Posts Tagged ‘Eveyln Duke’

The Dukes’ European Vacation

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

IMGmy family in the south of france

My mother showed up on the playground at school to deliver some of the best news in all of my ten years.   We would be visiting my dad, her ex-husband, and we’d be traveling as a family on a six -week, four-country tour of Europe.

Her enthusiasm was infectious and I was jumping up and down for joy. Or, was I just relieved that my brother and I wouldn’t have to attend the dreaded summer school we were registered for? I kept jumping.

Enter an up-until-then-offstage character: Granny. Before this moment in time, I have no recollection of my mother’s mother, Granny. Suddenly, she was needed for some long overdue babysitting — only this would be for our three cats. I would understand when I became an adult the need to drop off my animals at my own mother’s house when I went off to Europe, but that isn’t part of this story.

My mother went straight to the fabric store and set to work sewing our summer European wardrobe.   She made two stunning chocolate brown lace dresses lined in silk of the same color. One for her, one for me.   A white eyelet dress for me. A few other matching dresses for both of us. A gold brocade jacket for herself.   Evelyn Duke, more excited than I had ever witnessed her, meticulously packed us up for the adventure of our – and especially her — lifetime. I had been missing my dad and it was the most devastating loss of my then short life. He went off to London to produce a play. I’d stare longingly at his framed photo over my bed in our ghetto apartment on Olympic in Beverly Hills. The slums. I stared into his dancing green eyes and cried. Finally, I would be reunited with the love of my life. (more…)