Excerpt from Part One: A Box of Letters – Page 25

Love, Bill: Finding My Father through Letters from World War II by Jan Krulick-Belin

Excerpt from Part One: A Box of Letters – Page 25:

Van Nuys, California
July 2001

“What are you finding up there?” I asked as I held the stepladder
steady.

My husband, Jim, was balancing on the top step while reaching
into the back of the hallway closet in my mother’s Los Angeles apartment.
It was very hot, and the small air-conditioning unit in the living
room was barely keeping the temperature tolerable. We had been
cleaning out closets for several hours. Today was just one of the many
days on which we would be emptying Mom’s apartment in preparation
for her move into an assisted-living facility near Alan in Orlando,
Florida.

Mom had finally moved from New York to southern California in
1978, after the persistent urging of two of her sisters who had lived
there since the 1950s. They had first tried luring her out there two
years after Dad’s death by treating us all to a summer in sunny Los
Angeles. It certainly seemed like a good plan to try to win us three kids
over with daily doses of swimming pools and visits to Disneyland,
Knott’s Berry Farm, and drive-in movies. I was particularly fascinated
with the built-in sprinkler system in my aunt and uncle’s front yard,
which I was allowed to turn on with a big silver key. And I had never
seen anything as magical as the multicolored lights that illuminated
the sparkly stucco facades of all of the apartment buildings throughout
the San Fernando Valley each night. It seemed like Christmas
every evening in California. But Mom couldn’t bear to tear herself
away from New York just yet, so in early September, just in time to go
back to school, my brothers and I reluctantly returned home with a
true understanding of Los Angeles’s nickname—The City of Broken
Dreams.

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