June 19, 2010
My girlfriend has talked about her cousins that live just two doors down from her house. (They watch each other's houses when they go on vacation, etc.) But I'd not met the cousins, as they happened to never be at home when we stopped by.
Yesterday, after an evening bike ride in glorious weather along with River Walk, they were home, so we dropped in. Having heard that cousins were living there, I had been visualizing a couple like any of my many married cousins.
The two living there had celebrated their wedding anniversary a few weeks earlier. Specifically, their sixty-second anniversary. They had married a few years after the end of the War to End All Wars, Mark II.
Their courtship story was cute, too. He has lived his entire life in North Tonawanda, excepting a few years when, as a young man, he went to Italky as a package delivery man, distributing 75mm and 240mm packages at very high speeds. After the war, he lived in a place across the street from a local grocery store owned by a spinster. The spinster's niece came from Ohio to visit for a week in summer, and he decided this was a good thing. He moved fast enough to secure permission to write her letters once she went back home, then saved money to make an occasional long-distance telephone call (very expensive!) and took a couple of train trips out to visit. It was so romantic I felt inadequite. Then, his first cousin married his sister-in-law not long after.
So, to clarify, he's actually the first cousin of my GF's grandfather. That makes them first cousins twice removed.
I think they felt they were being bad hosts, as the gentleman kept offering me beer or whiskey, but all I took was water. First, I don't drink very much alcohol. Second, I was dehydrated from a bike ride on a hot day, and alcohol would have probably laid me out. Still, I always feel bad about turning down the hospitality of kindly folks.
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