are changed forever, and your babies remain babies to you forever, even when they have become big, even when they have become adults.
Joel in spring 1974 outside 5744 Fountain Avenue.

A year later we came to Iowa. When Jim Williams moved out of the other half of the house we were renting at 808 Davenport Street, Melanie Cleveland, who was just breaking up with her husband, moved in with her daughter Pieta. Pieta was half a year younger than Joel, and the two of them grew up together for several years like brother and sister.

Here are the two of them reading together -- February 7, 1976, when Joel was three and Pieta two and a half.

      Of course I took hundreds of photos of Joel when he was little. But I have only a few of them with me. This one happened to be in a file box because it was screwed up by the photo lab -- jarred out of focus -- so I never put it in an album. Even with PhotoShop I can't bring it back into focus completely!
      This was at a campground in Mississippi where Maureen and I went with Joel for a couple of days at spring break, 1977, when she was teaching dance at Louisiana State University. And this is just one sad, tired, frustrated moment -- all the other photos (the ones in my albums back in Iowa) show a much happier little boy.
      But still, as with the other photo above, I feel like taking him in my arms and comforting him.

Joel at a Mississippi state park where we camped out for a night or two at spring break, 1977.

[Nota bene: This page, like all the others in this site, is in progress. Please let me know if you find anything false, misleading, offensive, or intrusive to your privacy. It's hard to maintain privacy on the internet! Let me know too if there's a photo or something in the text that should be removed or something that should be added. I have not set up this site primarily for my own sake but for my family and friends -- and I welcome all corrections, additions, and suggestions about how to improve it!]

Home page
      Joel in 1973-1977
      Joel in 1981-1982
      Joel in 1984
      Joel in 1985-1986
      Joel and Tommy in Canadian Rockies
      Highschool graduation
      Joel and Unity in Yosemite
      Joel at Rocky Ridge, 1995
      Joel at Año Nuevo, 1995
      Joel's Michigan graduation

Copyright 1999 T. N. R. Rogers. All rights reserved. Last revised 9 jun 99.