Thomas Wictor

Mom was a party girl!

Mom was a party girl!

In the last two years of her life, Mom told me a lot about herself. A lot. Things that I found truly inconceivable. Since she told me these things in confidence, I won’t repeat them. But Mom was a party girl. Aside from a couple of her girlfriends, I may be the only person who knows the full extent of her wild, wild ways.

She didn’t tell me anything unseemly, inappropriate, or sordid. All she did was describe in broad strokes her life as a bachelorette teacher in Venezuela in 1957 and 1958, and I filled in the blanks. Since I knew that Mom had a rebellious streak fifteen miles wide, and since she was a hipster in her own completely idiosyncratic way, there’s no doubt in my mind that she sowed major wild oats before she married Dad in 1959.

After she died I found the photos to prove it. They weren’t hidden away, but she never took them out and said, “Here, have an eyeful of your mother’s life as a party girl!”

This was a big hit in 1958. I have no idea if Mom listened to it at her many parties. It’s a good soundtrack for the photos.

Here’s a really fantastic one. Mom is in the striped shirt and dark pants. There’s so much to see in this image. Shoving feet, the woman kneeling on the right, Gene Hackman recoiling in horror at that woman’s furry tail, the guy with the beard and culottes on the left, the woman about to slap a lecher on the sofa, and Mom standing there in hypnotized conversation with an eye-rolling ogre.


Now we’re at Lake Maracaibo. Mom’s on the left, looking super-Mexican and doing duck-lips in 1958.


Dancing for some leering young fellow who’s going, “Badda-BOOM! Ha-cha-cha-cha-chaaaa!”


Same beach, different guy. What on earth is going on in this photo, Mom? Do I even want to know?


In the lake showing a little leg and doing duck-lips again. Yes, you’re my mommy, but I have to say it: HAWT.

My favorite photo from this period. The blurriness is apt, since Mom was as much a mystery as Dad. She looks just like my main artistic hero Suzanne Vega.


I’m glad you had such a good time, Mom. You never dreamed that you’d fall from the tightrope, but I’m sure they all knew the worth of a beautiful girl.

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