By Sharon M. Kennedy
For many years Mom’s brother, who lived in Dafter with his wife and children, stopped by our place every Sunday afternoon. Steven was one year younger than my sister. Jerry was a year older than I was. Those visits weren’t particularly memorable with the exception of a few things. Steven loved to count the money in my “world” bank. Jude and I each had such a bank, but it was mine our cousin chose. I felt honored that he picked my bank until one day Jude told me why. Then I felt silly. As a little kid, it was hard for me to believe my cousin was light-fingered. He never took much, probably just a couple nickels or quarters, but after I learned the truth, that was the end of his banking scheme.
Another thing I remember about Steven was his love of comics. We had stacks of them at his disposal. As the number of his siblings increased, it was harder for him to find a quiet place where he could read in peace in his small home. However, when Sunday rolled around, he knew his dad’s car would be empty for four or five hours. Once he made the mandatory appearance and said hello to my parents, he grabbed comics and headed back to the car. That’s where he stayed until it was time to go home. Unlike my loose change, he did return the comics.
What I remember most about Jerry was his absolute refusal to have the top button on his shirt or jacket buttoned. Even on the coldest days, I recall him standing in our kitchen telling Mom not to button it. In the photo, his jacket is secured up to his chin. His mother must have laid down the law. From the looks of it, our cousins were dressed for cold weather while Jude and I were not. That was one difference between farm children and “city” slickers. The other was their dread of that awful “cows’” milk.
Jude and Steven are both gone now. All that remains are the memories. That’s life, isn’t it? We come, we stick around for a number of years, then we leave. As children, we don’t think about the memories we’re creating. In the 1950s we had no idea one day I’d be recalling those happy, carefree times and sharing them on the www. What a difference seventy years have made.