Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I remember Aunt Viola as always behind the wheel, not figuratively but physically.  In gear, hair blowing, and biting her bottom lip.  She was on her way and in a hurry.  Her appearance was instant readiness compared to my mother's long day's preparation into intended perfection.  They were polar opposite sisters, or twisters as they called themselves.

Viola and My Mother at the Beach

Viola had naturally very curly hair, wash and wear, and was a makeup minimalist, until her eyebrows thinned.  At that point, her expressions relied on her artistic prowess of that particular day.  Each visit we were met by either the surprised, quizzical, diabolic, or exasperated Aunt Viola, depending on the artistic brow liner rendition.  No matter what, she came off pretty.

Viola in Her Twenties

My mother's middle sis was always laughing and causing laughter, everyone loved her.  She was the one who caused the black friend taking the girls (as children) fishing, to lose his temper at her moving about the boat:  "Stay where you damn am!" he commanded, and they carried that hilarious admonition with them until they died.  Without life preservers, his concern was understandable.

Viola at About Age 10
My Aunt was the one who took me swimming with her son Gene at Saunder's Beach in Ware Neck.  Those outings were pure joy to a lonely, only child.  She would go in with an inner tube and in her dress, laughing and smoking a cigarette!  It was our little heaven.

As a young adult, I bleached my hair and the result was frightening.  Aunt Viola drove me to her beautician for emergency repair.  On the ride, I covered my effervescent locks with a big fuzzy hat that made me look like a Buckingham Palace Guard.  When a man on the street stared at me I lamented, "Boy, he'd really stare if he could see what's under this hat."  She screamed laughing and so did I.

One of the last times I visited her she said, "There's my baby!"  I was 50 something at the time.  She adored her husband and two sons and lived her time loving and pleasing them.  How we miss her.

Viola in Her Eighties with Me and Grandson Sam


  1. Yes, we do miss her and that one-of-a-kind laugh. I always think of her and dog Pepper in that great big Lincoln Continental. She'd tease the dog by pretending there was a squirrel (he knew the word). The dog would go crazy, she'd die laughing even if she'd pulled the same prank a million times, and everyone else in the car would die laughing at her.

    I miss that laugh.

  2. I love these! Keep 'em coming.....excited to finally be able to comment, also.

    -Middle Sis

  3. I love her! Stay where you damn am. Gonna remember that one. Did we have a fun party this weekend? I missed it! xoxo

  4. Thanks for all the pictures and memories in your last 3 blogs. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about our family. I miss them all!