Tuesday, October 1, 2013

9 Days of Lennon- Day 1 Julia and Alfred

In honor of October being John Lennon's birthday month I've decided to dedicate 9 days to Lennon with pictures, videos, and stories of his life and the impact he's had on this world.
On the first day I'd like to introduce you to the parents of John, Julia Stanley and Alfred Lennon.

March 12, 1914 Julia Stanley was born to father George Ernest Stanley and mother Annie Jane Millward. She had four sisters, Mimi Smith, Elizabeth Stanley, Harriet Stanley, and Anne Stanley.

"There were five women that were my family. Five strong, intelligent, beautiful women; five sisters." John Lennon describes the five sisters, including his mother, "Those women were fantastic. One Day I might do a kind of forsyte Saga about them, because they dominated the situation in the family" (1980)
 Julia was working as a movie theater usherette when she met Alfred Lennon in 1928.  They dated for ten years before being married at the Mount Pleasant Register Office, where John and first wife, Cynthia were married 24 years later. The Stanley's disproved of Alfred but Julia married him anyways throwing the marriage certificate down in front of her family and said "There, I've done it! I've married him!"

Alfred was a sailor and shortly after his marriage he was back at sea where he'd write to John and Julia often but due to him always being at sea lead Julia to have an affair with a Welsh soldier called Taffy Williams. By late 1944 she was pregnant with her second child and claimed she had been raped by an unknown soldier. Taffy Williams refused to live with Julia unless she gave up John because he didn't want to be known as being with a married woman and her son. Julia refused and Taffy Williams was never seen in her life again. Alfred returned to Liverpool in 1944 and had offered to take care of the unborn baby along with Julia and John. She gave birth to the child on June 19,1945 and named her Victoria Elizabeth. Victoria who was immediately  put up for adoption due to her strict father and none of her sister's wanting to care for her. Victoria was adopted by a Norwegian family and had her name changed to Ingrid Marie Pederson.
"As soon as I became aware that John was my brother I started to collect every cutting on him I could find and hid them in a drawer in my bedroom. I was terrified in case my parents found out. It would have been a betrayal of them.
I felt I couldn't contact John when my adoptive mother was still alive. I felt an incredible loyalty to her because I believe she knew I was dad's real daughter and she took me in as her own daughter with no obvious resentment about his affair with Julia.
I knew Mum kept a tin box in her wardrobe that contained family papers. When no one was around I opened it, trembling. I found a yellowing, dog-eared adoption paper that had been issued by Liverpool County Court. Then I saw my full name: Lillian Ingrid Maria Pedersen, and my birth date. Above that were the three words I had been looking for: Victoria Elizabeth Lennon - the name I was born with. My real mother's name, Julia Lennon, was also there. I burst into tears."- Ingrid Pedersen, 2000
Julia and Alfred divorced in 1944 when John was four years old. When asked about the divorce his Aunt Mimi would just tell him his parent's had fallen out of love. John spent most of his childhood away from his father and had his aunt and uncle step in as the parenting figures.
"The worst pain is that of not being wanted, of realising your parents do not need you in the way you need them. When I was a child I experienced Moments of not wanted to see the ugliness, not wanting to see not being wanted. This lack of love went into my eyes and into my mind.
I was never really wanted. The only reason I am a star is because of my repression. Nothing would have driven me through all that if I was 'normal'."- John Lennon 1971
 Alfred was back at sea when Julia later fell in love with a hotel waiter, John "Bobby" Dykins who John nick named "Twitchy". Her and Bobby decided to move into a small apartment with John. Horrified at this, John's Aunt Mimi asked to take and care for John, Julia refused and Social Services were later called and John was given to his eldest Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. John grew up on 251 Menlove Ave, Woolton. Julia and Bobby had two girls together, Julia and Jacqui.

When John was 6 years old his dad reappeared in his life and asked Mimi to take John for the day to see Blackpool. John went with his father but little did Mimi and Uncle George know that Alfred was planning to take John with him to New Zealand and start a new life there. Julia found out Alfred had John and rushed to the docks where John witnessed the two fight. John choose to stay with his father but at last minuted rushed to his mother. He didn't see his father until later years when John was successful in The Beatles. John dealt with him for a little until Alfred became too needy and then married a young Beatles fan and John blew him off.

Julia always stayed in his life. She visited John often at Mimi's house and had the interest in music. Julia knew how to play banjo and later taught John a few chords which sparked the musical gene in John. Opposite than Mimi, Julia had faith in John's music and even in the later teenage years John would skip school and headed to his mothers house. Julia was later struck by an off-duty cop on July 15, 1958 and killed instantly. Eric Clague, the officer, was drunk the night he killed Julia Stanley. She had just left Mimi's house and walked across the street to the bus station, where she waited for the bus she was struck and killed. John's friend Nigel Whalley, later manager of The Quarrymen was the last person to speak to Julia before the incident.
"I went to call for John that evening but his Aunt Mimi told me he was out. Mimi was at the gate with John's mum, who was about to leave. We stood chatting and John's mum said 'Well, you have the privilege of escorting me to the bus stop!' I said 'That will do me fine. I'll be happy to do that.'
We walked down Menlove Avenue and I turned off to go up Vale Road, where I lived. I must have been about 15 yards up the road when I heard a car skidding. I turned round to see John's mum going through the air. I rushed over but she had been killed instantly."-Nigel Whalley
John was spending the weekend at Julia and Bobby's home when a knock came on the door. A cop asked John if he was Julia's son and that's how he found out about the death of his mother. In 1970 John describe to a reporter that at age seventeen he was just hoping for an earthquake to hit and how he has nothing to loose,
"When I was seventeen I used to think, ' I wish a fucking earthquake would happen, or a revolution.' Just to go out and steal. If I was seventeen I'd be all for it, because what have I got to lose? And now I've got nothing to lose. I don't want to die and I don't want to be hurt physically, but if they blow the world up, we're all out of our pain then. Forget it- no more problems"
Loosing his mother was difficult for John to cope with, he once said that he's lost her twice, once when  he moved in with his aunt and uncle and then again when he physically lost her right when they were getting close. His quotes on the loss of his mother are very powering and overwhelming to read.
"It helps to say, "My mummy's dead,' rather than, 'My mother died,' or 'My mother wasn't very good to me.' (a lot of us have images of parent's that we never get from them.) It doesn't exorcise it- bang, gone - but it helps. First of all you have to allow yourself to realise it. I never allowed myself to realise that my mother had gone. It's the same if you don't allow yourself to cry, or feel anything. Some things are too painful to feel so you stop. We have the ability to block feelings and that's what we do most of the time. These feelings are now coming out of me, feelings that have been there all my life. And they continue to come out. I don't know if every time I pick up a guitar I'm going to sing about my mother. I presume it'll come out some other way now." (1970)
During The Beatles (White Album) session John wrote the song "Julia" about his mother and later in 1970 album John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band he released "Mother", a song about him literally crying for his mother to not go and his father to come home. Also on that album he released "My Mummy's Dead".  John's first son, Julian was named in honor of his mother.

Alfred died April 1, 1976 and was rarely seen in John's life and John later said it was like his father was dead.
"Some times I was relieved to have no parents. Most of my friends' relations bore little resemblance to humanity. their heads were filled with petty-cash bourgeois fears. Mine was full of my own ideas! Life was spent entertaining myself, whilst secretly waiting to find someone to communicate with. Most people were dead. A few were half-dead. It didn't take much to amuse them." John Lennon 1978

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