August 31,1963 in Yokosuka Kenawaka Japan. A six and a half pound baby girl was born to a ready-made family Handsome Italian America Mario and beautiful German American Rose Marie (Neidig),along with their first-born daughter Darlena Marie, eleven months my senior. They chose my name after my grandfather Francesco Minnella of Sarradefalco Sicily I am Francisca Maria
A few years later our family is complete with a transfer in the Navy to Philadelphia Pa and the birth of my younger sister RoseMarie Lyn born unstable with Hymen respiratory Disease. In 1966 her chance for survival was slim. Three days later we were told she would be ok.
As we grew and dad left the Navy we all started the lifelong process of learning who we were and what our place in this world was. Dad became the Chief of the blood bank in the hospital we now lived near,having moved again to a suburb of Philadelphia.
I remember spending time as a Family, whether we wanted to or not, going to Mass on Sunday.The Sunday drive which was common, usually ended at a Diner, picnic or Fancy restaurant (whichever the budget allowed.) We would enjoy just driving and singing songs mom and dad taught us, or playing Name that musical. Musicals were family entertainment, Shirley Temple was a tradition. We loved Shirley Temple Marathons on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately Dad was the only one with musical talent, training and experience. The rest of us could carry a tune . We have all gotten better, and my passion for music started then.
We never took Vacations other than weekend or day trips. I gained a love for American Indians from a day trip to a Reservation. I Began my love for American History form a trip to Valley Forge, Smithsonian Institute, Gettysburg and the Philadelphia Historical tours. Day trips to the Jersey Shore became a tradition as well. I still go every year.
As a child I enjoyed playing with Barbie’s, swimming, playing school, playing games like Chase, Freeze tag and Red Rover. We had 3 tv stations one TV and a record player that played 45s. We watch Saturday morning cartoons (because that was the only time they were on) 8:00 pm was Brady Bunch and Partridge Family Night. The Hardy Boys Mysteries Sunday night and Happy Day Tuesdays. I remember watching General Hospital everyday after school. Back when Luke and Laura FIRST got together and before Robin Scorpio was born. As we got a little older we enjoyed watching the neighborhood boys play Street Hockey and skate board. Our neighborhood an apartment complex had many kids our age. Our parents looked out after our friends and I remember getting a few lectures from Mrs Panza and Mrs Feigel for something we shouldnt have been doing. I also remember my dad having a talking to, to a few of the neighborhood kids too. Best of all it was ok. Nobody got mad. Doors weren’t locked,and neighbors didn’t knock.
I remember summers lasting forever,The Ice Cream Man, the Charles Chip delivery,and milk delivered to your door.
My grandmother lived with us for awhile, years after Grandpa passed away, I miss the smell of the spaghetti sauce cooking, the Canasta card games and watching her crochet like lightning. I remember her teaching me, a love I continue today.
I wanted to be a Hippi or a beatnik. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be seen,it embarrassed my sisters so we weren’t to close. I always felt like the black sheep. I was of average intelligence, gangly thin,and a bad completion in jr high school. I felt alone and depressed annd was looking for approval but later found that if God approve and I liked who I was it didn’t matter.
Got my first part-time job at Mr Angus steakhouse as a server at 14. In Highschool I also took classes in Cosmetology. I graduated Highschool making honor Roll the last semester of my senior year 1981 ,the one and only time. My first real (after High school) work was for Toys R Us fulltime.
I Married Rick when I was 19. We had 3 children together Erica, Ricky and Alex. That story is for another time which bring us to my next Blog “Today” (and I will start tomorrow)