[I wrote the following entry in purple ink.]
How violent the purple color of this ink is! Rather like a shout in a quiet library. I have gone through one of my recurrent bouts of "pen fever." I have purchased two pens in the past week. About every two years or so I go on a binge buying pens. I am sure it has something to do with being relaxed and wanting to get a fresh start, so to speak. In this instance, my new pens coincide with a new research project on the 1920s electrification of household appliances.
Mother--I should now--at last--write about mother. Certainly the problems of my relationship with mother have been as great as those with father. How much my mother's penchant for framing my life in "double-bind" demands tortured me as I was growing up.
I have so little information about my mother's life. She was born in Massachusetts, but spent her childhood, and apparently much of her elementary school years in Jefferson, New Hampshire. Her father, "Cappy" as _C was known[,] was a hotel manager. Mother was born out of his second marriage. He managed a hotel north of the Presidentials in N.H., where there were many relatives on my mother's side (but whether on grandfather C_s side or grandmother C_'s side, I am not sure; I believe on grandmother C_s side.). I recall Uncle C_, my mother's brother, pointing out the houses of several of the family. I can recall mother pointing out the school to which she walked, and I can recall the small Inn in Jefferson (lowlands) intervale managed by grandfather. It was not a grand White Mountain resort hotel, but a humble inn at the intervale train station.
Mother went to Plymouth High School, where she met and dated father. Grandfather C_ purchased the Plymouth Inn (when? the late 1920s?) and the family remained there all the rest of their lives. Some of the time, the family lived in a small house ("the small house") behind the Inn, as well as also living in the Inn. Until that [the] 1960s, the Inn was reasonably prosperous, sustained by travelling salesmen and patrons who came off the passenger trains that, working their way toward Montreal, stopped only 100 yards from the Inn.
I know little about mother's youth, save for a few anecdotes she related to me. I know she was beautiful--I have seen her photographs from high school years, modelling ski clothes. She said she was popular, dating refugee Austrian ski instructors who were making Plymouth and the White Mountains a skiing center in the 1930s. [At the time of her death, I learned that she was president of her high school graduating class.] Mother taught me to ski--verbally and practicing on ski's in the house--so I skiied the Altberg (?) technique, based on "stem christies." And I never learned to ski well, though I skiied enthusiastically.
I know nothing about mother's intellectual interests in high school. Nor her hopes and dreams.
She told me once about an ugly episode in her early adolescence--she was raped, during a summer by an Inn patron who was taking her to a lake, to drop her off to go swimming. She said she was terribly frightened. She was examined by a physician--was it immediately afterward? She didn't tell her father, only grandmother [that is, her mother]. Later, she told my father about this episode and apparently it momentarily disrupted their relationship. Father was conventional young man and--so mother implied to me--was disturbed that she was not a virgin.
She was ill young--and she would be ill frequently during her life. She had tuberculosis and required a year to recover; she was a young woman at this time (after high school?). I have a vague impression she spent time in a sanitorium. Once when riding horseback with father, she fell off and broke her back, requiring 6 months convalescence.
She had some [so?] much misery, due to ill health and accidents, that I am impressed to realized that one strong memory--if not necessarily the strongest--is of her laughter: strong, loud, deep--a laughter breaking into a giggle, in fact, that I have, especially when I am high on wine or beer. I am always surprised to hear my mother's laugh coming out of me.