Monday, October 17, 2011


1958 Rotterdam, Netherlands - [back row] unknown Dutch neighbor girl, Mary, Roy [front row] Bianca, Donald, David

What good is a heritage project without some childhood photos ?  This was taken in our old neighborhood in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  We were always playing in the streets as there were no yards.  The neighborhood was inner city with apartment buildings.  Donald and I used to pick old chewed up gum off the sidewalks and put it in our mouths and chew it.  I remember some of the gum even had shoe tread marks from people stepping on it - yummy.  I was always very healthy throughout my life and I attributed it to this wonderfully disgusting habit - it made my immune system strong !

In this photo it looks like we wore our Sunday best because I'm holding my little purse.  It was probably taken after church Sunday school or something.  The boys shorts and sweater combo, typical for that time, and the girls' dresses all indicate dress-up time - hence Sunday.  I remember this little purse because it made me feel very grown up.  In the purse I kept a little hanky and a fake plastic lipstick tube.

This was after the war.  The two eldest, Mary and Roy, were born in Surabaya, Indonesia.  They were toddlers when our parents stepped onto the gangplank of the big boat which took them far away from Southeast Asia to Europe.  The front row kids were all born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (at home).

So whenever I see this photo I think about the little purse and the chewing gum with tread marks.

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