Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Since Bea still sleeps, I want to include her fourth sibling, the baby in the family, my Uncle Bob. I did not find any correspondence with Bea. Perhaps she threw it out? She did keep, however, this letter written in 1983:

“Dear Aunt Estelle, I was sorry to hear that you have broken your arm. Please forgive me for not having written. Things have not been going the best with me. In the hopes I would be able to enclose a little something in the envelope, I have postponed and postponed this letter. As you probably know, I had a heart attack a few years ago from which I am by now recovered but not quite as completely as I would like. Also, I had to move, as the building I was living in was torn down for a parking lot. The good job I had at Delmonico’s evaporated when the restaurant went out of business. I haven’t had a steady position since then. Although I have had other jobs, nothing really satisfactory. In fact, for a fair amount of time, I was either unemployed or only working weekends. I am presently on unemployment and looking for a job. The fourth of July I came down with a severe case of acute bronchitis that lasted six weeks. I do hope you are feeling better. However, at your age, you cannot expect to feel too spry. I hope you have enjoyed visiting my sister Bea. With affection, your Nephew, Bob”

Bea and Dorothy sent Bob money on a regular basis. He spent much of it betting on horses.

After Bob died March 4, 1986, Dot and Bea organized a tombstone for their siblings. Hunter had passed in 1979; Helen,1980.

Dot sent Bea the exact dates and wrote beneath their names, “Three tragedies. Needless tragedies. My heart is heavy with sadness.”

Bea and Dorothy were the survivors.


Blogger EllenDottysyoungest said...

Uncle Bobby was my mom’s (Dorothy Chrystal) godfather and took the role quite seriously - he'd send her a small bottle of perfume, the kind that might be given away at Bloomingdales or something or a scarf on her birthday and always had a small something for her at Christmas even if he had nothing for anyone else.
My favorite Uncle Bobby story involves a Christmas present he gave my mom. One year at Christmas he was in a particularly good mood (he didn't fall asleep on the train and sleep thru the Glen Head stop this time and was there early enough for all the festivities). He told my mom he'd had an extremely good time at the track and gave her a bottle of Drambuie (her favorite) in it's box all wrapped up with a big bow. My mom opened the gift but didn't open the box the bottle was in. It was the largest bottle of Drambuie I've ever seen. She thanked Bobby enthusiastically and he was very happy, really grinning from ear to ear. Hours later we left for the drive home and my mom had the bottle on her lap. For some reason she opened the top of the box and looked in - the bottle of Drambuie was COVERED with money - $20's and $50's and $10's all folded up and taped on the bottle in an intricate pattern. I'll never forget her surprised intake of breath - and amazed expressions when she pulled it out of the box, money hanging off of it where the box pulled the neatly taped bills away from the bottle. It ended up being over $1000 when all was said and done.
My mom made my dad turn around and go back to her parents and she went in and thanked Bobby and tried to give the money back to him (knowing full well that in another week her mom and Auntie Bea would be sending him money for rent and food) but he'd have no part of it and actually got mad. I remember him standing there at the foot of the stairs, with my mom and her mom and Dad and my dad and Tibo and I ,and he stamped his foot and said "Come On - never in my life have I been able to do this for anyone - let me do this – you’re my niece and my god daughter - I've never gotten you a DAMN thing worth anything ever - let me give you this God Dammit!" He was really mad, I remember he had the cigarette in one hand with his drink and was gesturing with his free hand. I'm sure he'd had a few drinks already. My grandfather finally put an end to it and said "OK Bobby - it was sweet of you" or words to that effect and kind of shooed my grandmother away from the scene. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time or younger but I remember it all vividly.

9:12 AM  

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