Sometimes, a person can look at a group of siblings and see instantly that they must be related. That was not the case with us. Eight children, taken at random from various parts of the country and placed together as a family, would have have looked as kin as we did.
Cindy had blond hair and green eyes. She wasn't especially tall. A tad bit on the heavier side of the scale, but not obese by a long shot. She was well endowed up top, which probably made her seem way heavier than she actually was. She suffered from ulcers and could often be found out back of the house, throwing back up whatever meal she had just eaten. I remember her putting mustard on everything she ate, even eggs. This was supposed to help her food stay down but I can't recall it's ever working. I'm not sure what she did for fun. I can't remember her having any down time.
Andy, a year younger than Cindy, was short and of average weight. His hair was a very odd color. Not really brown, not really red either. More like the color of black hair that someone has attempted to bleach blond and has rinsed out the solution too soon. It had a natural curl that gave him fits. He wasn't a very handsome guy. I always thought he looked like a white, skinnier, version of Sherman Hemsley a.k.a. George Jefferson. He tended to be bossy and liked to treat others like he was way smarter then they were. His hobby was looking in the mirror, trying to get his hair to stay in place.
Claude, nicknamed Sonny, was a year younger than Andy. He had dark brown hair, brown eyes, very white teeth, and dimples as deep as golf balls. He seemed to have a tan all year long. Girls were always chasing him and flirting with him. He was a tiny little fellow. This led to his being bullied as a young boy. By the time he had reached his teens, he realized that his best option, when confronted with a new group of bullies, was to pick out the biggest one, start a fight with him, and proceed to beat him senseless. The rest of the gang wouldn't even bother to harass him, not after seeing that! At home, he was a different person. He was nice to his brothers and sisters and was always looking out for us. All except for Andy, who he butted heads with often. Seemed they were always fighting each other, until some fool bothered to pick on one of them, then they would both turn on that guy and protect their brother.
James, nicknamed Cricket. was a real case. A couple of years younger than Sonny, he had blond hair, blue eyes, big teeth, and was scrawny. He fancied himself to be Daddy's favorite. He needed to be, because the rest of us kids couldn't stand him. He called our parents by their first names. The nerve! Whenever Daddy and Mama were going out and leaving us at home, he would hide in the back floorboard of the car and surprise them after they had reached their destination. He never got a whipping. He so adored running his smart mouth until he made one of the other kids blow their stack, then he would run to Mama and Daddy, smiling smugly in the background, watching the other kid get punished. In his heart of hearts, he really believed that he was the chosen one and that the rest of us kids were nothing. His hobby was dancing in front of the mirror for hours on end, singing into a brush.
Darrell had very dark hair and brown eyes. He was not little like his older brothers. When he was smaller, he had dropped a pop bottle onto a rock and a shard of the broken glass had flown into his eye. Mama did not even bother to take him to the hospital, where his sight may have been saved. I have never understood this. As a result, he was blind in that eye and sported an angry white scar, right across the pupil. At any rate, he was still a very handsome boy. He kept to himself a lot. Our other brothers never really bothered to include him in much. He and Lorra were very close though.
Lorra, was a bit younger than Darrell and almost four years older than me. She had the same pretty olive skin tone as Darrell, dark brown hair that hung past her waist, and chocolate brown eyes. They always reminded me of Donny and Marie Osmond. She was an "A" student and obedient. I could hardly wait for her to come home from school each day and share what she had learned with me. We did a lot of things together. Even with the age difference, our clothes were often alike but for the color. We shared a bed and dresser drawers. Plus, in the summer, we both bathed in a galvanized wash tub that was sat out in the back yard. He favorite thing was to tell me that Big Alice (Land of the Lost) was coming through the trees to get me. This sent me running for the house, wet and naked as a jaybird! I'm sure she did this so she could have that bath all to herself. Her hobby was playing the piano.
I wound up with light brown hair and blue eyes, which later changed to hazel. My hair was long, like Lorra's. I was fair skinned and my cheeks and nose were sprinkled with freckles. Daddy had named me "Susan', but always called me "Dawna" I guess I was an average sized little kid. I have no real idea what I did for fun. I sincerely believed that I could render myself invisible, simply by closing my eyes. I sucked at Hide and Seek, for obvious reasons. I thought that little people lived in our stereo cabinet. I would climb up the side and hang over into the box, doing my best to look back past the tuning dial, where I saw a little light. I could just imagine those tiny people that sat on a stool, singing and playing guitar for our listening enjoyment. With few toys, I kept my brain busy by having an awesome imagination.
Chris was the baby. He had blond hair and huge blue eyes, with lashes like those of a camel. Mama was given quite a few X-rays, before they realized she was pregnant. I always joked that all that radioactive cooking, that Chris received as a fetus, gave him superhuman eyeballs. He was a really cute little guy. Folks would always hand him candy or money, sometimes both, whenever they saw him. I'm sure it was the hypnotic effect of those eyes.
There we were. All of us crammed into that tiny little house. With all the differences in personalities, it was impossible for anyone to make it out of there without issues, injuries, and a little brain damage.