Monday, August 18, 2008

One of my favorite aunts had a dreadful name

This morning I woke up and thought about my aunt Hortense. She hated that name. When she was a child, she was teased unmercifully. She had a twin brother Horace, and the little tykes were nicknamed Punch and Judy after a puppet act that was famous at the time. She was born in 1892 in Wakulla County, Florida. She married Jimmy Tinsley and they had one child who died right after birth. She never had another child, but she and Uncle Jimmy lived near us during my childhood. I loved to got to her house which was always spotless and always smelled good, filled with odors of cakes and pies. I believe she baked a dessert every day.

I remember the blue hydrangeas that grew on either side of the steps to her back porch. I wrote a poem once that began "between two blue hydrangeas..."

Aunt Hortense (Judy) lived to be nearly 100 years old and grew more lovely every year. My strongest recollection of her was her never ending interest in others. She did not dwell on herself, her problems, but was interested in me when we talked, even though I was young and had nothing as interesting to talk about as she did. I still miss hearing her talk and her laugh.

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