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Archive for the ‘Bucky’ Category

Protected: A Promise Kept

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-22-2015

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The Times, They Are A….

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-24-2011

This looks like a very neato place.  In fact, I have BTDT. I simply have to get about 2,000 pages of glossy photo paper- not to mention more ink- but, what the hey, there are always DVDs. Of course, anyone who has fussed about with DVDs knows that after a time, whatever version you are using becomes yesterday’s news. I suppose that that is true of PDFs as well. It seems that in the end, nothing beats paper. But this is a really good link.

Oddly enough- well, that is not true at all- something Bucky said to me , once,  came to mind, yesterday. When Humph, our first dog, died so suddenly, I was talking to her on the phone. I said to her, you know that I do not believe in an afterlife, but tell me that Humph has simply gone to a better place.

Would I lie about something like this ?

She might have blurbled something comforting, although that seems a bit out of character, but I am so wickedly biased about Bucky, I am not proud, I admit it. But I do know this : she advised me not to get another dog, for I would simply love it to bits and one day, it too would be gone.

This is true, any simpleton knows that this is true.

And yet, what no one ever tells you- really, it is right up there with what is natural childbirth like ?- or perhaps you never hear it, or really understand the meaning of it, the feeling of it, but one day the cherubs will be gone. Adolescence sortof helps- that growing apart is a bit of a two way street, they loathe you and you attempt to not sound like Olivia Soprano. Rule 1, do not attempt the guilt route, after all, it is all your fault when push comes to shove.

As an aside, I also tend to wonder why if the offspring have not reached perfection, it is always the Mother’s fault, and yet, if there are sterling qualities, they must most assuredly come from the Father. Somehow, this logic does not work for me. I have no idea why, I am sure that age has whithered my IQ.

I have to find a new avatar for this site, or simply go back to paper. My days of being Mummy Dearest are over and that is all that there is to it.

And yet, the good times have – partially- been preserved here.

And that , after all, was the whole point of this.

Go check out Jo. This is great.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-13-2010

I called Daddy last night.

In the triage of life, faced with the death of Oma, the bewildered state that this has left Opa in, the fact that Daddy nearly died has been rather…placed at a lower level of concern.

Just in general, absence, distance, whatever.

So I called him last night. He sounds just like Clint in *Gran Torino*, for when they put the * Trach* in, they nicked his vocal chords. This is interesting, my father sounds just like Clint Eastwood.

Because Wicked Step-Mother is so darn smart, I could never really quite figure out what was going on with Daddy, except that the Doctors did not think that he would make it. He gave me the Reader’s Digest version : two of the vertebrae in his neck collapsed ( I am tending to think that this is related to that fall he took a while ago, smacking his head on the kitchen table ) and a, uh, titanium rod was inserted.

He has given up attempting to walk, his myriad of million dollar artificial legs gathering dust. He has stopped trying to fly, for he sets off every control post around, all of that metal in his body. And airport controls really honk him off. Really. I think that he mentioned that he was tired of having to spread his cheeks every time he wanted to go somewhere. But I am most likely wrong, I age…

I sortof just scratch my head. And wonder why my hair is breaking off and know that I should add some color to the whisps left.

Latest news has it that Opa is getting a puppy. The reason that puppies and babies are so very cute is because we would all drown them within one week if they were not. Babies and puppies are a major pain in the ass.They whine, they cry, they make hideous messes, they destroy your treasures. But they are so darn cute that we forgive them and do a big old Kerouac *Awww!!!*.

Opa wants a Belgian Sheppard, one with *spunk*. Fine. Thank God that puppies are cute, for an 81 year old neat freak with a dog that has *spunk* could be a questionable road to walk down.

Keeping in it that Kerouac mode, here we go, down the road.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-21-2010

This morning, when The Girl came down to the kitchen at 7.45am, she asked me, what are you doing ? Well, I had just booted into the sink and was cleaning it up. This is one of those minor details , the drawbacks of being a Mummy Dearest : you have to clean up your own puke.

I barfed into the sink yesterday as well. There is no doubt in my mind that this is stress related.

All through the day, I thought of my Mother’s death. It happened so very quickly, which I suppose was good. Who would really want a Puccini death? 20 minutes, she is gone.

My Father and I disagree about what did her in, but, as he will not let me see the autopsy report, what can I say.

I wore a trashy dress to the graveyard- it was her favorite dress of mine. Bucky wanted to buy me a new outfit, in fact, she had 3 dresses and shoes sent to the house for me to try on. Nope, I wore that trashy dress that Ma liked so much on me.

As I stood at the graveyard, shivering to no end, and looked at that box, I knew that my mother was not in there. I do not know where she is, but I knew that she was not there. She was gone. Poof.

