Despite being the eldest child, and although from time to time I was assigned responsibility for my (3 years) younger sister Carla and my (six years) younger brother Peter while my parents were away from the house, I had zero authority in the family, and my siblings knew it and abused it. One day at lunchtime I decided to assert myself for the education and health of my siblings. I even hoped that they would enjoy what I prepared for their lunch. Instead of peanut butter and jelly or bologna sandwiches and a can of Campbell's soup for their lunch, I prepared them a healthy, generous platter of fruit artfully arranged on a bed of lettuce. My mother did not typically stock fresh fruit other than apples, oranges, and bananas, but she had many kinds of commercially canned fruit on her shelves, peaches, pineapple, pear, plums, and fruit cocktail. For our lunch I loaded up a huge holiday platter with assorted fruit, I dolloped small mounds of cottage cheese here and there as was done in the 1960s, and I set my creation on the lunch table.
I had found the idea for a fruit platter in one of my mother's women's magazines, and although I knew that fruit platters had never before been served to my siblings, I hoped that the juicy fruits laden with vitamins would convince my siblings to enjoy their lunch, or at least not to complain too much. No such luck, my siblings were incensed at the idea of piles of fruit for lunch. It was as if I had served them dog food. They could not possibly eat such strange food. They would have nothing to do with the fruit, and they pretended to have great difficulty in preparing themselves the sandwiches that they preferred. They complained bitterly to my mother when she got home. She seemed amused at the uproar, and I do not know what happened to that huge fruit platter, but I enjoyed my portion. It was tasty, seemed healthy.
Interestingly, when my siblings grew up they broadened their diet to include a daily assortment of fresh fruit. I started them off in the right direction.
Caption: Daily Fruit Radiant With Taste And Vitamins
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2014
Caption: Annmarie Throckmorton-age 14 in 1963
My expression is that of a hapless cat whose tail is stepped on by every passerby.
I am sorry to see myself so unhappy.
I am also sorry to see the ugly hair perm my mother so often subjected me to.
I did not want the perm, it burned my scalp,
and others mocked me because it made me look an old lady.
I am thin and little because I did not get enough food.
Caption: Carla Throckmorton-approximate age 11.
Caption: Peter Throckmorton-approximate age 8.