Two months ago my younger sister called me out of the blue and told me our older brother Mark Presco had severed all ties with my estranged family and had disappeared.
“We are the only ones left!” Vicki informed me, I having very little to do with my family since our falling out in 2004, the year of another attempted reconciliation. I had flown to Bullhead City and conducted five hours of taped interviews with my aunt Lillian for the biography of our late sister, the world famous artist known as Rosamond. The next thing I hear, Lillian is talking to Tom Snyder, the ghost writer, Stacey Pierrot hired to author our never ending saga that can now only be told by the “only ones left” because Lillian died five months ago. She was the last of the four beautiful daughters of Roy Reuben Rosamond to leave this not so rosy planet.. Where is our perfume, now?
Two months ago I entered Vicki’s house once more, and took note of the family altar by the front door. One day later, surrounded by seven members of my family, I never that lonely again, I found myself while going thru the contents of Rosemary’s treasure box. Within this mother who was once a young girl setting off to find her dream in the world, had gathered items that truly mattered to her. When I read the following, alas the little boy lost returned as the Prodigal Son. With these words, is launched our final resolve to go forward as a family. With these words came a promise, that we would be there for each other, in the end, when our little boats touch yonder shore.
“The Child plays.
The toy boat sails across the pond.
The work has now just begun.
look what you have done.”
I had written these words an age ago, and could not believe I was the author of such – brilliance. I was rendered breathless. A member of my family asked; “What is wrong?”
As an artist and a poet, there are those moments when you do something so absolutely right, that you have to stand back and behold, and ask; “What has God wrought?” for you can scarcely believe such a wonderful thing came from you. This is not about attainment. This is about achievement, for you alas have captured what you always thought would remain a prisoner in you, and let that prisoner – go.
Our mother Rosemary had to let all four of her children go, including her first born duaghter whom she survived. For reasons to convoluted to comprehend, outsiders were put in charge of this rosy tale. And we came to a standstill.
In 2004 I founded “San Sebastian Avenue” on yahoo groups. Here I began our Family Biography that proceeds any other biographers and books that signaled out Christine, took her from our ranks, and from beyond the grave, was forced to earn money for those who never launched the creative process lurking inside them, and instead, chose to become Stowaways.
In talking to Vicki, I discovered she has an amazing memory.
“It’s like the Roach Motel. Memories check in, but never check out!”
We talked for nearly a thousand hours on the phone – before I went to Arizona! We talked about our children and their children, whether they want our amazing history. We talked about the era of Stacey Pierrot coming to a close, and where we can go from here. I see a series for HBO, that begins with these words
“The child plays…………….”
The series will be titled “San Sebastian Avenue”. I authored the following in 2004
Welcome Home my dear family and friends, to San Sebastian Avenue. Please, view the family photos, then leave your comments. I do not recall everything, and am amazed at the memories these photos have stirred. They are like keys to my locked files. They are our Family Treasures.
This home is sacred and neutral ground. No fighting allowed. Forgiveness is most welcome here. Let us accept that we all share the same fond memories, as well as the bad ones – equally.
The biography ‘San Sebastian Avenue, a Story Told With Family Photos’ is the story of the four Presco Children growing up. This story will
take you through our photos. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
In regards to Christine’s visual success, these photos are vital in revealing the source, and thus this source will be like well of
inspiration for generations to come. Her art will be included in the closing chapter where those who recall can contribute the memories of the time Christine painted them. I have most of Christine’s artwork stored in this groups files.
San Sebastian Avenue – A Family Story in Photographs
Jon Gregory Presco
Life is about choices and disappointments, and now and then, a wonderful treasure. Life is also about death, and we Prescos were
caught unawares when our family treasure one day made a terrible choice, and left us.
In looking at the family photos that my brother Mark and my nephew Shamus put up on the internet today, I realized this truth, that my
famous sister was and will be defined by who her family was, andwill always be. We were the Prescos, and we were all famous in our
neighborhood where we grew up. Why this was is the core of this story. For there was a bond between us that defied description. It
just hovers there, floating like flotsam in the tide, waiting to be picked up like a piece of driftwood, brought home somewhere, and put
in a garden.
We will name this garden `Rosemary’s Garden’, after our mother,Rosemary, who went out of her way to make sure we knew we were loved
equally. This was the Family Rule we all did abide. And thus weloved her four children, as we loved ourselves.
When Rosemary and Vic’s drinking got way out of hand, we Presco children wondered what was keeping them alive, for all these years.
This was the Family Mystery. When they could avoid death no longer, they seemingly snuck away somewhere and did it privately, as if this
was going to be the most embarrassing thing they would ever do, because their egos were way out to – here! Never get caught being
They tell me my sister Vicki was there by their side, till the very end, but I have trouble believing that. Why, I am not sure. Why
should lil’ Vicki with the face of the angel be assigned such a grissley chore? Vicki was the Family Mascot. She had a way of
looking at you dead on, and there was nothing there to read but the name “Vicki”. She looked like a Hobbit when she was little, and
probably was completely innocent, which would become a rare title aswe succumbed to the disease of alcoholism and made an art of making
bad choices. We have been titled `The Greatest Soap Opera Ever Made’.
Our family teasure was the first to die, and no one expected that. Her death was a very public affair. Christine was swept off very
dramatic rocks at Rocky Point near Carmel where she had her gallery wherein lurked the beautiful Rosamond Women, they peering out the
window that day, wondering. The master will not return.
This was not an easy death. First of all, there were no longer four Presco children, the two boys and two girls, and we missed this
balance terribly when we showed up at Christine’s home the day before the funeral, counting noses. She is gone.
Loving one another equally wouldn’t be so easy, for awhile. Ten years later perhaps the dawn breaks?
Another mystery, at least for me, is why did my brother turn mean? He didn’t have to, you know. But he made that choice and now he thinks he has to live with it, till he drop. Yes, our father was a tough son-of-bitch, and boxed in the Naval Academy before he went intothe Merchant Marines, but when you look at the early pictures of Mark, there is a wonderful angelic quality to him, so clear-eyed,
so hopeful about what life had in store for him. Was he once adreamer like me? If I could find the one thing that disappointed him
so deeply, I would champion him, and slay it.
In these ancient photos, I appear such a dreamer…that I look likea ghost. You can see me creeping to the edge of the family shoot, I
a wisp in the wind. `Too Ethereal to Live.’ could be the caption here. “Cant they see I am a poet – a artist?”
Yes, sneak away and dare become famous. Leave these damn Prescos behind, their stifled unity and identity scrum.
I didn’t get very far before Christine caught me. She had a way of tilting her head, and then coming at you, zeroing in, squinting here
eyes and asking;
“And where do you think you are going?”.
When Christine mimiced her mother, it was something awesome tobehold, as she did Rosemary – and then some. She knew how to twist
the screw, bring you to the crux of the matter, and then play withit, the irony of it all.