January 29, 2010

Uncle Dick and Awwnt Babe

If they say to get your mouth fixed, it's a good idea to do it, like it or not.

Ancient Uncle Dick Dame, the last of the old farmers in Scituate, RI, got tired of mouth problems and pulled out his last tooth. Teeth get to bothering you, thought Uncle Dick, he didn't need 'em. 

Elegant Aunt Babe (Awwwnt Babe in North Scituate dialect), striking woman she was, with not a wrinkle, smiling with beautiful smile, stood with perfect posture alongside her husband.

Money Magazine says of Scituate, RI;  
#69th of 100 Best small towns

You couldn't imagine her heading Pawtucket to the K-Mawwt to purchase Uncle Dick a new pair of dungarees. Did she drive to Pawtucket or Chopmnist or Fawwstah? or Or, for her own outfits, or to the city, to Macy's, in Providence?

The Tenant-Parker-Dames, 14 generations of them, still live nearby, some in law enforcement, some with small business', holding on to New England with a quiet, unassuming pride.

Weekly mowing of lush lawns that are green from the summer rains; patching sheets by cutting down the center and stitching the unworn outside edges together; shoveling snow in the winter (although Gram had simply rammed her big Plymouth into the frozen snowdrift); heading to high school dressed to the nines, transforming into a kid once home; driving the narrow highways, running to the meat mawwwket for some hamburg, eating together around the table for boiled dinner: boiled chicken, potatoes and canned peas, or celebrating with quahogs and fried corn mush.

T. adored these relatives, a connection to his past. I loved them, too, learning their unknown, charming New England ways, so contrary to my own 1970's California.

With tears, we were driven to the airport, heading home, too far away, to California, in the Dodge Dawwt pointed down the center line, horn honking at any staying car nearby.

We should have known the K Mawwt hinted at the massive conforming to come. All of America would lose it's individuality, it's small town personality. Little did we know that the strange divide between North Scituate and the San Francisco north bay would be erased. 

K Mart stood cement heavy in a new mall at home. Not yet hinting at the end of simple America.

I still see Uncle Dick and Aunt Babe standing by a hundred year old fence, on emerald grass, smiling toothless and toothful.


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