6. Baby Boom

1966 Kids

Children of Joseph and Ida Godges in 1966.
Front: Mary Jo, Joe, John.
Back: Genie, Stan (born on the Fourth of July), Geri.


WITH THE HELP OF A G.I. LOAN FOR A G.I. HOME, Joseph and Ida raise a family among other G.I. families in Southern California. To make ends meet, Joseph leads the life of a company man, travels widely for work, and depends on personal loans from family and friends. At home, Ida revels in the vivacious community of the neighborhood children and their moms.

Neither Joseph nor Ida focuses on the marriage. Each one focuses instead on their six kids: Stan, Genie, Geri, Joe, Mary Jo, and John. Joseph changes the family name from Godzisz to Godges to make life easier for the kids.

The election of President John F. Kennedy, the Cuban missile crisis, and the assassination of President Kennedy leave deep but distinct impressions on the two eldest children, Stan and Genie. Mounting financial pressures leave an even deeper impression on Stan, especially when his father is laid off from work. At the age of 12, Stan assumes responsibility to shield the family and its legacy from risk and ruin.

Joseph finds a new job. He and Ida scrape together enough money to build their dream home in the shadow of their church, Saint Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church, in Redondo Beach, California. The family joins forces with a godfamily next door. The Sound of Music proclaims a message of hope and triumph. But hidden dangers lurk.