Tuesday, January 29, 2013

After janvier comes fevrier, non?

...and fevrier is almost upon us. But before janvier disappears completely, I take the time to remember that today, the 29th day of janvier, is (or was) my Aunt Marion’s birthday.

Aunt Marion was my mother’s older sister. Mama was the youngest of four children; she had two older brothers, and a sister who was eleven years her senior. Mama was born in 1910 and died in 1957. The brothers were born in 1907 and 1904. Aunt Marion, the eldest, was born in 1899 and died in 1987, if memory serves. All of them are gone now.

Somewhere along the way Aunt Marion stopped having birthdays. I remember that my mother passed her at some point.

Two of my most treasured childhood possessions were gifts from my Aunt Marion during two trips she made from Pennsylvania to Texas with my cousin Philip. One was a Brownie Hawkeye camera, a gift of seeing. The other was a three-speed portable turntable (33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm) in a burgundy, simulated alligator-skin carrying case, a gift of hearing. Both of those trips, by the way, in 1948 and 1950, all the way from Philadelphia to Fort Worth, were by bus. Aunt Marion said when she arrived that she knew why they called the bus company Greyhound -- because you feel like a dog when you get off. I don’t need a calendar to know that January 29th was Aunt Marion’s birthday or that February 27th was Philip’s, or that April 10th was Mama’s and May 12th was Daddy’s.

Some things are forever emblazoned in my brain, and I couldn’t forget them if I tried. And even though the moving finger writes and having writ moves on, all my piety and wit cannot lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all my tears wash out a word of it.

Next time: Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.


  1. Today is also one of our daughters' birthdays - and no need to check the calendar here, either.

    When did you live in Fort Worth? John's folks lived there from about 1953 to 1994.

  2. Aunt Marion felt like a dog when she got off the bus in Fort Worth...I thought only Koreans served dogs in their restaurants!
    It is good that these people live on in your memory.

  3. Mary, I lived in or near Fort Worth from 1947 until 1958. I pretty much left Texas altogether in 1961 and have been back only a few times.

    Yorky Poo, I never realized until now that Aunt Marion meant she felt like eating a dog when she got off the bus. How could I have been so blind? Thank you for clearing that up.

  4. Bonne journée en français,

    And this be a glowing tribute to what was your Aunt Marion's birthday.

    And those gifts she gave, the memories she gave you, are forever treasured in your heart and mind. Now you share you memory with us. Thank you.


  5. Gary, thanks for dropping by the blog and for leaving a very nice comment.