My Father was a mess. Earlier, at the mass, with Mama, in a box, in the aisle of the Catholic Church in Concord, Ma., on some silly day like a Tuesday, Daddy asked me to talk to The Priest…

He was a young Priest. Perhaps a Jesuit. But we knew- I have no idea why- that he knew Polish. My Father wanted him to say a prayer in Polish over my Mother’s box, the equivalent of now I lay me down to sleep. He would not do it. This was like a Tuesday. He said that it might upset the other members of the Church.

I called him a sniveling coward.

I have never regretted having done so.

I have never gone back to my Mother’s grave. She is not there. Plus, she would have rather been buried across the street, you know, where Author’s Ridge and all is.

Bucky is buried there, next to her.

I want to be buried there. I want to be next to my Mother. With my luck, they will plant me next to Bucky.

But what will I know ? I will not be there.

Billy Conn

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-21-2010

I nearly knocked The Boy down today : he would not let me upstairs to get my blue jeans. He was using his size once more against me. I have spoken to The Father about this, and he is going to have a little Father- Son chat with him : you are not Mummy’s boss.

The Boy and I are friends again. This all passes. But he better not do this again.

Today at his school, they talked about immigration to America. He has actually sucked up some of my talk about our family in America. He gave the standard answer : I am from the Boston area ( do you know what a hub is ? I am constantly trying to explain new words).

He impressed his friends by saying that Frenchy ( my Grandmother) lived on 8 Mile ( as in Eminem). She didn’t, she lived on 7 Mile. Same moonscape. I told him why people moved to Motown ( no, it has to do with the car industry. My Mother was born in Detroit and she always called it Motown) after the Depression : there was work. He did not say that Frenchy was born outside of Warsaw. Being polish is still not cool. One has to live up to this and say, I am Polish, make my day.

I said that in the end, parts of our family go back to the 1600′s in America, Pennsylvania. And then Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky. I know this. If I wanted to, I could prove this. He told his teacher that we have a lot of hillbillies in our family. I asked him, who in our family is a hillbilly ? Uncle Richard. Richard was born in Pittsburgh and lives in Ohio. To tell the truth, I don’t know what a hillbilly is.

He asked me if there where any blacks in our family. I said that I didn’t think so. I think that there is a good chance that one of my Mother’s grandfathers was Jewish, but who cares, this is a blessing in my opinion. I did not mention this.

I then explained ( he wanted to hear this, he kept telling me to continue the story) that a relative of ours most likely was involved in the Crosswhite Affair ( Wesley Kerlin) , which had to do with The Fugitive Slave Act. He had to be there with Giltner when he ran up to Michigan. He was married to one of Giltner’s daughters at the time. I told him that another relative met Lincoln ( Hugh Carrothers, although the spelling of this is very flexible). He married well. His father in law was a big politician from West Virginia, a senator, a congressman, who knows, it has been a long time since I looked at those Crothers. No doubt about this.

And then I told him something that would appeal to any boy’s heart : back in East Liberty ( Pittsburgh), Bucky ( my other Grandmother) decked Billy Conn. Ok, they were kids, this was before Joe Louis, but Bucky KO’ed him.

This has never surprised me. She was a woman of many talents.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Dec-2-2009

One of the more interesting things about growing older, is that suddenly, some of one’s patterns of behavior are as clear as ice.

For example, I have always been attracted to men with dark hair and fair eyes. Oh, I had beaus with blond hair, but for some reason ( sounds like a bad joke) I could never take them seriously. Boy Toys, dontcha know.

There are certain days that one always remembers, you know, like watching those two planes crash into the towers, Why, I even remember watching that long and solemn march of Kennedy’s funeral, sitting in the basement ( next to Bucky’s lavender bedroom) all by my little lonesome, perhaps when we lived in Minnesota ( blink, then we were gone).

And I remember so very clearly and yet, at the same time, so vaguely, the day that I was told that Clarence died. In my memory, it was in December, and I lived in Germany.
I was visiting some neighbors, Lord knows why, all of their kids were half my age.

But according to The Wall , Clarence died in February, 1968. I probably did live in Germany then, which hangs so very strongly in my memories of hearing that Clarence had died.

Sounds right, but doesn’t really matter.

Sortof like The Wall saying that Clarence was born in South Carolina. Shoot, I’ve always known that Clarence was from Tennessee. Then again, I was born in North Carolina. Shows, doesn’t it ?

When I was a few weeks old, my family moved to Germany . We lived there for 5 years. I suppose that Clarence was my father’s Sargent, I don’t really know. I do know that he was my Father’s best friend and that I adored Clarence. I have heard stories that he would tease me until I was in tears. Before I was 5, I made a hickey on my shoulder, just playing around. My parents saw it and immediately asked if Clarence had done that.

I was very frightened. I had only been playing around. But the fact that they would ask if Clarence did it tells me how much I loved that man. And that my parents knew how close Clarence and I were.

I remember leaving Germany, when I was 5 years old, and simply straining my eyes to keep the tiny village that I had lived in all of my life in sight. I knew, even then, that home is where you hang your hat, a movable feast, and that I would never see these people again. Army life.

