Statebeach Stories

Random memories here and there of my dad, Thomas F. Crosby, Jr.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Dad is alive

Or he was in my dream last night.  It's fading, but here's what happened:

We were at Grandma Lucille's at 354 Orlena (torn down years ago, sad).  Dad was there looking old-ish -- early 50s maybe, kind of grey -- and had some counselor or somebody with him.  

I said, "Dad you look great, nice and thin."  But what I meant was, "I can see you haven't been drinking, your skin looks great."  His skin was always flaking off in big chunks because of alcohol-induced psoriasis.  Anytime he stopped drinking for a few days, his skin instantly improved dramatically.

He smiled wryly, because he knew what I meant.  He had finally come to terms that his drinking was killing him, and he wasn't indestructible.

The rest is hazy, but it was a really fun & positive dream.  I hope it means his essence/soul whatever still lives.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Aunt Betty on RMM and TFC

hi aunt Betty & uncle Sam,

was wondering if you could solve a family question for us.

I have a gold ring that is inscribed:

"TFC to RMM, 1907"

this is presumably from my great-grandfather Thomas F. Crosby Jr. to
my great-grandmother Ruth M. McMahon (Crosby). JP doesn't know what
Ruth's middle name was. I assume "Mae" like Ruth Mae, but we thought
you guys might know.

maybe you even remember the ring - it's a simple solid 18k gold
number, no adornments, very nice.

do you know what year they got married? do you remember when AT
McKash came on the scene?


Hi Scott, and Brett
I would love to help you with the mystery of the ring, but I can only guess. I would assume that a gold ring would be a wedding
ring. Could it be your great grand dad T.F.C. (Thomas F(.) Fulton Crosby) marrying Ruth Mae McMahon? 1907 sounds about right. Then Ruth Mae (oldest?) and Tom Sr. would have been born in there somewhere. Lucille was born in 1915. J.P. should know when his dad was born, maybe 1913? Lucille and Tom were married March 3, 1939 (they were engaged for 5 years). I
was 13 and remember they bought a house in North Long Beach,(on Magnolia Ave.) near Tom Sr's mom, Mrs. McCash (McKash?). When Tom Jr. (your Dad) was born, I used to baby sit him at that house. He was so cute!
They had a big Chow dog. Sam thinks it was named Ming. Tom's sister, Ruth Mae, lived with her mom then.
Ruth Mae was crazy about Sam (we called Sam Crosby then (his middle name). Ruth Mae and all my family were so happy when we got married. You have to realize that we had known each other since our early teens.

As I remember, Mrs. McCash was a big smoker, but so was everyone including my Dad. My mom never smoked or drank alcohol and Tom Sr. used to sneak some booz into a pitcher of lemonade or whatrever. My mom, Anna was so sweet
and nice that she didn't say much but we all knew she didn't like it. J.P. was born later, in 1946(?) when they moved to Belmont Shore. He actually was c;uter than Tom Jr. and almost won the cutest award until Brett came along. Now I think Lindy has the cutest crown for sure!!! Sorry Scott, I didn't mean to exclude you. This is the historical trivia for now.
Lots of Love,
Aunt Betty
P.S. Scott, we still need to look at your old photo's.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dad's 300D

In 1978 Dad brought home a brand-new Mercedes 300D, magnolia yellow with "mbtex" faux leather interior. I remember my friend Steve jumping in when he brought it home and saying "wow! leather and stick shift!" ...Both wrong, but dad didn't correct him.

I still drive that car and will always have it. It's got 178,000 miles and is nearly perfect. I love it and sold my Porsche and Audi, they don't compare.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


When Tom and I were in the Peace Corps in Peru, we had several weeks a
year to take vacation time. During our second year, we had decided to
go to Brazil, which we could actually afford after saving for two
years from our $100/month/volunteer stipend. Best laid plans,
however, could not compete with a huelga general (general strike),
which affected all forms of public transportation. Somehow, we made
it to Lima from Arequipa and set out for an incountry trip instead.
We had heard of and were able to contact Gene Savoy, the intrepid
Andean explorer, and after getting directions and very little else, we
set out by auto, mule and foot to the jungles of Peru. I think we had
hiking shoes, hats, backpacks with sleeping bags, iodine tablets,
oranges and a stash of Sublimes, a Peruvian chocolate bar. We hooked
up with a guide and eventually found our way to the newly "discovered"
ruins of Kuelap (or Quelap). The site was just being excavated and it
was pretty exciting to be in on the early stages of this remarkable
fortress city-state. Your dad loved such adventures and was a very
accommodating travel partner. The only thing I remember being in
conflict about was the new Kodad Super 8 movie camera, a gift from
Grandma and Grandpa Crosby. Each of us wanted to do the filming, but
neither wanted to carry it, at least, not for long. I think it
eventually travelled on the back of the mule.

Kuelap was in the news the other day, and is apparently a major tourist site.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Takin' the kids to school

Shown at 37 here, dad was really enthusiastic as a parent. Back in the 70s he drove a cool Datsun 260Z, sliver with black interior, that smelled exotic and powerful to a kid. I remember the clock in particular, a "Jeco", that had this cool mod Japanese style to it. Dad was really physically strong in his 30s/40s, and didn't become really weak until his late 50s.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


The day Scott was born. We rushed to the hospital around 2 am, your
dad grabbing my already packed suitcase which included a yellow
layette, as in those days, noone knew what sex the baby would be. We
arrived a South Coast Community hospital in good time, the only
complication being that the Super Bowl was that day and both Tom and
Dr. White wanted me to hurry so they could see the game. You and I
tried to accommodate them, and you were born easily and well before
the kickoff. However, I was the only one to see the game, as your dad
and your grandparents were at the viewing window watching you sleep
for most of the game. I can't remember who played whom, but for a
couple of days, Tom threatened to name you after the winning
quarterback if we couldn't make a decision. As you know, a compromise
was eventually reached, thus the reason for four names.

PREQUEL: The night before, we were in an underground parking lot
after a UCLA basketball game, caught in the exit crowd, with the gas
gauge on empty. You were due on the 10th, and I was pretty nervous
that we'd not make it out of the garage, let alone home. Tom never
was one to worry about how much was left in the tank when it read
empty. I think he took it as a personal challenge to never run out of
gas, in any car, regardless of the risk.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Yesterday was Dad's birthday

Well, yesterday was Dad's birthday. As Patty remembered to mention
over email, Dad would have pointed out as he always did, "Today is
June 4th, the most important day of the year!"

In honor of Dad, I spent his birthday tinkering around the house on
various projects, sitting on my deck, drinking some wine and even
watching a little golf.