As I look back, before we left Brooklyn to move to Staten Island, my mom transformed herself from the Wicked Witch to Glenda the Good Witch. I realized after my father died the wickedness in my mom died along with him.  My dad was a drunken sailor with a mouth like a sewer. With any threat to her family, my mom too would speak in a vulgar manner, and ultimately took it out on me. I never heard my name growing up, it was always get over here you stupid bastard, you f…ing idiot. My mom was finally free from the madness and the hold my dad had over her. After he passed, it seemed she knew he was dead and could start looking ahead. My mom never cursed again and now spoke like a wonderful intelligent human being. It was bizarre to say the least. I thought the aliens came took her away and reprogrammed her mind. I did have a revelation when I had my son, I realized I would never be that mean person nor curse or speak to my son that way. Believe me, I was no angel and took some of their bad habits and projected them on my siblings.  I now know people become a product of our environment and learn from what they see and hear. On a rare occasion, I see the monster that was inside of me come out, it’s not easy to reprogram oneself. I am only human and try my best not to be like my parents. I have been a work in progress for years and have come a long way from those childhood days. With his passing, the Witch was free of his hold, she was the best visionary for others now wanted to see a new vision for herself and what life had in-store for her future. My mom found a purpose she joined an organization called the Plaid Twirlers. Wow, the change in her was unbelievable!!!! She was religious and always went to church but now was starting to go out to explore life through a different set of eyes.  She was no longer in her own prison.  The organization was centered around benefiting children, it gave the children the ability to play in a band or twirl batons. The Witch was not only good at card reading she was crafty too. My mom knew how to use a sewing machine very well. She would alter the band’s uniforms and anything else which needed fixing. The Plaid Twirlers was a non-profit organization, so they needed to raise money which they did through many fundraisers. They organized bingo games, cake sales, dinner and dancing night and anything else they could to raise money for the children. My mom enrolled my two younger sisters, my youngest brother and my son they all twirled batons. My other sister, who was older than them, played the bass drum in the band. The Plaid Twirlers marched in every NYC parade from Easter to the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Good Witch finally emerged she came out of her shell and took everyone along with her to join in the fun. My mom now found a loving interest in her children and took on a role she should have had from the beginning. I too walked in every parade with them. It didn’t matter if I worked the bar all night, I couldn’t disappoint my son. He was little at the time and so excited he wanted me to walk every parade right beside him. It was entertaining seeing them all playing and twirling their batons. Even though I was exhausted from working three jobs I could not disappoint my son it made his day that I joined them. The youngest girl in my family had a beautiful flair about her. When marching and twirling she looked like she was on a stage performing always at her best.

My mom talked me into paying for a course at the Barbizon School of Modeling for her. She was a beauty and did very well with the modeling course.  The course was relatively expensive $1000 which was a lot of money back then.  Since she was a minor and it was in New York City I too had to enroll in the course.  She never did go into modeling, but my mom was very proud and had a great portfolio to show off.  To this day she is a real beauty inside and out, she shines with a great heart. Sometimes I think, I don’t know what I would do without her kindness. As for the Witch and I, we never spoke a word about the horrific childhood I had.  I understood, it was an unspoken truth, she loved that crazy father of mine who made her behave like a mental case. Sometimes I think maybe I was a psychologist in a past life, I just understood.  I believe in the saying “Love is blind” it was so accurate in my mother’s case she surely had that blindness when it came to my father. I was happy with how the Witch became her own social butterfly with great talents besides her craft of card reading. If someone were throwing a baby shower, my mom would make the umbrella, the wishing well, favors and food she did it all. The parties were always a great success and done in good taste. Good taste let’s not forget the “Tierney’s” (my dad’s family) were all Irish and had no taste for food or flavor.  The Witch wasn’t only cooking spells in the kitchen she was a good cook too, she made spaghetti & meatball dinners for the gang. Sunday dinner became a ritual in my home. It surely was a crowd that attended the gatherings!!! One of my father’s sisters had seven children and his two brothers had three children each they all attended the Sunday banquet, plus many more were in attendance as well. Boy oh boy did that house come alive. My dad’s family would often have parties at our house too. It was crazy and the wild, wild west everyone was drinking and most often than not turned into a big brawl.  My father, his siblings and all the children gathered like a small army. Cursing in my dad’s family was a way of talking, they had their own language it was quite funny to listen too, they called it Pig Latin. At times it seemed like they were from another planet. It was quite common at their parties or gatherings to see knives come out and dishes flying.  After my dad passed away there were no more crazy parties to deal with, most everyone stayed away, calm and normalcy was ahead of us. Now my Mom could enjoy becoming more social The Plaid Twirlers had a dance in the middle of July it was called the “Summer New Year’s Eve Dance”. At that dance, my mom met Fred, who was a widower, they hit it off and off and went everywhere together. Fred was a good man unlike anyone in my father’s family. He was kind, soft spoken and never cursed. He was a homebody and did simple things. He took my mom to New Jersey amusement parks, villages and small towns, they enjoyed their days together. He would buy her small gifts and take her on dates. He didn’t make much he was a gas station attendant, so they stayed home a lot, but they were happy. He lived in Staten Island.  

The entire gang was thrilled that we were buying a house in Staten Island. The Witch was going to have it all for once, a man, a new home, her family and fun. We surely had a full house. Mom’s boyfriend Fred moved into the new house with us and it became one big happy family. I was very grateful that my younger siblings and my son had a loving, caring mom and nana to make them all so very happy.  My younger siblings never knew the horrible childhood I had with the wicked Witch who now transformed herself to a pleasant human being. My mouth shut and my mind at peace. Thankful I could provide my family with a beautiful home.


How to play Witch Rummy?

This is an example of a player at the table playing Witch Rummy with a group of people. The goal is to play Five-card stud and play to win. At the end, your own past present and future are interpreted in the final hand.

Figure 1: Initial hand is dealt to Player 1

Figure 2: Discarding cards you don’t want

Figure 3: New cards are dealt to Player

Figure 4: Placing new cards in position

Figure 5: Interpreting your fortune from the final hand