*alert: vampire child face, oops*
I had a good childhood, raised by a single mom with an alcoholic dad who skipped,
and three much older brothers who loved me dearly.
I am GRATEFUL because I wasn’t around JD (what they called my dad),
because he caused a lot of grief to my brothers, really, a bit nutty.
I had three amazing older brothers. Who needed a dad?
We lived in one of the last barns on
Haskell Avenue in Encino, California.
This may have made me love barns,
or maybe it was the ranch, or my DNA.
The owners converted it into a giant guest house.
I had many firsts here: first skates, first Barbie,
first Barbie’s wedding dress *swoon*,
first costume birthday party where I went as a
a girl in a bikini and hula skirt wishing she was Cleopatra.
Hollywood had a big effect on me though
I was not interested in acting.
I just wanted to marry James Bond.
My first bike was second hand, but you’d never had known it.
My mom (with the help of what brother?) took it apart,
rattle-canned it with bright red paint, and it was the prettiest thing!
I road that bike up and down the long driveway that led to the house with
Cinderella Lou-Lou Bell aka Cindy (never let the kid name the dog) next to me biting
at the tires. Mom would not let me leave the property in Los Angeles.
It was the first time I really participated in a garden, though we may have had them before. Carrots, radishes (meh), lettuce and johnny jump-ups.
We had a wonderful apricot tree that I wish was outside our door about now.
I climbed it many times, munching apricots straight off the tree.
My mom made jam.
I continued to be a brat to the babysitters I didn’t like.
One of them was George Putman’s (KTTV news anchor) daughter.
She would have makeout parties outside when she sat for me.
I finally threw such a fit that she chased me, banged into a mirror which
came crashing down and cut the tip of her toe off!
Mrs. See-You-At-Ten came to take her daughter to the hospital, someone took me to their house, and I was forced to read bible passages until my mom picked me up.
Mom was furious, at them more than at me, though she wasn’t happy with me.
I had my own first bedroom, an entire loft with great windows and views.
(I would love it today as a studio).
My mom took me to see The Haunting.
The original, terrifying movie. (See the face in the window?)
Now that seems like a stupid thing for a mom to do but you have to understand that
all summer long and not just for one summer my oldest brother Stephen and I watched horror and sci-fi movies, and yes, even ghost movies. He explained how they made Godzilla and we ate grilled cheese sandwiches and laughed at horror movies.
SHE THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE FINE.
Then she stayed because she thought there might be an explanation,
so finishing the movie might be best. It wasn’t. I never went upstairs again,
and slept on the red sofa or in my mom’s bed until we moved.
I kept seeing that damn face popping out of the stairs to the loft.
I was terrified. She thought she was the worst mom ever.
I knew there was a mad woman in the attic.
*years later I looked at the metaphor; another post*
Moleskin 8×11 watercolor journal, Pentalic HB
woodless pencil, Platinum Carbon pen,
Lamy Al-Star, De Atramentis Document ink,
and Daniel Smith, Holbein, and QoR watercolors.
©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.
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