Grandmama, Uncle Slavko, toddler Dad and pooch in the Old Country.
while Uncle strums mandolin, Dad recalled
being spooked by photographer’s hooded camera . . .
According to Dad, Grandpa fled to Canada
cause of Grandma’s “hard chxarachter”
Consequently, these Ali Baba-loving boys were raised
by a talented, resourceful, but domineering mama
before WWII cruelly displaced the family.
She certainly taught her kids not to spare the rod
with their kids, I tell you what
From the makers of Zoloft – la Familigia – on Pop’s side
In the back row, Grandpa stands on the far right
with Grandma seated directly in front of him
holding on to her sister’s arm for dear life
Mum always insisted the black cat
hanging off her bouquet
was a standard wedding prop,
and considered good luck in England.
Bahh! she’d always grumble,
if you’d ask her if it worked . . . Touchy !!
Childhood in Bronte-land felt like an English mystery.
Before returning as an adult, I never knew
we were a mere stone’s-throw from the moors…
One often repeated story involved Uncle Petey and his friend,
who borrowed Rosie the Cat for an experiment one night. . .
Bored boys plus kitchen matches plus unsuspecting cat
with enticingly longish whiskers equals
Well, you do the math. . .
when Pops bundled us to America
Rosie elected to stay behind
No doubt meowing, “Bon voyage Pyromaniac!”
. . .
Thereafter, we were transplanted
abruptly overseas, more specifically,
to an unforgiving region plagued by
tornados, mosquitos, and Arctic weather ~
Not that “Snow Days” were unwelcome. . .
But worse – no decent fish and chips !
. . .
Dad delicately baptizing le bebe Ireney
in the creepy-crawly waters of Coon Lake
as Auntie O from California has a laugh
don’t ask me ’bout that black cat no mo’ !
“Uncle Ian” to Sari
“That bastardo” to most everyone else
After meeting the enigmatic Ian in gritty London,
I described him to a confidante,
who immediately sputtered,
“Why, he’s nothin’ but a hood !”
My travels to Europe were bucolic, halcyon days indeed
before Interpol entered the picture. . .
Twain’s words resonated:
“Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid
than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Back in Minneapolis, a rare shot of Grandpa with Sari and H –
and the fugly painting no one had the balls to tell me sucked
An awkward moment from my fugitive days
. . .
Thanks to Helen and her intrepid spirit,
during stressful times, Glacier Park beckoned . . .
Through bear-laden trails, glacier-encrusted obstacles,
quick-rising mountain storms,
Brave little Sari revealed her mettle
To paraphrase Grandpa,
Kids like her don’t just grow on trees . . .
. . .
Sari, snuggling cub-like, with Mom
. . . repeats winsomely with Ant
THE CIRCLE TOUR
Bathed in gold, Helen and Auntie Irene
bask on Superior’s Shore
Something finger-point worthy
Mere days after 9/11, a heightened gravitas overshadowed our trip,
but buoyed by Nature’s transcendent powers,
and Irene’s first visit to Glacier Park,
we persevered through those bleak, dark days.
Dramatic Auntie O
with airy fragile beauty
offers California curtsy
Sari brings Montana Josh into the family
WWI Women Locomotive Mechanics –
nothing to do with la familigia,
but very fitting
considering H’s railroad career
To be continued. . .