Maybe it's the season, or that I am getting old (getting?) or

just maybe because I am nosy and curious and love my research but I spent some time tracking down my cousins last night.  It was a cursory tracking, precipitated really by a song playing in the car-car yesterday. FB can be a wonderful way to stalk find people.  Of course one thing leads to another with me and I found the obituaries for several relatives, an Aunt, an Uncle (by marriage). The Aunt in question being the mother (and grandmother and great-grandmother) of the cousins who FB pages I scrolled through.

My mother was one of 4 sisters who had, as a group, 12 children. Aunt Mary had four; Aunt Jo had 4, Aunt Rose had 1 and my mother had three.  On the other side, my father was the only male with five sisters. Aunts Kate, Tess and Jean had no children; Aunt Florrie had two, Aunt Marie had three and my father had 3.

My Aunt Mary’s kids had a boatload of kids, not sure about Aunt Jo’s kids, or Aunt Rose’s kid.  My elder male sibling had two daughters, my younger brother and I had no children. Aunt Florrie’s daughter had no children and her son probably had one or two – have no clue about him. Aunt Marie’s kids – no idea how they wound up but based on their childhood I’m guessing their lives did not turn out well but one can hope.

With the exception of Aunt Marie’s kids, all the other cousins (except for Aunt Mary’s two eldest two) were very close in age – in one case only a day apart, that would be John and Carol Joy. I am 9 months younger than Diane and 9 months older Linda; John and Jimmy are also 9 months apart, as are Skip and Bobby…with second cousin Joey (Camille’s son) the same age as Skip.  Donna is maybe a year or so younger than Skip. Camille and Larry are much older than the rest of the group and Sallie Ann is much younger. But come to think of it Al, Jr may be very close in age to John and Jimmy.

And no, none of the cousins were close. My Aunt Jo and her family, my Aunt Rose and her family, and my maternal grandparents moved to California, en masse, around 1950.  We lived in the Bronx until I was 8 and then my father moved us to Queens. Aunt Florrie and Aunt Marie stayed in the Bronx with all the rest of my father’s family.

Aunt Mary and her clan, as best I can recall, lived in Brooklyn and then they all migrated out to the island – Selden, Smithtown – like there. Eventually, much later, most of that clan,  moved on down to Florida.  When exactly I have no idea, certainly by the 1980’s. Except for my cousin Diane who somehow wound up in New Jersey and Larry lived in Arizona for a while but eventually joined the clan in Florida.

California cousins, from what I can find, are still in the San Jose area.

Aunt Florrie’s kids are still in Yonkers, at least the daughter is, living in the same two-family house Aunt Tess bought and shared with Aunt Florrie. Tess left the house to Donna, so Donna, now in her early 60’s has been living in the same place for, oh, about 50 years.  Aunt Marie’s kids are lost to history.

The nagging question I have had for years is why my father moved us to Queens. Getting from the Bronx to Queens is arduous, especially by public transportation. Getting to Brooklyn was no picnic either. While my father would drive us to the Bronx to visit his family, we had to take public transport to visit Aunt Mary in Brooklyn. It was buses and trains and hours.

So Pop, why Queens? Why so far away. We might as well been living in another country.

Anyway, the song that precipitated this meandering mishegoss was Runaround Sue by Dion and the Belmonts and this is my cousin Larry and the Bellhops – Larry is the lead singer in the center…

Categories *