Here's a picture of mom's immediate family, circa 1946:
My mom's in the upper right hand corner, in the plaid. Sitting to her right is her father, my grandfather. He (or at least his red hair) is mentioned in this poem and he was called "big boy" by his extended family, though I never ever called him anything but Grandpa. He was a wood worker who built us some amazing wood things for Christmas gifts. When playing poker, his hands would shake a little more than a little when he had a really good hand. When we saw Big Boy's hands shake, we all knew enough to fold.
My Aunt Teresa's in the lower left hand corner, with her arm around her oldest sister, my Aunt Elida.
Within a decade or so of this picture, Aunt Terry would be married and she'd have a daughter, my cousin, Josette.
And when Josette turned 50, my dad sent her this poem:
Josette never fails to inform me that when I was little (I'm about 8 years younger) she and my cousin Judy (who is my Aunt Elida's second child) used to fight (FIGHT!) over who would play with me.
Happy Birthday JosetteLet us pause to contemplate
This special day we celebrate
Twas on this day that you were born
One early early autumn morn
What a day this work has known
Snce you were sent "on loan"
Your mother thought, "Oh, what the hello,"
"Well just keep her." "How can tell?"
"She might grow up to be a saint"
And then promptly went into a faint!!
No! "She'll grow into something better"
"Like a labrador or Irish Setter"
So she kept you and what she got
(A Lab or Setter you are NOT!)
A lady lovely, thoughtful, nifty!
Better still you're only fifty!
Happy Birthday my nice nice niece
May your wonders never cease.
Your Uncle,Albert DeAngelo
I'm fifty now and I can not contemplate being so cute as to provoke such familial rivalry.