Eviction. A lot of people can’t imagine going through it, but really after a couple of times there is a rhythm. Anyway Mom was really good a moving us before the Sheriff’s actually came and to put our stuff on the street. The only time that happened, my Mom had a rental truck and got the Sheriff’s to help load our stuff onto the truck. There we all were my sisters, brother, Mom, some neighbors and some Denver Sheriffs all loading the truck.
Through my school years we moved on average once a year. Twice we stayed some place two years; twice I went to three schools in one grade. Lots of times we moved because we were about to get evicted. It was hard for Mom to make enough money to keep a place.
We usually lived in low income minority neighborhoods. We, as the white family became the minorities there though. We didn’t live in these neighborhoods because of Moms involvement with the civil rights movement, but ironically, it was her involvement with that and all of her other political passions that caused us getting evicted from some.
You would think living in a black neighborhood you would have no worries about being evicted for being involved with the Black Panthers. Not true. Anyway, we lived where mom could afford. And usually we got evicted when she couldn’t pay rent. When I was really young I didn’t understand why we were moving, we would just suddenly move. All I knew was I was about to have a new home. A new neighborhood. A new school. And I would be the new girl. I got very good at making friends quickly. The only things that stayed the same were the crappy neighborhoods and the crappy schools.
My Dad left Mom with five kids, 15 to 4 years old. It was 1965 and a woman couldn’t make enough to support a family herself. So even though Mom was a college graduate, spoke fluent Spanish and was one of the smartest, most well read people you could want to meet, she couldn’t get paid enough in her job to pay all the bills. And she sucked at managing her money. And although I don’t believe she really wanted kids she did her best to support us.
When I was in 4th grade I was sitting in music class when through the door window I saw my oldest sister. She motioned me to come to her. I, of course, didn’t. Not without permission from my teacher. When I got to the hall my sister said, “Come on we are moving. Mom told me to come get you.” I honestly don’t remember if we went and got my stuff from class or not.
When we got home the moving truck was there. The sheriffs too. Mom told me to go inside and help pack. As we packed things up they went directly into the truck. This time I was old enough to know something was not right with all this. There were people watching, I felt embarrassed. But we plugged away at loading everything in the truck.
There are always things left behind during an eviction. The things deemed unnecessary at the time. I have very few mementos from my childhood because of this. We lived in church subsidized projects for a couple of years after this.
Time passed, my siblings got older, got jobs and help pitch in; and equal pay for equal work became more common for women in the workplace. We never moved as suddenly again. We didn’t officially get evicted after that. However I do believe that there were times when mom moved us just before the notice would have been taped to the door. But that’s ok, it’s not an official eviction without the sheriffs visit to your house.