FROM THE DOWNHILL SLOPE

LIFE THEN

STARTING AT THE BEGINNING

I was born on March 21, 1937 at 3:49 in the morning.  I know the exact time because my mother was a great believer in Astrology; she said she studied under Evangeline Adams.  If you are going to cast a proper horoscope you need to know the exact time the person was born, including where.

I was born on the cusp—that means signs were in the process of changing.  In my case moving from Pisces the Fish, always depicted as two fish moving in opposite directions from each other, to Aries, the Ram.

My mother’s favorite story about my Astrological signs was that I had the typical Aries’ temper, but she managed to take care of that by the time I was two.  Guess that’s why I don’t believe in astrology.  That and the fact that often when we were out shopping with my mother and she met someone with a similar interest it often turned into a lengthy conversation.

One of the exercises I thought in my various classes was to show it Astrology as  the fraud I believe it to be.  I would gather my students’ birthdates and  including,  if they knew it, their time of birth.  Then I would give each of them an individualized handout under their date of birth and sign as if it had been cast for them.  But each one got a print out of my horoscope.  Most when polled said it sounded like them.  Then I asked students to read their’s aloud. By the time a third student had volunteered,  the jig was up.  Wasn’t one of my most popular sessions, but did make the point.

Anyway, I don’t think I had more than a normal child’s temper, but whatever my mother did “To take care of it” left me timorous about speaking up.  Of course, there were other factors at work, but I am sure her “Taking care” was part of the picture.

I am not so harsh on my mother as I was when I finally understood what she meant with her story of my Aries’ temper.  I have come to realize for those that believed as she did, she was in many ways like a caring therapist.  She was warm, she cared, she believed in what she said, she refused to predict the future, but often suggested ways people could stay strong, no matter what came their way. That doesn’t mean, however, I believe in astrology.

Other stories related to my birth. I was born at home and a practical nurse was in attendance.  The doctor didn’t make it until after the fact.  My umbilical cord was wrapped around my throat three times and I was blue in the face.  Peggy, the nurse saved my life.  Being blue in the face may account for some of who I became.

I was the youngest of three and the only girl.  My mother named me for herself following what was a  family tradition at least for the boys. .  Her older brother was John Martin Broomall, the Fourth.  More about that later.  Mom was Katherine Vaughan Broomall Gordy.  She was called “Kitty.”  She always wanted to be called “Vaughan” and that became my fate.  Not an easy name to introduce yourself by.  My brother John Hamilton Gordy had it a bit harder.  He was called “Hamilton” and hated it as much as I hated “Vaughan.”  He was six years my senior.  Thomas Larkin Gordy lucked out on names.  He was called “Tommy.”  He was three years older then I was and didn’t luck out when it came to school as he had major learning disabilities; learning disabilities were  well understood at that time.

Mom had a special place in her heart for her sons.  She and I had a somewhat difficult relationship.  To balance the scales I  was my father’s special love and that was part of the difficulty between Mom and I.

My father was John Denard Gordy.  He was from Maryland, but claimed to have been born in Virgina as it sounded classier.  He didn’t want to be seen as a Maryland dirt farmer which what his family was although he eventually escaped that fate.  He was at least 10 years older than Mom and seemed to have lied about that also.  He was engaged to “a red head” when my mother first laid eyes on him.  She claimed the moment she saw him, she knew they were going to be married and have three children, two boys and a girl.  Soon, after meeting, and I don’t’ know how soon, they eloped and were married in Elkton Maryland.  Dad adored Mom, she was more ambivalent, but in her way loved him also.

Enough for now.  Staying strong through journaling.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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