5.0 “I Got the Message”

by Elizabeth Stephens

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David preparing for arrival at Ellis Island in New York.

David had a favorite expression. It was, “I got the message.”  When David arrived by way of Ellis Island on July 19, 1950 (yes, he came over on the boat), the relatives in New York picked him up and took him out to an Italian restaurant so he could order in his own language. As David tells the story, one of his favorite, he said he only knew one thing on the menu, “beef steak.”

After the relatives had an attack over the price, he changed his order to spaghetti. For the next 40 plus years, David complained that the dish was really from Sicily, made with red sauce, full of spices, and not to his liking.  He was from the town of Torino in Northern Italy and they loved white sauce.  After his first disastrous encounter with the family, Helen and David settled on the other side of the country.

They first moved to an apartment in Los Angeles and later to a house in Venice, California, complete with canals, reminding him of Venice, Italy.

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Venice, California

According to some old receipts they lived at 1208 Venice Blvd and then bought a house at 2408 Cloy Street in Venice. David worked for a furniture business, doing deliveries. I knew this because it was on my birth certificate and from the following picture.

In the fifties, there were a lot of photos with men showing off their muscles and their cars.    David was no exception, with the addition of a plane as well. He later told me, ‘Make your photos interesting.”

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6.0 “I Named You After Queen Elizabeth”

by Elizabeth Stephens

Two new arrivals at the Queen of Angels Hospital

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A more recent photo of the Queen of Angels Hospital where I was born on May 08, 1952.The Queen of Angels Hospital was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1926 and served celebrities and poor immigrants. It’s now the Dream Center of Los Angeles.

 After some months, Helen got pregnant and they had a little girl, Adrianna, my sister. Nine months later I, Elizabeth Lascar came on the scene.

I was born on May 8, 1952 at Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles. David told me I was named after two Elizabeth’s, Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth. David felt he owed his survival to the strategic bombing of a British Spitfire enabling his escape from a Nazi Concentration camp on one winter’s day.

Here’s a photo of VE Day (Victory in Europe) which occurred on May 8, 1945. Pictured are Princess Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth standing next to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, King George and Princess Margaret. I was born 7 years later on May 8, 1952. That’s why David told me I was named after Queen Elizabeth.

October 17 2013 Queen Elizabeth Princess Elizabeth VE Day May 8 1945

My youngest daughter Taylor has said to me on more than one occasion, “It’s very obvious that your Mom Bebs and Dad David loved you very much.”

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They were so happy to have two daughters as you can see by all the photos. Living in Venice, the family loved going to the beach for recreation as well.

David was very skilled with his hands and after he would see something in a store, he’d go home and make it from memory. Here is the wooden rocking horse he made for Adrianna and me. They were thrilled having two baby girls.

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I don’t remember much from my early childhood as I was very young at the time. Here I’m holding a couple of my favorite stuffed animals.

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I did see an old video tape which provided a brief glimpse us as kids jumping up and down in our crib. My past came alive for a moment.

These photos are all that exist in my memory of my time with my Mother Bebs.

I didn’t know I had ever visited Tijuana, but one of the final pictures in this gallery is evidence that I’ve been south of the border. I recently read on the back of the picture that the photo was taken while we were on my Dad David’s vacation.

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