Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The mind is a wonderful thing, and it’s strange the things people remember.
I remember…

…my mother telling me about a party at my Aunt Lou’s house in Richmond Hill. I think it was for my Cousin Virginia’s high school, under age, friends.  After the party my Aunt was up in the bathroom and saw a big puddle on the floor. Bending down and swiping her finger through the puddle she brought it up and smelled it. Indignantly, she turned to my Uncle Cornell and exclaimed “liquor!” And Uncle Cornell thought about it, thought about where they were, and calmly asked “What if it had been something else?” I’d have turned green!

Speaking of Aunt Lou, who was named for my grandfather’s mother, Louise, my Great Aunt Lou, my grandmother’s sister, I found out on her 100th birthday, was really Lulu.  She was a lulu alright!  A large woman who was suitably corseted in those days when corsets were de rigueur, I remember her always dressed in black, wearing her pearls. You know how they say someone is always looking down their nose at others? That’s how it seemed Great Aunt Lou was looking at me. Maybe because I was a little kid and she was tall and so large. She always wore Tabu perfume, and I remember that first because of the scent, which I didn’t like, and second because once, within my hearing, someone asked her about her perfume: “Oh, I always wear Tabu.”  Oooh, la la – or Oooh lulu.

Both Great Aunt Lou and her sister Elsie lived to over 100, my grandmother, their middle sister, lived only to 91. My mother and I kidded that it was because the other two had only two children each, whereas my grandmother had eight.  91! I’d like to live that long.

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