and went to work. My rendition
was somewhat one dimensional but Aunt Beatrice Hayward, one of my
adopted aunts, was visiting us and volunteered to put in the shading and
finishing touches and we ended up with a fairly respectable likeness.
When I showed it to my father he explained that the lobster Cousin
Gertrude had painted was of the human variety — namely some railroad
There is a story I've always liked about Aunt Gertrude's sister,
Miss Cornelia Horsford, a prim old lady who lived in Cambridge. One of
her nephews and his wife — Alice, I think her name was —happened to be
on the cruise ship Morro Castle when it burned and sank off the New
Jersey coast. They managed to jump over-board and swim ashore, but there
was great anxiety in the family until word arrived that they were safe.
Harold Willis, the first to hear the news, telephoned Aunt Cornelia, who
he was sure must be worried sick about the whole thing. When he told her
what had happened she remarked very calmly, "Oh really! — of course
Alice always did enjoy swimming."
My grandfather, Brenton H. Dickson, was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia
where his father, Daniel Dickson, was a prominent lawyer. I know very
little about Daniel except that he was a man of high principles and felt
that such exclamations as "Oh Heavens!" verged on the profane.
As a young man, my grandfather had a yen for the sea and he shipped
out on a boat bound for Boston. By the time he arrived his enthusiasm
had dwindled and he decided that a life ashore would be more to his
liking, so he got a job in a commission