Tuesday, May 01, 2007
This is my great-aunt Nellie, who is 92 years old. She's the last of her generation in my family, but I was lucky enough to have been able to spend time with many of the others before they passed on. Nellie, my Babchi, and my Auntie Mitzi were friends from childhood, and they stayed friends until the end. When I was very young, Babchi (my grandmother) used to take me with her when she visited them, and we would play bingo and cards together. Later, when I was in high school, I remember the three of them sitting together at family parties. Nellie always had a big glass of seven & seven, and she would regale everyone with stories. She was always "the pistol", the one who broke all the rules, my mom says.
She's lived in the same little house since 1939. The place is immaculate, and in pristine condition. She's got the old metal cabinets in the kitchen, with one of those huge ceramic one-piece sinks, and there's not a dent or a scratch on it anywhere. Her lawn and flowerbeds are her pride and joy. She told me this weekend that after her husband Duke died (who she still misses and talks about, twenty years after his passing), she cried and cried for two years. Then one day she bought a push mower and started to take care of the lawn herself. She was over seventy years old at the time.
She is a pistol, indeed.