Susan and I first remember them when we were very young in Washington. We would go see them or they would visit us. Sometimes Sis and Dick would babysit us while the grownups went out. Uncle Mel in my memory was jolly and a jokester. He could play the piano by ear and I remember him singing “Milwalkee in the Morning.” I thought he was a wonderful piano player and always begged for more. He was the inspiration that led me to learn to play.
In later years after we had moved to Payson and Mel and Violet were in Whittier we would visit them there. Usually we got together with Grandma Ethel and Vera and Gib. We had tacos for the first time at their house. They were the latest thing and I wasn’t sure I liked the strange taste of the tortillas. Aunt Violet was gentle, soft spoken and fun to listen to with her slight southern drawl. She worked as a nurse in a mental hospital and we couldn’t wait to hear her latest stories about the patients and the unusual things that went on there. We liked to admire her mortar and pestle collection and the beautiful glass .
paperweights on her coffee table. And we were always amazed at the avacado tree in the back yard with real avacados on it. We took some home with us. She was a good cook. I especially remember a grape jello salad with walnuts and fruit and cream in it that she made.
Dick was artistic and his drawings were impressive for someone so young. Susan says he was patient and forgiving when she painted some sky on a map he made for a school project and told her not to cry about it. He was also a tease. One time at breakfast he ate a whole boiled egg in one bite and then dared us to do it. Our last fond memory of him was a trip to Disneyland. His girl friend had come too and she was so nice to us. Dick was ill by then and had to sit and rest a lot. But he tried to be a good sport.
Sis was so pretty and just enough older for Susan and Tina and I to admire her hair and real makeup and fashionable clothes. We all remember when she and Mike were married. There were so many people there having a good time and lots of good things to eat. Then we enjoyed seeing Aaron and Kimberly a couple of times when they were little kids so cute and finding ways to get into trouble.
There are the sad memories--the shock of Uncle Mel’s death and Dick’s untimely passing at such a young age. We admired Aunt Violet so much for going on with her life as she did. I still have the gold ceramic creche scene that she made that I put out every Christmas. We still have some of the dolls that she gave us with the clothes for them that she had crocheted. Mom always considered her a good friend and looked forward to having her come to Vegas for visits. Photos are Violet in later years and Melvin when young.
|Violet in her later years.|