This is the first entry of my autobiography.
For many years I have wanted to write my autobiography but I didn’t know where to start. Do I write a massive tome? One of those biographies that are extensively cross referenced and footnoted? No, that’s not for me. First, I don’t have the time and secondly writing such a biography in that format reminds me too much of a term paper, which I hated to do in high school and during the college days.
I now have the solution. A few years ago a friend recommended a book by the brother of a former classmate of mine. He wrote his “biography” as a series of vignettes. I loved that format. Viola! This is how I’m going to write my story.
The following is my first chapter. More details will follow.
I was born at a very young age. My place of birth was the Chester Country Hospital in West Chester, Pennsylvania. My date of birth was November 9, 1941.
I was the first born of Betty (Hadfield) and Isaac Tipton. My Mother was a fourth generation American of English heritage. Her great grandfather emigrated from England in 1852 via the port of New York City with his wife and two young children, William and Mary.
My father was an eight generation American. His ancestor Jonathan Tipton emigrated to American from Jamaica in 1692 via the port of Baltimore Country, Maryland. My father was a hillbilly from the Pisgah mountains of western North Carolina.
My father’s family moved from North Carolina to southern Pennsylvania in 1930, along with eight of his brothers to escape starvation caused by the Great Depression in those North Carolina “hollers”. The Tipton Family was cheap labor for his uncle Donald Byrd’s fruit and vegetable farm in southern Chester County.
My father met my Mother on a double date. My father was the driver of a car for his friend Hank. My 16 year-old Mother had a date with Hank and my father’s date was with Edie Lemon, my Mom’s best girlfriend. But when my father drove up in his jalopy, my Mother took one look at is tall, lanky 19 year old hillbilly boy and told her girlfriend Edie “You get in the back. I’m sitting up front with him.” And that was the beginning of one of the greatest love stories that I have ever known.
A year later I was born.