The Uncles

Clarence’s fern…

Dear Rosa, It’s amazing the things we value. When I look at that photo of you with Mary and little Frank, I can only imagine its importance. It’s all I have of you and I’m so grateful it has survived all these years. Of treasures I write and simple things. There’s nothing grand about my life […]

Fly boys…and a girl, sort of

Dear Rosa, Five of your grandsons served in the Second World War but you wouldn’t know that. You passed before the War to End All Wars even began. Dad, my dad, trained to be a fighter pilot. Too young to serve in the war, he missed the atrocities, finished his active duty without the black […]


Dear Rosa, I wonder if you knew that quiet spoken man who married your grand-daughter, Lilah. Paul Dole, my uncle. My favorite uncle. He was much older than Lilah, by some twenty years, and yet I felt their connection even as a kid. He was loyal to her. I loved seeing them together. When the uncles would […]

Clarence and Prince

Dear Rosa, So, you must have known how much your daughter, Mary, loved dogs.  I was too young to have met most of them, but I remember Prince. Prince, so grandly named, was a spit of a dog, a tiny chihuahua – and mean, too. In Vermont when we want to emphasize how over-the-top something is, we […]


Dear Rosa, He was beautiful, your grandson, Clarence, wasn’t he? Ignorant to the future and perhaps that was for the best. He grew into a handsome man, movie-star really and just look at those eyes. I remember him when he still drank. I was just a kid and it scared the crap out of me when […]

the Uncles

Dear Rosa, Eight children – six boys your daughter, my grammy, had. What a brood. But then, Irish Catholic families had lots of children. My best friend in Northfield was but one of 11! You lived just across the street from Grammy and I can only imagine you were a help. Such shenanigans they must […]

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