Tag Archives: dark shadows

My “Little Brother”

This was an incredibly sad weekend. Saturday, we learned that the husband of a dear friend suddenly passed away the night before.  Later that day, news came that the mother of one of Marshall’s classmates lost her battle with cancer. Motor Man heard that the wife of one of his racing acquaintances passed away from a health issue.

And yesterday afternoon….. I received the call that Eddie, my oldest nephew, born when I was just two-and-a-half, had died of natural causes.

When Eddie was born, my sister, June,  and her husband lived in Syracuse, New York.  While researching old photos for this post, I discovered one that I’d never seen before.  It was on a thumb drive of files from June’s computer. I’m guessing this is Eddie as a newborn. (It could possibly be his brother, John, born just ten months after Eddie. But the parents sure have that “smitten with our first baby” look.)

Soon after that, June and her family moved to our area, and it was then that Eddie and I became like sister and brother.  They lived in our little town so we visited quite often.

A few years later, June and her family (which by then included Eddie’s siblings, John, Donna and Barb) moved several miles away. So we didn’t see each other quite as often, but we still had frequent family visits.

That’s Eddie,standing by his mom

We celebrated birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and often just visited for no reason.

Sometimes for my school recess or PE, we’d be required to play softball. I was taunted (and always the last one chosen for a team) because I could never hit the ball. On weekends, Eddie would try to help me.  Neither of us had a ball and bat, so we used a stick and black walnuts to practice.  Surprisingly, I managed to connect with those black walnuts much more often than I ever did a softball. Perhaps it was who was pitching to me?

Many summer afternoons, we watched Dark Shadows and were scared terrified together.

In our adult years, we saw each other less often, so those family gatherings were even more special.  This was taken during a Christmas visit from Eddie when Marshall was six months old. My sister, June (Eddie’s mom) is to the right.

At a more recent family gathering in our yard a few summers ago,  Eddie  is obviously enjoying time with his nephew, Ray.

And that’s how I shall remember “my little brother”….relaxing, smiling and happy.

~These Days Of Mine~





Summer Sundays

Since I’ve been an adult, there have been many times during summer months, that I’ve thought back to the summer Sundays of my growing up years.

Sundays were special; Mom would get up early and fry chicken for lunch, always making sure to have our Sunday clothes carefully put away in a room with the door closed. It wouldn’t do for our clothes to smell of fried chicken when we went to church.

After church, either one or both of my adult sisters would be at our house with their children to have lunch with mom and me. Looking back, I’ve often wondered where everyone sat. It was a tiny kitchen with one of those formica-topped  tables and four chairs. I’m sure we brought in extra chairs from around the house to seat everyone.

Since our house had no air-conditioning at the time, those summer Sunday afternoons were spent outside. By the time I was twelve, I had three nieces and three nephews. The adults sat and talked under the shade of an “umbrella” tree, and we children played on the swing set or rode bicycles/tricycles.

Yesterday, my mind went back to those summer Sundays. And I was curious: what years, during my childhood, did July 20 fall on a Sunday? Of course, it didn’t take long to find an answer on the internet. I was quite surprised: it happened in 1958, when I was five years old. I obviously don’t recall too much about that summer.

And here’s the surprising part: the next time July 20 came on a Sunday was in 1969, when I was sixteen.

Not that summer, but a few months later

Not that summer, but a few months later

Now, as a sixteen year old, I certainly wasn’t to be found playing with “children” that summer; I was in the throes of a major crush on a local boy with wavy brown hair, blue eyes and a navy blue Torino GT.

internet image

internet image

 On the radio, we were listening to “In The Year 2525”, “Crystal Blue Persuasion”, “Bad Moon Rising”, and “Quentin’s Theme” (from Dark Shadows).

Oh, and what were we watching on TV?  That particular day:


internet image of the moon landing

That was a summer Sunday:  a mere 45 years ago yesterday.

~These Days Of Mine~