I spent my childhood in the Amsterdam Houses in midtown Manhattan. We may have been low income, but we were never "poor", as we had a wonderful family and a vibrant environment in which to grow up. New York City was/is full of international experiences waiting to be shared; museums, Central Park, planetariums, jazz clubs, theaters, galleries, communities…all waiting to be explored. My father, Green (who we called Maxie), was a soda jerk and my mother, Rosalee, was a homemaker, a great seamstress, and a community activist. I have a wonderful older brother, Rodney (who we call Max), and when I was nine years old, we were joined by a younger brother, Kenneth, (who we call Ken). Education, work, and involvement in our church were fundamentals to our lives. Expectations were high and successes were earned. My God-given gifts were many, and I continue to honor this great family foundation by striving to live my life with joy, passion, and purpose.

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I start walking in a coat and bonnet that my mother made: 1949
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Our kitchen table, draped in plastic coated blossoms, is where so many of my memories were centered. Here, I celebrate my fifth birthday; 1953
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My brother Rodney (Max) and I coming from "the Avenue" in Mom-made outfits: 1952
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Left:
Mom, Rosalee, in her red and white sheer checked dress, (yes, she made it), fully decked out as she was every Sunday that I can remember. Always shoes with matching purse, gloves, jewelry, a hat, red lipstick, and a gorgeous smile. This is where my sense of style was incubated!: 1952

Below:
Mom, doing what she loved to do for her family and friends, cook. She is probably whipping up her famous waffles! Her recipe , with my tweaks, is on the next page. Waffles!
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