That’s my dog, Bruiser, over there, back in about 1970, when we lived on Kinsman.
In the four-and-a-half years I lived in Texas, we were always moving, it seemed, and lived on a bunch of different streets: Windemere, Cavalier, Gregdale (just a very short time – the house was owned by the trucking company my step-dad had been hired by and he didn’t last long on that job… or any other), – Beaumont Highway, Ticonderoga, Kinsman, and Edgehill. I never really knew for sure why we kept moving, but I could guess. Harry, my step-dad, seemed to always be changing jobs. I suspected we moved on because Harry and Mom got behind on the rent.
I had moved to Texas in June, 1967. I had been living with my grandparents for five years.
Two years earlier – 1965 – I had spent the summer in Texas with Mom and her new husband, Harry, but went back to Nebraska at the end of the summer. I was 13 that year. I guess I had a bit of an “attitude.”
We lived in two different places that summer, both of them apartments in shabby buildings near downtown Houston.
My little sister went to visit in 1966. It was supposed to be just for the summer like I had done, but she stayed in Texas. I don’t remember why it was she stayed after her summer there, when I had gone home after mine. I suppose I probably could have if I wanted to, but, I had an “attitude” and just wanted to go back home.
In 1967, the Armour plant where my grandfather worked was closing down. The jobs were being moved to Iowa. My grandparents decided they were going to sell the house and go to Iowa so that Grandpa would be able to keep his retirement. They also decided it was time for me to go live with my Mom in Texas. I was 15.
Before I got to Texas, Mom and Harry had gotten me a dog, Bruiser.
I didn’t even have a choice about that.