Sitting shirtless in the hot sun on the anniversary of my Mother's birthday and my parent's wedding anniversary, it seemed only fitting to spend the fifth of July as another day to remember my ancestors. I sat on the edge of a large and ancient rock overlooking the eastern base of the hill where my mother grew of age. Nearby on Northfield Road, my parents were married in the front room of a farm house surrounded by boughs of Lilly of the Valley. Their wedding night was in the upstairs bedroom her brothers had tied cans to the bed springs.
Upon Mount Grace I marveled at the passage of time.
My Mother graduated High School three years before the US was forced to enter the Great War. Her graduating class, consisting of a few guys and a gang of farm-girls, took a bus to NYC to see Frank Sinatra for the class trip. The girls spent most of the night standing outside the theater smoking cigarettes and starring at the lights. They didn't care about "Frank, what's his name". The people, the lights, the buildings; that's where it was at.
Coming from a place where the tallest building for miles was only made tall by the use of a steeple and the brightest lights to be found at home were from the glow of the silver screen. Anyone can sing they thought! Hell, my Mother was known for possessing a right good yodel.
A few weeks after graduation the farm at the foot of Mount Grace burned to the ground. They rescued what little they could and and rushed to lead the animals to safety. Her mother had worked hard the year before picking and selling wild berries. Later, when the garden season was winding down, she was busy making batch after batch and canning succotash. Selling every bit of it to purchase a washing machine. The fire extinguished everything. And somewhere about this time her oldest brother crashed his car and convalesced at the new home where he succumbed to his injuries two weeks later.
This is the area where several of my uncles and an aunt were born in the logging camp. They hunted, farmed, worked and played here. They endured pain and shared joy here. And still many of my relatives live about the Mount. I've not seen a one since the passing on of my mother.
Maybe it's time to knock on a door and see if they remember me.