Tracey is a punk rocker
“Tracey, they’re here!”
In the extravagant foyer of my aunt Sherry’s turn-of-the-century Evanston, Illinois, estate, I stood at the bottom of the long, winding staircase waiting to greet my ultra-cool cousin Tracey with a much-anticipated hug. Though we weren’t technically related, I considered Tracey family as much as I did any blood relative. Our mothers had met as teenagers in high school and became lifelong friends, even forming an a cappella singing group called the Three Belles that performed at their local Boardman, Ohio, Kiwanis clubs, Women’s City Clubs, and school functions in the early fifties (not to mention a morning TV cooking show where my mother drank milk for a commercial endorsement and almost threw up all over the set). Joined by their dear friend Jeralyn Meyer, the trio sang “Tea for Two,” “Bewitched,” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” in perfect harmony, all smiles and matching outfits. With no real professional aspirations, theirs was more of a heartfelt passion, a way to pass the time and share their love of music with friends. After graduation, my mother and Sherry went their separate ways in life but vowed to reconnect every summer from then on, which we did, no matter the distance between our families.