two of them — a blue touring
car and a green limousine. She also had a Pierce
Arrow station wagon for errands, a rather splurgy indulgence.
One year I had a Christmas present for Uncle John and
Aunt Katherine but I didn't know their address. "Where does Uncle
John live ?" I asked my father.
"In the lap of luxury," he replied.
I don't remember what the present was — probably nothing much — but
I'm sure it was better than what my brother Edward sent them a few
Christmases later — two washcloths from the five and
ten cent store.
Aunt Katherine was very spoiled. She did a lot of whining
and complaining and became especially upset when things went against
her. One day she was playing Russian Bank with Mary Collens, a friend
who often visited her in Chesham, and got badly
beaten. She considered herself an expert player and to be beaten by a
rank amateur was more than she could bear. Her face
showed considerable disgust, but in the spirit of good sportsmanship she
swallowed her emotions and challenged her friend to a second game. Once
more she lost, then, angered beyond endurance, she rose to her feet,
swept everything off the table with a brush of the arm and exclaimed,
"Mary Collens — you just don't understand the game."
At one point Uncle John and Aunt Katherine bought a farm-house in
Walpole, New Hampshire, where they could spend a week or so of Uncle
John's vacation "roughing it." It stood at
the top of a high hill and commanded a spectacular view up and down the
Connecticut River valley. It was appropriately called
La Chanterelle, which means the highest string of a violin or