It is said that
Uncle Charlie Fiske once told her a story that she considered a little
off-color. When he noticed her embar-rassment he quickly added, "I think
you told me that story, Mrs. Bennett."
She was a person of strong principles and prejudices. She disliked
Calvin Coolidge because his picture appeared in the paper with his
jacket off and his suspenders showing — an undignified costume for a
President of the United States. What would she think of President Lyndon
Johnson who exhibited his stomach to news photographers so they could
take a picture of a scar from a much publicized hernia operation?
She couldn't tolerate ridicule on certain subjects. She gave up
going to church in Wayland because Mr. Brannigan, the minister, started
a Memorial Day address with what he considered a joke and what she
considered sacrilege — namely that on such occa-sions the mention of
G.A.R. always reminded him of "grub and refreshments".
The day Aunt Celin, my mother's sister died, I went with my parents
to call on my grandmother who was in very low spirits, especially when
the discussion turned to funeral arrangements.
"Better not have Mr. Brannigan," my father warned. "He might say the
wrong thing." This was an appropriate remark as my grandmother's tears
suddenly gave way to laughter.
I had seven Bennett aunts and uncles and I knew all but Uncle Billy
who died before I was born. Uncle Ned was the oldest and being a
bachelor lived in my grandmother's house. He had great musical talent
and studied in Europe under a