Thursday, July 23, 2015

BILLIE JOHNSON MCCANDLESS AS THE PERFECT SUBURBAN MOM

pages 94-95  Excerpt from THE WILD TRUTH by Carine McCandless.

 (Carine attempts to be fair knowing that her parents are not monsters.)*

"Our mom was many people rolled into one.  She was the soccer mom who brought oranges to all of Chris's games and the epitome of organization who headed up his Indian Guide and my Girl Scout meetings.  She made us elaborate and beautiful Halloween costumes and helped us put the finishing touches on every school project with her artistic talents.  We learned how to drive a stick shift under the safety and guidance of her even teaching temperament.  And she had a sense of humor, dressing Chris, Shannon and Quinn(The later two being children born by Marcia and Walt.*) up like chauffeurs whenever we went to pick my dad up from the airport after a business trip... in the Cadillac, of course.

And dad wasn't just volatile.  He also took us to Europe and delighted in watching us experience different cultures and strange gourmet foods, sometimes ordering for us in the local language so we wouldn't be dissuaded from trying something we would normally think was gross.  Sometimes when Chris and I built forts in the family room, Dad played guitar and sang his silly songs in front of the fireplace and pretended we were camping... (The family also went camping and on hikes.*)  He could speak  for hours about the wonders of space exploration and had fascinating accompanying visuals, blueprints of his designs and three dimensional models of his image-capturing radar systems that now floated about the atmosphere... What I remember most is how I started hiding when he returned home, instead of running for him.

*Notes and commentary by Missy

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