Camera Familia #8 — John Dyer Writes

Hawaii. February, 1956. Mom, Dad and I traveled to Manila by ourselves, leaving my brother Mike and newly-minted stepsister Carolyn behind to finish their respective school years. We rode Lockheed Constellation aircraft most of the way. During one leg of the trip, we flew into enough turbulence to empty out all the overhead storage compartments. We were over the ocean, a long way from land. It scared everyone onboard.

In San Francisco, we toured a cannery where I consumed fresh-caught tuna on a saltine cracker. It was a taste sensation, burning the moment into a memory I can access even to this day. In Hawaii. Mom and I posed for a photo with our local guide, who I didn’t recognize until recalling how sweet she was.

That was sixty-six years ago. I was six years old. The memories are spotty. Thank goodness for photographs.

If you would like to receive notifications of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #7 — John Dyer Writes

Flintstone, Georgia. January, 1956. Wedding day on Mountain View Circle, across the road from a cornfield, half a mile from the old sawmill. My mother and newly-inaugurated dad, at the brink of exchanging a safe, familiar life for an uncertain future on the other side of the planet.

The Philippines had been an independent nation for only nine years. In the news, the mountain tribes signed an agreement to end the practice of headhunting. There were things to be apprehensive about.

I was clueless. According to my brother, so was he. Mom and Dad, probably not. In those days, bravery was common.

Dad looks distracted. I wish I knew what he was thinking. At least we have the photograph and a context. It’ll have to be enough.

I write novels. Find them here.

If you would like to receive notifications of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #6 — John Dyer Writes

The South Pacific. Circa 1944. My natural father, Benjamin Franklin Dyer, served as a signalman in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was, by all accounts, a prince of a man — but he died in an accident when I was a baby, so I never got to know him.

I did know his youngest brother, John Greene Dyer II, a talented musician, voice coach, and founder of the Chattanooga Girls’ Choir.

I sang for him once. He said, “I agree you’re a baritone, but I don’t think I could make anything out of you.” Nevertheless, a charming and congenial fellow.

According to my birth certificate, I am John Greene Dyer III. My uncle is named after his father. I am named after my grandfather, born after my uncle, and accordingly given the suffix III. I’m pretty sure that’s not how family names are indexed, but nobody said anything at the time, and it’s too late now.

I’m STILL writing novels. Find them here.

If you would like to receive notifications of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #5 — John Dyer Writes

Austin, Texas. Circa 1935. According to Dad, there were twelve Jews at UTexas during his enrollment. One of these found employment in the New York City financial district where, in 1955, words were spoken to the effect of, “We need an incorruptible electrical engineer to supervise our investments at the Manila Electric Company.”

That’s how we ended up in the Philippines.

Find my books on Amazon here.

If you would like to receive notification of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #4 — John Dyer Writes

Atlanta, Georgia. December, 1955. Mom and Dad, shortly before we traveled to the Philippines. There’s debate within the family as to exactly when and where this photo was taken. The consensus was ‘Honeymoon. Atlanta.’ Don’t ask me. I was five.

What I do recall is Dad taking us for a ride through Chattanooga in his 1955 Buick Super. I almost fell out the rear passenger door while playing with the handle. That’s the kind of stuff kids remember.

I’m writing novels these days. Find me here.

If you would like to receive notification of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #3 — John Dyer Writes

Manila, Philippines. Circa 1957. A year before this photo was taken, my mother was raising two sons by herself — and I used to say if it wasn’t for Alan Maury Razovsky, I would have ended up pumping gas in Chattanooga for a living.

It’s not true. Mom was intelligent, resourceful and classy. Her brothers were successful building contractors. I might have made a career at Uncle Gib’s masonry company, and that would have been fine.

But in 1955, Alan Razovsky returned from NYC to tell Mom, “We have to get married. I’m taking you and the boys to the Philippines.”

The kindest, sweetest man I ever knew passed away in 1999 at the age of eighty-five. I still miss him.

I’m writing novels these days. Look for me on Amazon here.

If you would like to receive notification of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #2 — John Dyer Writes

Manila, Philippines. Circa 1958. That’s my brother’s pal Jack Russell (Yep. That’s his name.) reading the magazine. I have no idea who the girl was. I don’t remember being that cool, but there it is.

I write novels these days. Find me on Amazon here.

If you would like to receive notification of future posts, please subscribe.

Camera Familia #1 — John Dyer Writes

Manila, Philippines. Circa 1957. My mother’s birthday. Left to right — My sister Carolyn, me, Mom, my brother Mike.

At our first house in San Lorenzo Village. My brother was good-looking, and still is. Mom used to say I was good-natured.

I write novels these days. Find my books on Amazon here.

If you would like to receive notification of future posts, please subscribe.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: