The American Dream Trilogy

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This is a trilogy. A look into the lives of three men in pursuit of the American Dream. Tied together through blood they share peices of their journey with their daughter, grand daughter, and god daughter, Natalie. Defining their dreams and the bonds built while chasing them.

Text of The American Dream Trilogy

  • TH

    E A






  • To Our Natalie

  • This is a trilogy. A look into the lives of

    three men in pursuit of the American

    Dream. Tied together through blood

    they share peices of their journey with

    their daughter, grand daughter, and god

    daughter, Natalie. Defining their dreams

    and the bonds built while chasing them.



    Grand Father

    My Awakening 2

    Light in Everything 5

    The Truth is 11

    I am a Thankful Man 15


    Paternal Father

    Good Looks and Luck 22


    God Father

    World Stopped 26

    No More Than 33

  • Riverview, MichiganJames C. Hughes, Neal S. Hughes


  • Riverview, MichiganJames C. Hughes, Neal S. Hughes


    I grew up in a poor family. My own awakening

    began in 1941, when I was 10. I remember rid-

    ing the bus home from Father Gabriel Richard, a

    private catholic school, downriver Detroit. I missed

    my stop and had to walk home down Barwell. My

    older brother, James, and I spent most days avoid-

    ing this side of town. One of my classmates was a

    boy whose father was a steel mill worker, like mine.

    He wore bruises under his clothes. But this was part

    of growing up in Riverview. I saw the boy on my

    walk home and waved. We didnt know each-other

    but the distance between us and those alike was

    small. We were the same people. Back then, even

    though we kids were young, our souls were large.

    1 2

  • Chicago, Illinois Neal S. Hughes

    3 4

  • 3 4


    James grew to be tall and wise.

    But before he was wise he was

    just tall. When I was fighting the

    Korean War in the backyard with

    sticks and stones, my brother was

    living it. The war washed his face

    with shrapnel and a brash out-

    look. It wasnt long after his return

    he met Julianne. She had jet black

    hair and lips the color of sum-

    mer strawberries. He didnt stay

    with us long after that. Before we

    knew it he was living out West with

    the stars. My Momma, your Great

    Grandmother, always said Juli-

    anne took her heart away to LA.

    But we all knew James would never

    stay in Riverview. He would never

    work in the mills. Fighting the war

    was his first taste of life outside

    Detroit. I knew once he left, he

    would not be returning. He would

    write and tell me about the shiny

    cars and houses with more win-

    dows than walls. His heart was

    like the fourth of July. I want-

    ed to live that life. My parents

    always provided what they could.

    That being said, sometimes they

    couldnt. I remember going to bed

    with a tired rumbling stomach some

    nights. James would tell me stories

    about pretty women and try to put

    me to sleep. He always had a way

    to find the light in everything. It

    was from him I learned how to care

    for my five other siblings. Being the

    third oldest wasnt just a number

    in line, but a responsibility. My sis-

    ter Darlene, the eldest, pushed all

    responsibility onto James, she was

    far to delicate. We didnt need her

    to take care of us, that was James

    and Is job. My younger sister

    Maryln was sweeter than pie and

    always looked up to Darlene, who

    didnt always see the appreciation

    in that. Close to Maryln there was

    Joseph , three years younger than

    myself, he was my shadow for the

    first quarter of my life. And lastly,

    the youngest, Carie. She was the

    easiest to love and hardest to

    hold. A lot of my mother was in

    her. I think that worried us all.

    We werent perfect, but we got by.


    5 6


    Downriver Home, Backyard Neal S. Hughes, Darlene M. Hughes, Carie S. Hughes,James C. Hughes, Maryln N. Hughes, Joseph R. Hughes.

    King Park, Michigan Neal S. Hughes, Darlene M. Hughes, Carie S. Hughes, Maryln N. Hughes.

    5 6

  • Downriver Home, Front Porch Neal S. Hughes, Darlene M. Hughes, Joseph R. Hughes.

    7 8

  • Downriver HomeCarlyle Hughes Sr., Carie S. Hughes

    7 8

  • 9 10

  • Downriver Home Neal S. Hughes, Darlene M. Hughes, Carie S. Hughes, Maryln N. Hughes, James C. Hughes. Not Pictured: Joseph R. Hughes.

    9 10


    Like James, I enlisted at the age of 18. I was shipped

    off to Vietnam. Little did I know I would leave a boy

    and return a man. The war turns some people cold,

    for me, I think it warmed me up. Threw me around,

    beat me up a little, but I needed it. Yet, looking back

    on this event I am blessed to be alive. As soon as

    I made it back to the states I started at the mills.

    James had fallen deep into the fast LA lifestyle.

    His life with Julaine was of a foriegn and unfami-

    lar taste to all of us back home. The truth is, its a

    picture that entered my consciosness and stayed

    there. James had his own dreams and I had mine.


    11 12


    Returning from Vietnam Neal S. Hughes, Marlene C. Hughes

    11 12

  • Visting James, California Neal S. Hughes, Will M. Jones, James C. HughesFredrick D. Williamston, Marcus P. Phillips

    13 14

  • In the white of winter I recieved a let-

    ter in the mail from James. As I read on

    about the warm Winter months he spent

    galavanting through Napa Valley I grew

    resentful. I was hungry for more. Not

    for what James had. Something for me.

    Neal S. Hughes

    13 14


    By the time I was twenty-five I had a child on the way. I met a girl sweet as

    southern tea and she seemed to find something in me that was appeal-

    ing. And for that I loved her. Her father was a successful businessman

    born and bred. Old Chicago blood, they called him. Her Mother was

    kind and soft spoken . My love, Evalyn was a spitfire. Drove her father

    mad and her mother weak, probably accounted for half the reason he

    was so successful. I wasnt the man she was meant to marry thats for sure.

    The old man soon brought me under his wing. It sure wasnt a nat-

    ural transition. I learned to wear a suit quite well, or at least thats

    what they told me. Before I knew it I was an executive partner at a

    company I would have only dreamed to be a part of. If it wasnt for

    a lot of luck and political placement, this dream wouldnt be mine,

    and this is something I have been ever so cognisant of. I am a

    thankful man, not to say I dont work harder than most. My transi-

    tion from blue collar to white collar happened in the blink of an eye.

    Having our first child was magical. Little did we know six chil-

    dren later we would still feel the same way. Neal S. Hughes Jr. was

    strong headed like my brother James. I knew that had something

    to do with him being the eldest, but I was always wary he would be

    just like him. Following Neal Jr. was Katherine. As soon as she could

    talk she took on a motherly role. Mark, the third eldest like his old

    man, wasnt born too long after Katherine. They were so close in age

    most people thought they were twins. After Mark, John and Kenney.

    That was the bunch. They were wild and Evalyn and I were young.


    15 16


    Chicago, Illinois Neal S. Hughes

    15 16

  • Upstate NewyorkEvalyns Father, Neal S. Hughes

    17 18

  • Ive learned the more you come to expe-

    riece and the longer youve been on this

    earth the clearer you see. Without philo-

    sophical doubt, you have not seen red un-

    til you touch the San Fransisco Bridge.

    James C. Hughes

    17 18

  • Chicago, Illinois Neal S. Hughes

    18 19

  • 18 19

  • Grosse Pointe, MichiganCatherine E. Hughes, Nancy M. Swordinski

    21 22

  • I was the most like my father. We

    never failed to understand eachother.

    He was a strong man that I looked up

    to and I held a high regard for him and

    those alike. My brothers and I were

    rather different, I think my sister, Kath-

    erine, and I got along so well because

    we were so close in age. I was her pro-

    tector and she was the closest thing