A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Friday, July 10, 2009

The original Little Rascals

Over the past year or so I've bee lucky enough to re-connect with dear cousin, Marie (who we always lovingly called "Cookie"), via phone calls, e-mail, Facebook, and my blog. We spent a lot of time together growing up but then, as adults, our paths rarely crossed. I did a post about her last year.

Cookie Marie has been sending me copies of some old photos - some of which I've not seen before. This is one she sent me a couple of weeks ago. I actually have this one - in fact I had it blown up to 8x10 and have it framed on one of my tables.

Yessir, this is my family. This picture was probably taken around 1926 in the Italian neighborhood in Chicago where all our family lived. The cast of characters is (from left) Uncle Johnny, my mom, my Aunt Mary, Aunt Lucy, and Aunt Phyllis (who was called Auntie Fannie). Johnny, Lucy, and Fannie were aunts and uncle to my mother and her sister.

My great-grandmother had 16 kids which included 3 sets of twins. My grandmother was the third one born and she was married at 16. Had my Aunt Mary when she was 17 and my mother when she was 18. My great-grandmother was still "producing" at that time so my mom had several aunts and uncles who were close to her in age. In fact, Uncle Johnny was the same age or a year younger.

They all grew up together and, as you can see, were very fashion conscious. I'm sure they didn't have much, but my mother always told me they never knew they were poor. They just enjoyed having a big family and being together. Eventually everyone in this photo migrated out west - most of them stayed in Arizona, Uncle Johnny kept going until he reached California. Now, the only one left is my Aunt Mary. Both Aunt Lucy and Aunt Fannie died last year. Uncle Johnny and my mother several years ago.

I love this photo. It's my heritage.

4 comments:

ba and the boys said...

i love this photo...it is so much like ones i have of my family. and god bless your grandmother-so many kids! my stretch marks hurt just thinking about it!

Fleur de Lisa said...

What a precious gift to be able to have that photo. I love it!

Jenni said...

I love that photo too. I wish I could have known the Aunty Fanny from that picture. She looks like a tough cookie!

joe@italyville said...

It's beautiful.