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Harold and Betty

Elsie and Logan Carl and Agnes Hall Christmas  Easter

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A Family History

The Costa Mesa Years

274E. 19th Street
 
 
 
We had joy we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song
Like the seasons have all gone
     
  Everyone reaches a certain point in their life when they begin to think about their legacy, what they will leave behind when they’re gone. Some will leave a mark on history forever, but most of us will have been known to only a few and will be forgotten entirely in a few generations.

While I accept that I am destined for oblivion, that no one will ever see my name and face in history books or Halls of Fame, I do think that an individual’s family history is a slice of life worthy of preservation. Ancient civilizations revered their ancestry and preserved it in stories passed on to the next generation.

Thinking about this, I decided that my legacy would be a family history and a family photo album, focusing on the Hall and Lindley family trees. Facing reality, I realized I don't have the sources or skills to uncover an entire family tree working on my own. This history doesn't cover much ground, sadly, because I don't have contact with the family these days and have mostly my memories to go on. If anyone visiting this site gets as much pleasure from viewing it as I am getting creating it, that is enough.

I was apprehensive about my ability to put all these memories onto paper, so to speak, but once I began typing the words flowed like magic. Perhaps Betty has been guiding me through this. I like to think so.

Keep in mind that I am not a professional writer or even a particularly good one. There’s going to be grammatical errors, punctuation errors and some odd sentence structure. Most of the photos used from Harold's family albums are in bad shape: faded and blurry. I spent many hours fixing them up as best I could. He rarely put names or dates under the photos. A whole collection of photo albums that were passed to another family member got destroyed in a flood after spending a couple decades in storage. I so wish I had access to those lost images!

There are obvious gaps in timelines and I was not able to pinpoint the exact date of certain events, but overall I feel I have created a reasonably accurate account.

As I said, this is not a complete history of the Hall family tree; the narrative focuses on my immediate family, grandparents and other close family members and branches out only briefly in areas beyond that. Most of the history comes from the combined memories of Patti and me.

The story begins with Harold and Betty Hall and a brief account of their childhood, with more extensive coverage of their married years. There’s a section devoted to your maternal great-grandmother, who was an important part of my earliest years.

Before I go into the family history, I want to say that I loved my parents very much, and they did the best they were able to raise Patti and I during tough times. There were circumstances and events that deeply affected the quality of their parenting, and this may have led to the some of the parenting problems that my siblings and I experienced raising our own children.

Regarding my own parenting skills, it’s easy to see, looking back, what I could have done different to be a better mother: I should have had therapy and parenting classes those first years of marriage and motherhood. I should have had better self esteem and more self confidence. I should have waited a few years to get married, gained some life experience and maturity first. I shouldn’t have been so self-absorbed. I shouldn’t have let people talk me into trying pot that first time. Lots of should haves and shouldn’t haves. Hindsight is always so 20/20, isn’t it?

But we can’t go back and change a thing, no matter how much we would like to; it is what it is. Maybe I will do better in the next life. Just know I loved you both very much and I tried to be a good mother to you.

I apologize to anyone who might find some parts of the story disturbing or even offensive. Just remember my goal is to depict situations honestly, as I remember them.

As you read you will no doubt notice that most of my childhood tales involve some kind of shenanigan or mishap. That’s because I was a feisty, sometimes reckless child who wasn’t afraid to try anything, and if the opportunity arose, I usually did. I was also rebellious by nature. Oh, I didn’t talk back to my parents or argue with them, I just broke the rules whenever their backs were turned. The title “A Tom Sawyer Childhood” is a perfect choice, trust me.

 My place in the family history begins in southern California, where our family lived until I was six years old. I spent the rest of my childhood, along with my sister Patty, on the Colorado River just below Lake Havasu, in the two river resorts our parents developed and owned during our youth.

It was an idyllic childhood in many ways, truly rivaling the tales of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; a childhood full of joy and imagination and nature and unexpected adventures. And plenty of mischief. But it had some very serious shortcomings, too. Those I would come to realize many years later, as an adult.
That’s a story for another section of this site.

NOTE: This project was abandoned in 2009 and resurrected in 2018. I hope to have it finished by the end of the year. I signed up for Ancestry.com and I am learning to create a family tree. This means I will be adding people to the site over the next few months. Stay tuned.

 
     
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