7. Riots

1969 Geri Godges

Geri Godges at age 13. The photo was taken “on January 20, 1969,
the day Richard Nixon was inaugurated,” she recalled 41 years later.
“It was a Monday.”


IN THE TURBULENT late 1960s, the three eldest children send distressing signals. Stan becomes horrified by the looming Vietnam draft. Genie becomes entranced by the sauntering gait of a hippie. But by far the most worrisome development of all, Geri becomes incurably mentally ill.

Nothing in the lives of Joseph or Ida has prepared them for this illness. To the contrary, some of their most painful childhood memories have left them wounded in different ways, partially disabling them for this enormous challenge. Joseph and Ida unwittingly begin to scratch away at each other’s festering emotional sores.