Aunt Patty

A Little Bit Of History

Recently I lost one of the only two aunts I had left in my life. I guess a fact of life as you age but these two aunts were extra special in my life as I was growing up in the ’50s and early ’60s. I had one the best childhoods one could ever have thanks to the extended family environment I was living in at the time

At that time my maternal grandmother along with these 2 aunts lived with my Mom and Dad for most of my preschool and grade school years. I was more or less an only child until my brother came along in the middle ’50s and I was spoiled rotten, but in a good way of course as I remember. 

My Aunt Patty and Aunt Peggy were more like big sisters to me during that time, because of the age difference between them and my mother. Not having any sisters of my own they filled that gap for me and provided me with great memories although I did not know it at the time.

As I grow older now and talk with others I somehow always get around to my great memories of my childhood and usually not many I talk to can say what good and precious memories they have of their childhood.

My Aunt Patty had a lot to do with the great memories that have stayed with me in my 70 years here on earth

The Clarinet 

My interest in playing a musical instrument was sparked by my Aunt Patty. I can’t remember for sure but I think she was in the West High school band. Anyway, I listened to her play the clarinet so that was the first instrument I learned to play, and I think she was very proud of that. I later learned to play the saxophone and loved being in the band and dance band in my junior high years. All of this because of my aunt Patty’s encouragement.

The 1957 Powder Blue Ford Convertible

After graduation from West High school, my aunts were in the workforce. Since my brother was on the way, it was time for my grandmother and two aunts to move out on their own. I am not exactly sure when but my aunts decided to pool their resources and purchase a car. What a car (in my estimation) it was. At the time my aunts and grandmother were living on Columbian Avenue in Columbus. Even though they were not living in the same house as I,  it seems like their home there on Columbian Avenue was my second home.

I would visit at every opportunity and somehow talk my aunts into letting me drive that car up the driveway to the garage every now and then when visiting.I don’t even think I was a teenager at the time, but never the less, still being a spoiled brat, I was driving that car and my Aunt Patty and Peggy were taking a big risk in letting me behind the wheel.

As time went by not only was the home on Columbian a second home to me, but I tagged along to trips to the local drive-ins (the Berverlee and Green Gables) loving every minute (even though I was not driving).        

Florida Vacations

I remember aunt Patty loved to take vacations to Florida. She was the only one in the family – with the exception of my dad – if I recall that actually tanned instead of burned when in the sun. She would always want to get a head start on her tan before starting vacation in the Florida sun. She would be tan before she even set foot in the Florida sunshine.

I would love to ride along with whoever was taking my aunts to the airport in the early morning on a summer’s day as the sun was coming up. Seeing the airlines take off and land was a thrill for me and I still love to watch to this day. Just another simple memory but a lifelong pleasant memory connected to my Aunt Patty

The Camera

My Aunt Patty was the first one in my family to buy a camera. She loved taking pictures and sharing the hundreds of photos she would take (at family gatherings and vacations) and then get developed on slides (no digital formats available back then) that I would get to load on the carousel projector. Just another memory, nothing special but I loved being part of that and making funny observations about what was going on when each slide was displayed.    

Wrapping Up

My Aunt Patty will always be remembered by me as one of my big sisters. What a lucky kid I was to have a special relationship with my aunts. I could go on and on about the picnics and holidays along the Scioto River at Griggs dam here in Columbus, the family vacations to Florida, or the many other memories that my Aunt Patty was part of before she married and started her own family and started her memories with those she cherished and loved in her later years. 

As far as I can remember, she never had an unkind word to say to anyone or about others even in her teenage years. I know that her Christian faith throughout her journey grew stronger and stronger. Somehow even in her teenage and early adulthood years, I knew there was something special about my Aunt Patty even though I really did not think about it at the time. I realized later It was her devotion to Christ Jesus that made her different. 

I could not make it to the memorial service but my cousin Kris sent me a link to the service that was recorded. In watching this wonderful tribute I remembered the poetry. My cousin Kris read a poem that my Aunt Patty would read to her. It reminded me of my aunt’s love of poetry. Not only did she love to read poetry, but if I remember, my Aunt Patty was one of the few people that could write a pretty good poem on the spur of the moment without much effort.

Her son-in-law pastor Mark Helton at the memorial and on his blog (On Marks Mind) mentions how my Aunt Patty really devoted her life here on earth to Jesus Christ. That was evident in every breath she took and in her every action.  

My Aunt Patty as a Christian not only “Talked the Talk, but Walked the Walk”, and by being in my life gave me wonderful memories that I will remember for the rest of my life. 



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