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Donna Flood
Finding Heart
The Teen Years, 1952

The teen yearsHere we are standing in front of a motel room on our way to New York City. Ura May Jones, Holt at the time is on the left. Later she was divorced and remarried to John Finn. She was my cousin but "Ponca way or Osage way," she would be considered to be my sister. Her daughter, Linda Carol Holt, is standing to her right and I would be considered to be her aunt. Linda Carol moved to California with her father after their divorce. She was raised there, married in the state and now has grandchildren in California.

The expression you see on my face is one of a strained forced smile. Why? While dressing I was so anxious to get to the beach believed to be immediately coming up that I put my swim suit under my shorts and was going to wear the top of it without this shirt over. Ura May put a stop to that idea. Of course, teenager's attitude is coming through here with something of a smirk for a smile.

Precocious Linda Carol obviously is enjoying the undeclared war between us. Ura May had a way of getting her point across in a very reserved refined way which I knew was unchangeable. There would be no point in trying to have our own way once she made it clear as to how one should behave. This placid unmoveable stoic expression she has was not "put on" but was very real. After all our reason for going to New York City was to attend an international faiths convention at the Yankee Stadium there. The beach at Coney Island was just a place for time out from the day long lectures. At fifteen one can only guess which was most important to me.

Ura May has been gone since the seventies. She is buried at Wheatridge, Colorado.

We remember the grief we caused our elders when we were teenagers and maybe not until we are aged do we feel true remorse. If only I had not believed myself to be so "right," feeling she did not understand my wishing to be ready when we came to the water. The fact that we would not go to the beach for a number of days was not even in my thinking.

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