|My great-aunt Nellie.|
This is Nellie, who is the sister of my favorite grandmother (Bernice, pronounced BURRniss); she's my mother's aunt. One thing I can tell you about Nellie is she loves everyone; she loves to laugh; and she can tell a good story. No matter what it is she's laughing at, you can't help but laugh along with her, it's contagious.
Nellie and my mother could be sisters, they look so much alike.
|Chesapeake Bay Mother|
Nellie is married to the young man below, Bill Braxton. They currently reside in Florida, and they're both very inspirational people in their own ways.
|Bill, among other things, flies planes, writes books,|
and drives from Florida to Pennsylvania even though he's
in his nineties. NINETIES, people! He not only looks young,
he is young and he LIVES young.
This young man, who is in his nineties, drove the two of them all the way from Tampa clear up to Pennsylvania recently, and they stopped in Mathews and Gloucester to visit with friends and family on their way.
Bill and Nellie met when they were much younger. They went on to marry other people but when their spouses passed away, they not only reconnected - they decided to get married.
Bill sent me a couple of emails filled with memories jogged by his recent visit.
The first mentioned an old tree at Flat Iron. For those who have ever driven down Ware Neck, this would be the huge, old tree you pass when you turn off Route 14 at Welford-Taliaferro Wayside, at the very first sharp bend to the right, just past the couple of buildings that used to belong to my great-grandfather.
Bill says, "The tree must be at least 200 yrs old; Nellie says she played under it when she was little. Next time you pass that area, take a look at the historical marker across the road from the Strigle home. It is dedicated to the Womens Air Service Pilots (WASPs) of World War II. Margaret Ann Hamilton Tunner was a Gloucester girl who was one of these pilots. Her father was General Tunner who commanded the Berlin Airlift in 1948. I was a pilot on the Berlin Airlift and also served under General Tunner in the Korean War. Also, I had one of the WASPs as an instructor in Flying school. So many memories!"
About the Old Mill Skating Rink, he said: " I know you have seen this a thousand times or more, but can't pass the place without driving in and just looking and thinking of the great times. If someone asked me the happiest years of my life, I would have to say 1940 and 1941. Nellie was the prettiest girl in Gloucester; I never had trouble getting a load of guys in my car to visit the rink. Why did they have to put in that bridge at Yorktown and ruin everything? Gloucester ain't what it used to be.
Click here for a post I did about the Old Mill Skating Rink which includes not only a picture of it but our Bill's memories of the place.
Click here for Part II of Bill's story where he talks about meeting Nellie.
Nellie and Bill's visit was all too brief, but we savor every minute we get to spend with them.
Last but not least, completely unrelated to anything above other than I'm still talking about my family and how much I treasure them, I'd like to share a photo of my parents and my son at Wednesday night's Beta Club ceremony at the high school.
|Chesapeake Bay Parents |
Chesapeake Bay Son
I love and appreciate them all.