Sunday, February 20, 2011


My maternal grandmother Agnes (Aggie) McFarland White had been one of
thirteen children, and one of the younger ones at that. There was eighteen
years between her and the oldest brother, Michael. By the time I came along
in 1948, many of my McFarland granduncles and grandaunts had already
passed away, and as I grew older, there were only three that were left to visit
and spend time with,

The eldest was Uncle Frank McFarland who was born in 1886. He was 62
when I was born and was a widower splitting time living either with his son
John in Andover or his daughter Mary in Hanson.He came to stay with us
at least once at Capen St and I remember he had trouble walking and used
two canes. It was during one of his visits that he taught me how to make a
tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. He was a big man and the fact that we
lived on a third floor apartment probably is the reason that he didn’t visit us
there very often.but we’d visit him at his children’s homes, most often up
in Andover.

Next was Uncle Tommy who was born in 1893. Uncle Tommy was a
distinguished looking gentleman with white hair and he smoked a pipe.
When I was in college I started smoking a pipe too and I used the same
tobacco Uncle Tommy had used, Middleton Cherry Blend. Tommy had
been in the diamond business and many of the younger cousins would
go to him to get the diamonds for their wedding bands, He lived with his
wife Frances and her sister Katy in a nice house in Milton, along with
their Boston Terrier Mr Chips. I recall visiting them, being in awe of the
bookcases with glass doors in the living room and being treated to the
homemade ice cream and lemon meringue pie Aunts Frances and Katy
had made.

Lastly was Aunt Peggy, the youngest who’d been born in 1903, five years
after my grandmother. Aunt Peggy had married Leo McCue and had five
children. She could play the piano and lead everyone in singing “Heart of
My Heart” or “Those Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of
Mine”. The McCues had a cottage in the Houghs Neck section of Quincy
atr the end of the seawall just below Nut Island Road and we spent some
hot summer days in the water there or playing with her grandchildren on the
rocky beach. I can remember being in the car with Mom and Aunt Peggy
shortly after Mom got her driver’s license and laughing when Aunt Peggy
would stick her arm out of the window to point across the top of the car roof
to signal a left hand turn for Mom!

I can honestly say that all my memories of the three of them are happy ones.
It struck me as I started this post that when my grandnephew Noah was born
two years ago, I was nearly the same age Uncle Frank had been when I was
born back in 1948!

((516 words))

Written for the Family History Writing Challenge

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