When I was growing up, in the mostly Italian neighborhood on the southeastern side of Slosson Ave on the south side of the expressway, the the Lins were our next door neighbors. In our house, each child had their own bedroom. At the Lin’s I think they all shared rooms. Their lifestyle was so different from ours. Their house was sparsely decorated. Their focus was clearly on education and self betterment. While Nancy and Alan were older, I had playmates in Boris, Calvin and David, though hardly ever at the same time. Before going out to play, they had to do homework, read the N.Y. Times and practice playing the piano. Fortunately for me, they only had one piano and one newspaper every day. Since they rotated through, there was always someone to come out to play for a 1/2 hour until his practice time came up.
Ruth was a quiet woman, yet I now understand that she was an original Tiger Mother, a strong woman with high expectations for her children.
I remember that one time she shared something that she had baked with my mother and I. It was a kind of desert with a dense brownie-like texture. Neither of us liked it, but we were so appreciative that she had shared it with us. I suspect that now, my more refined palate would have a better appreciation of this delicacy.
The boys and I played wiffle ball, usually in their yard, and sometimes they would swim in our pool. One time, David slid down the slide while I was sitting at the bottom. His feet slammed into my lower back, so my head jerked backward into his forehead. He got a huge bump. I got a concussion. I’m pretty sure I also caught the chicken pox virus from David. (He really was a nice kid!) I remember Calvin being the most studious and quiet of the three. Boris was my age. I hardly ever saw Alan. Why would a teenager have anything to do with us kids? Nancy was my wonderful babysitter. She introduced me to Romeo and Juliet. Algebra and modern dance. One night, as I danced my way up to bed, I spun my hand right into a window and broke it. To this day, I still have a watercolor that Nancy painted. She was sooooooo cool!
Living next to your family was wonderful. I am sorry for your loss, but thankful Thank you all for the memories.