The Lynches · 6/1/1949

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Mom's sister, Nora, and her family lived next door to us at 4212 Flora Avenue. They were as much part of our family as anyone could be.

Mom and Aunt Nora and this symbiotic relationship in which they had to be close and not a day went by that they didn't see each other several times. So, it was natural, probably a necessity, that they live next door to each other.

Aunt Nora's three kids, Eddie George, the oldest, just younger than brother John and the twins Andrew and Ann, Kathleen's age. Aunt Nora's husband, Ed, died in 1948, by committing suicide. Needless to say, that topic was never mentioned in either household and I did not know what happened to Uncle Ed until I was an adult. Nora always believed in keeping all of her 'secrets' to herself - including her age.

Aunt Nora could, easily, be the subject of at least one book if not a series of volumes. She was such a unique character that no words can adequately describe her or her personality. She was highly intelligent and had circumstances been different, she would have made a superb lawyer. She could sit next to a perfect stranger and within 10 minutes have gleaned the person's whole life and any problems the person was experiencing.

I cannot, in this one story, adequately pay justice to Aunt Nora. So, this story is more about the Lynches. After Eddie Lynch died, Aunt Nora had a time just keeping the household going but somehow she managed to do so. A lot of credit goes to Mom and Dad, as well. Dad became the father to 9 kids instead of 6.

When I was a kid, Aunt Nora used to do a variety of in-home tasks to make a little extra spending money. One of her endeavors was to make earrings. In that era, before pierced earrings, women wore earrings fastened to their earlobes. The earrings tended to be larger and more ornate than those commonly worn today. Aunt Nora's specialty was to make earrings that were roses. She would obtain the base and then tiny shell-like pieces of different colors. She would, then, carefully glue the shells onto the base in the shape of a rose with each shell representing a rose petal. They were quite lovely and she sold quite a few. After Aunt Nora died, we helped Andrew clean out the house. I found one of Aunt Nora's earrings. It is now one of my cherished possessions.

I remember as a kid going to Lynches every Saturday evening where we would have some of Aunt Nora's chili and then spend the evening watching movies on television. Aunt Nora's chili was nothing fancy, a couple of cans of chili, a can of red beans and a can of tomato soup. I always liked it and still find it one of the tastiest chilis I have had.

In my teen years, I hung out with Andrew quite a lot and we had a lot of wonderful times together. After Eddie George got married and moved to Jefferson City, Andrew and I spent a lot of weekends driving to Jeff City and enjoying the company of Eddie, his wife Eleanor and their two oldest kids - Eddie Tom and Mary Bridgett. Eleanor was one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known. She was a great cook, too. We always loved her chicken cacciatore.

Ann was always somewhat of a mystery to us kids. She was not the most stable person but I always got along with her. Ann was a brilliant artist but her mental state made painting more and more difficult. Ann died of a heart attack and we suspect that all the medication that she took contributed to that greatly.

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