August 18, 2009

Banished from the beach

This photo was taken by a New York Daily News photographer when my mother, Beth Hall Horner, was ejected from the beach for immodest attire.

My father told me that the photo appeared on the front page of the Daily News. Because the photo isn't dated I can't go back to the old newspapers to look it up. I'd love to see the page and the caption.

For his part the officer doesn't look like he's about to handcuff my mother and throw her in the Paddy Wagon. And my mom doesn't look terribly indignant about her ejection.

She was a free spirit when she was young. And throughout her life she was funny, warm, loving and lovely. But she was plagued by manic depression, and it became devastating in her final years.

She underwent shock therapy a number of times.

"It's like being electrocuted," she told me when I visited her in the garden of the sanitarium.

She wanted me to intercede and have the treatment stopped. Foolishly, I believed the doctors knew what they were doing.

It was not a humane treatment. By the time she died at 58, the electricity had largely burned out the spirit that made her a shooting star. That was 44 years ago. I still think of her a lot.

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific picture -- it looks like a still from an old movie, maybe a Myrna Loy picture. And what a powerful story -- I won't say sad, your mom looks like she knew how to find joy in life in the good times.