We did see Clarence again, somewhere in America, I can’t remember where, for we seemed to move every 3 months when we were in The States, following Daddy’s trainings, education, whatever. I do remember that by the time I was in fourth grade, we were back in Germany once more. And I remember playing with Clarence’s daughter, who frightened me, for I have always been very small and she was very tall.

Clarence left me with a love of old country music. I know all of the words to songs that I can barely remember, know, somewhere deep in my mind who should be singing that song.

Clarence was tall, in my mind, lanky, with dark hair and fair eyes.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-7-2004

It seems that the chicks in a family get the ‘ good stuff’. I spend my few minutes on the computer sending scans to a young woman who is a distant relative of mine. She is descended from the oldest son, I from the female, baby of the family. I have all of the pictures, she has searched down the official things : wills, birth certificates, census stuff.

But I have the pictures. I can give faces to her papers and know how curious she must be. And so, I spend the time scanning off things for her. Of no use at all, genaeologically speaking, are 9 scans of my great-great- grand mother’s guest book ( or whatever it is called) from her funeral. She, too, notices the childish scrawl of women that she has known as old dragons of her family.

It is an odd thing to do. I only do it because my great-great grandmother is the only person in our family of peasants who has ever interested me. But she- a professional researcher- can not go back any further, find out Annie’s ancestor’s. Bucky’s brilliant mind and status as favorite granddaughter make Dad and I cling to Bucky’s stories about Annie, official papers be damned.

We watch ‘Roots’ with the children ( Kizzy has just been born). As I send scans of photos to a professional researcher, how can I not wonder about the value of family stories as opposed to official documents.

And I know, Haley hit a plagerism suit, somewhere along that line.

Ho Hum

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-5-2004

In 1951- for whatever reasons- Bucky needed some records of her baptism and confirmation. There are two papers, dated June 1, 1951, issued from her family church, attesting to her baptism and confirmation. Neither have her name right, one hasn’t even got her mother’s name right.

But snuggled down on the end of one of the papers. so obscurely placed that no one has ever noticed, is the date of her marriage to Tea. It was there, all of this time, in our possession. We just never noticed it.

Bucky married Tea Oct.11, 1934. Dad was born March 5, 1935.

It comes as no surprise to any of us.

Me and Dad.

Fatal Flaws

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-20-2004

Anyone who has been around here for long enough, knows that my Achilles heel is gossip- old or new, I love it. Eat it up with a spoon. I’ve always wondered if that is why I enjoy history so much- old gossip, dontcha know.

So this whole genealogy thing – * whisper* so, Bucky was born 6-7 weeks early, going from her parent’s wedding date.

Uh, would explain a lot.

Now, I wonder, just when did Bucky marry Tea. Exactly. There are no wedding photos, no scraps of memories of the occasion at all, although I came to know Tea quite well, his second wife, his children thereof. The Girl is named after one of his daughters- the Veronica in the long list of her very Catholic baptismal names.This is a question which no one ever dared ask Bucky when she was alive. She certainly dumped Tea within months of Dad’s birth. Well, she was very young, 19 after Dad was born, and few months later she miscarried ( in the kitchen- why do these images persist- to add that grain of truth to a story ?) what she always believed was a daughter, the one thing her heart most desired.

In fairness, I must say that -while a photo may not show it- Bucky was considered a great beauty in her time. Actually proposed to by Princes of postage -stamp sized principalities in Germany. Most likely because she was an utterly brilliant woman, filled with wit, and- unlike me- vivacious until the day that she died. I spent many a bored fragment of time teasing her about the guy with the Schloss overlooking the Rhine – eh, he died two years later, I would remind her, with an aura of exasperation. I could be a Princess now…

But she and I never got along.

It happens.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-19-2004

I’m not really one of those genealogy people, if you know what I mean. A long time ago, I rather settled back comfortably into the realization that I come from a long line of peasants,of the sort which leave X- is their mark upon official documents.

But every now and again, in a fit of procrastination, I might tick in a few family names, see what Google comes up with. Most of our family names are as common as mud, as peasant’s names would be, wouldn’t they ? So, I’ll usually go for the Franczaks, the Kilberts or the Kerlins. The Samuel Kerlins, in fact.

Imagine my surprise on Sunday when I did that Kerlin search once again and this popped up.

Someone looking for information about Bucky’s mother, and- of course- the whole shebang that followed.

How odd to think that- after all of these years,someone I don’t know, never heard of, grew up with the same stories about Annie O’Neill- name as common as mud, but the only one who actually wasn’t a peasant- which I grew up with. After all, Bucky was her favorite grandchild.

I rummage around in a drawer in the kitchen and find it there, a ring which contains a small diamond, a quarter of a carat, which belonged to Annie O’Neill, from her wedding ring.

What a very odd experience this is for me.