Tales of my Parents

Since I’ve been on the Island people have been sharing stories about my folks with me.

Mr. M (who mows for me): “I only saw your dad a couple of times before he died. He was a ray of sunshine! Always had a welcoming smile on his face. I finally got to know your mom when some of our mail got mixed up. She brought it up to the house, and boy could I tell how smart she was just by talkin’ to her! I had to whip out my college vocabulary!”

The Gallery Owner: “I had to poke at your dad to get him to lighten up. He was so serious, and so proud of his photography setup. Your mom was incredibly critical. She always told me my invitations (to gallery openings) were full of errors. She couldn’t not edit!”

The Consignment Shop Owner: “Your dad once loaned me a book on Chinese ceramic art (I did not retain the actual artist’s name). Then one day, after he’d passed away, a piece of the artist’s work came into the shop, and I knew all about it because of your dad! I can’t tell him, so I want to tell you.”

The Brew Pub Owner and Fellow Land Trust Board Member: “On a ferry ride back from seeing property, your dad told us a wonderful story about his father’s career as a candy maker!” My grandfather was a farmer, mayor and insurance broker. Perhaps he had a side career I didn’t know about!

A Pub Patron and Fellow Land Trust Board Member: “Your father worked side-by-side with me to create a 20-page pamphlet for new land owners on the Island to encourage them to steward their property, to really take care of it. He was wonderful.”

John: “Barb and I thought your parents, your mom in particular were hard on you. When you suddenly were gone, you dad told me you’d married one of his friends.” If John’s recollection is correct re what dad said about who I married, I can only think it’s because dad didn’t want to go into details with John about choices my parents wish, initially, I’d made differently.

Mr D (an Island attorney who lives in the subdivision, and I’ve known since I was 16 or 17) : “I didn’t know anything was amiss with your mom until she took out the mailboxes.” I was flabbergasted. We took the ferry off the Island together today, and chatted the whole time. He also shared with me that when he and his then wife were looking for property in the neighborhood, and meeting the folks who lived there, my mom said to him, “Don’t let the scenery fool you, people are very litigious on the Island.” I almost fell off my seat laughing. Can you imagine encouraging someone to move to a beautiful place, and purchase 5 acres of land by telling them that people enjoyed suing each other all the time? My mama the pessimist!

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