|KHftCEA Appendix L Family Stories|
KHftCEA Appendix L Family Stories
Questions by Kirk Israel, stories by Betty Israel
> What was the context behind that "there are two adults and one child. majority rules. live like an animal or die" quote?
We took Shinola in about a year before you were born, and he was not always a very pleasant cat.... he tended to attack feet from behind doors, biting them, as anyone walked by. We were, of course, concerned, about how he would react to a baby in the house. As usual, when we talked about a potentially serious subject, your dad get a very thoughtful look on his face and said, in a totally serious voice, "Well, we do have to consider Shinola's seniority here....so the baby will have to just adapt to the cat." Later, after your birth, when people would ask us what kind of adaptations we were having to make in adjusting to the addition, your dad would respond, "No real changes at all....Kirk just has to learn it's live like an animal or die." People would really do a double take at that, although most of them knew your dad and would eventually realize he was dead-panning a comic remark.
> And what about "I don't talk to no walls"- was did in the tub? And what did you ask him to toss down, my coat?
Right. The laundry shoot ran from the first floor bathroom (which had a big old fashioned soaking bathtub which your dad loved) to the laundry area of the basement. I could see by looking up that the shoot door was open and I could hear your dad in the bathroom (although I didn't realize he was in the tub). I wanted to include your winter jacket in the laundry I was loading, so I hollared up. "Please toss down Kirk's jacket." There was along pause, no answer, so I repeated my shout. After another long pause came the immortal reply " I don't talk to no walls."
Another incident, kind of related to the "walls" one, resulted from the night you were rushed to the hospital after rolling off of our bed and cracking your forehead open on the night table. It happened about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I had brought you into bed with us (in Cleveland) for nursing, and fell back asleep with you between us. Even though you weren't crawling yet, you managed to get over me and slip from the bed, hitting the nightstand. Your wail immediately woke us both, and you already had blood all over your face. We grabbed some one piece clothing (a jump suit for you dad and a long zip up robe for me.) He dashed down Torbenson Dr. to the office of Booth hospital to get the car keys. (We didn't have an automobile assigned to us then.) And I held a compress to your head, and ran through the back yard, down the hill, and into the parking area of the hospital and met your dad there. By dawn, we were driving back home. Of course you, by then, had had x-rays and received a number of stitches to close the wound over your eye. It was really quiet in the truck. I was still pretty scared. And I finally asked your dad, "Do you blame me for this?" He answered, "It's too serious to blame anybody." After another minute I asked, "Do you think we'll be reported for child abuse or neglect?" He was silent for few minutes and then answered very seriously, " Well, if that happens and we get get visited by investigators, we have three choices. We can be calm and cooperative and simply explain what happened, we can act outraged and give them a hard time, or we can take them downstairs and show them the graves of the other three babies." At that point, I knew we'd be ok. (And there was no report made.)