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Childhood: Chapter 1

March 1, 2019

Usually once Marc Maron's guest talks about how they got into their line of work, he somehow wraps the conversation back around to the guest's childhood. 

 

So that's unpacking a lot. 

 

The smart interviewees start with the basics before diving headlong into the full therapy topics. 

 

My Childhood: Chapter 1

 

I'm the middle child of three, each of us about two years apart. My older sister was the smart one. My younger brother was the baby boy. I have theories about the second daughter/son followed by the highly desired son/daughter. In that parents have that second daughter/son and go, "Oh shoot. We already have one of these. We wanted one of the other ones. Can we...trade this one in, or...?" I never really felt that from my parents because I was the talented one. I started singing solos in church when I was like 3. 

 

As I've mentioned before, we were raised Mormon. (Marc often asks about that.) We went to church several times a week where we lived outside Washington DC in Arlington, Virginia. There were some government people in our ward, including Bob Bennet who was I think maybe in the Nixon administration? He was later elected senator from Utah. He was a good friend of my parents. The Mormon church in Arlington was a lot more formal than the Mormon church where we ended up in Mississippi. It was actually a really pretty little church building. Some of my mom's friends in the church were Mormon feminists. This was during the age of Sonia Johnson. Being a Mormon feminist was pretty risky business in the 70s.

 

My mom was not a feminist, but I think she could have been under different circumstances. She graduated high school in a class of 16 people in a very small town in Red River Parish, Louisiana. In order to keep her from marrying her high school boyfriend, her parents sent her to live with her cousin in Washington DC for the summer after graduation. Her cousin worked for National Geographic. My mom met my dad at a Congregational church that summer. He once took a picture of her next to the dogwood blossoms and someone at NatGeo saw it and offered my dad a job as a photographer. He turned it down because he was getting serious about my mom and didn't want to travel. I'm pretty sure my mom only got serious with my dad because she didn't want to go back to Louisiana.

 

(Which makes it all the more insane that her middle, independent, black-sheep child moved to Louisiana 52 years later.)

 

My dad was a lot older than my mom. 24 years older. By the time he met her, he was a divorced WWII vet father of two. And his girls were my mom's age. My dad's mom died of a stroke when he was in high school. My grandfather and father also died of strokes, although at more advanced ages. He was in high school ROTC then joined the army after graduation or something. I'm a little unsure on the timeline but I imagine my sister will correct me. Anyway he was a truck driver in WWII, at Normandy somewhere around D+2 because he brought in supplies to the infantry after they'd invaded. Again, a little unsure of the whole timeline. After the war he came home and got divorced. Probably from PTSD or something. He went to college at George Washington University on the GI bill and became a civil engineer. 

 

Later he married my mom and they had the three of us. Took us to lots of church. 

 

Dad worked as a highway engineer for the federal government. I want to say his office was across the street from the

 courthouse where the Watergate hearings happened. I will say with confidence that it was on the inaugural parade route because we used to watch the parades in his office building which is much less cold than being outside in Washington DC in January. I specifically remember the Carter parade because Rosalynn wore a bright green coat and the two of them walked the whole route. Back in 1977 you could do that. I was 11. 

 

We went to a public elementary school in Arlington. Walked to it. There was a four-lane boulevard we had to cross but we had a crossing guard to stop the traffic for us. My best friends were Lisa and Rachel. They were both two years younger than me - in my brother's class. Lisa was my first friend and then she introduced me to her next-door-neighbor Rachel. Then Lisa's mom and dad moved her to the Tuckahoe school district. When I was in sixth grade, my dad retired and my parents up and moved us to Mississippi. 

 

So that's Chapter 2 I guess. 

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