For years, I had miscounted and read all of the pop psychological profiles of the 7th child! Only recently, I slowed down enough to realize that I am #8! The first five born in our family were all boys: Roger, Robert, Ronald, Richard and Claude! WHERE did the name Claude come from? Apparently, my Ma loved Hollywood and the stars! She herself was one of the main actresses in her youth whenever St. Michael’s Church put on some plays. Claude came into being the same year, the English actor, Claude Rains, starred as Captain Renault in Casablanca (1942) .
Claude has built on the famous legacy ever since! I can still recall him as a teenager, with hair as long as Elvis’s, strumming an imaginary guitar, donning a leather jacket with the face of a laughing devil he had painted on the backside, standing in front of the fireplace and the huge mirror that hung over it, singing “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog!” He is the entertainer in the family, with jokes and witty sayings at the drop of a hat! As a young child, I recall being scolded for some innocuous thing I had done, and I replied, “I am not going to eat!” My brother gave me important advice for my entire life at the very moment: “No matter what, Janie, always eat!”
Following Claude’s birth, was my sister, Diane, who in turn, was followed by Barbara. Three years of hard labor and enriched family life passed and then, la voilà, I arrived, followed by William (aka Billy), Mary and Jennifer. This only confused me more! Now, I have this question—am I considered the oldest of the second lot, since three more siblings followed me and there was a three-year break? Or, am I simply, No.8?