"Peanut" Grows Up.

At our front door, 2828 Bangs Ave., Neptune in our Sunday best in 1956. Dan (15 1/2), Joyce (10 1/2), Naomi (6 months).

In our back yard, in 1959. Dan, Joyce, Naomi, Dad and "Ginger".

In our back yard, also in 1959. Joyce, Naomi, and Mom.

Amid autumn leaves in 1959. Dan, Joyce, Naomi, Mom and Grandmom.

Naomi in the same autum setting.

Joyce and Naomi on a warm winter day in January 1960, at the Long Branch boardwalk.

In our back yard, in 1961. Dad in his birthday present from Dan, a fishing boat, with Naomi and her friend Patti Killian, in our back yard. The greenhouse was Dad's design and built by him and Dan.

Naomi and Dad, visiting Dan and "Farfel" in Collingswood NJ in 1968, not long after Mom passed away.

Naomi in 1968, taken to the summer theatre by Dan.

At Bangs Ave. in July 1969. Darlene, Joyce, Dan, Naomi, Dad.

In Dad's living room, Christmas 1974 (Dad's last). Naomi, Ruth and Dad.

The Tanner-Sauer wedding. February 5, 1977. Ruth (7 months pregnant with Mathilda), Dan (Stand-in for Dad), Naomi, Larry, Dick, Joyce (Matron of Honor), Darlene (Junior Bridesmaid).

Memories of Naomi

Naomi was only two and a half years old when I joined the Navy. So, besides my first memories of her as a baby (she struck me as too red and wrinkled), my other early impression was my shock when I returned home on my first leave to greet a three year old who was shy of me.

Joyce and I babysat Naomi. Once, she would not stop her crying. She did not want a bottle, she was dry, and we could not entertain her. Finally, we called the grandmotherly lady who lived across the street for help. She came over, held Naomi, and Naomi immediately stopped crying. It turned out that Naomi just wanted to be held.

Once, I came home on leave during Halloween. Naomi was dressed as a bunny. I took her down to Asbury Park to pick up a suit that had been altered where I bought it. I parked across the street, in a lot behind a bar. On the way out, I pushed Naomi in the front door of the bar and told her to say “Trick or treat” to the bar patrons, take whatever they gave her, and meet me at the back door. She came out with over $10 (a lot back then). I bought her a candy bar and pocketed the rest!

Once, when she was in kindergarten, Naomi learned “I’m a little teapot”. I taught her to put both hands on her hips, pause, and say “Oh, shit! I’m a sugar bowl.”

It was a real trip for me when Naomi was in third grade and I was, of all things, her Sunday school teacher. I insisted that our parents buy her a little hat to wear to church. She looked really cute in it.

But the truly greatest memory I have of Naomi in third grade was the note her teacher, Mrs. Leatherman, sent home. It said that in 35 years of teaching, Naomi was the best-behaved child she had ever worked with. That note made the whole family proud!

I remember buying Naomi a pair of shocking pink “hot pants” when she was a twirler in high school. They were in the mode at the time.

Naomi met Larry in high school. In those days, kids were “into” customizing vans. They would take out the back seats, put a shag rug onto the floor, cut in a shaped window that they would curtain over, and install a bunk and a sound system. It was Larry’s, and Naomi worked on the van with him lovingly. Even Dad was impressed, and stood much in admiration of it. One evening, Dad was watching a PBS broadcast about kids and their custom vans. The narrator said that vans were like the rumble seats of yesteryear. Dad suddenly sat bolt upright and exclaimed, “Don’t you go into that van!” to Naomi.

When Ruth was 7 months pregnant, I met Naomi for lunch. A secretary at my office later asked me who was the attractive young strawberry blond I was seen with. I told her that the woman was my sister. The secretary seemed skeptical. That afternoon, a woman from my office called Ruth at home (who knew I was meeting Naomi for lunch that day) to reveal my “infidelity”.

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