There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Friday, June 01, 2007

Auntie and Sam-the-man

Detroit in 1949; I was 4 going on 5. Where am I? Does anyone know? I am standing with my Uncle Sam and Aunt Marcella. They loved me beyond words...I know that for a fact because my Auntie would hug me and tell me she couldn't say I love you enough. Sam? He gave me big, wet kisses.....and I loved them both back just as much. They never had children.

Pretty spiffy cowgirl outfit don't you think? I was a Hoppy fan...well except for the SunSandals and pedal pusher pants I was spiffy, but I did have real cowgirl pants, boots and cap guns with a belt holster.

They lived in a trailer, in a trailer park, in Detroit...not a mobile home in a mobile home park in Detroit. I don't think mobile homes had been invented in 1949. It was a silver travel trailer and the whole park was full of them. It was small, had a couch that sat maybe 3 really skinny adults, a pull down table, a teensy weensy kitchen and bath and a bed that I fit in at 4 years old nicely. I thought it was like my dolly house.

My Auntie didn't work. Sam was a mechanic and from Germany. I tried to talk with a German accent and it made them laugh. My Auntie rarely laughed.....because it turns out Sam beat her regularly. My dad called him a "nasty son-of-a-bitch."

Auntie came to live with us after she divorced Sam. It took me a long time to realize how badly he had hurt her. There were times when I wished she was my mother (she was my dad's sister) because she was A.L.W.A.Y.S. on my side. I lived with her for a while between freshman and sophomore terms. I was a difficult teenager. She was a nurse, I became a nurse. She loved blindly, I loved blindly. She showered me with love and I loved her in return.

She died of Hodgkin's Lymphoma.


Lorraine said...

God bless her. Thanks for sharing.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I think you had some sad times in your childhood, right?

kenju said...

I love the new look!

I had an aunt who was always on my side too, until I was in high school and wanted to go to a town 50 miles away for the weekend, to a college town where a friend of mine was a student. She told my mom not to let me go, because I was too "anxious" and might get in trouble...LOL (she was right, but I didn't want them to know it).

Stephanie said...

Rosemary, you were too cute... She sounds like a wonderful woman.

Sling said...

Hey cowgirl!..Were those six-shooters "Fanner 50's?"..That's what I had when I was a young cowboy. ;)
Thanks for sharing a great memory with us.

Joan said...

What a loving tribute to a woman who played such an important role in your life. How sad that she was a victim of domestic abuse but I'm glad to read that she eventually found her way out of such a dreadful relationship.

Sandy said...

I think every child needs to feel that there is at least one grownup on their side. As adults I sometimes think we forget just how powerless children feel. Your aunt deserved more but just as you think you were lucky to have her, she was lucky to have you. And did you have caps in your gun that smelled like sulphur and sometimes didn't pop? Sometime we would scratch them with our fingernails to pop them. Little sparks!

utenzi said...

I'm sure it hurt to write this post, Rosemary. I can feel the tears in your words. Your aunt looks like she had suffered a good deal in that picture--body language and face--and it's fortunate, I guess, that she was finally able to leave Sam.

I think that fountain is on Belle Island, Rosemary. It's called the Scott Fountain.

The trailer sounds like an Airstream. They were first built in the 1930s and were quite iconic for that era. By the time I was a kid you didn't see them as much anymore.

Chandler said...

Wow, that's really intense. You win major points for speaking about this and so eloquently. I think it sounds like a perfect relationship, that one.