Saturday Stories: Alton & Marion

>This past month, my great aunt Marion died. She was married to my grandfather’s twin brother Alton. Alton died years ago. Marion was the last of that generation on Bumpa’s side.
Alton and Marion lived about a mile away from Mamie and Bumpa. The twins couldn’t stand to be any farther apart than that. Marion and Alton had a little yellow hhouse with their antique shop right behind it in a yellow cottage. There was an old abandoned church just a bit further back. I used to look at it out their dining room window and wonder about its history.
Marion always had Archway molasses cookies and tea for visitors. I used to play with a Raggedy Ann and Andy set, knitted raibow colored squares and a barrel of monkeys every time we visited. They never had any children of their own. Their house was Not a child’s play place.
You had to walk up about 10 steps to enter their home. the entry hall was big an dlined with antiques. Then you wnet straight into their living room. It was the entire middle section of the house. Of to the right were 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. To the left was the dining room and kitchen.
They had 2 paintings I’ll always remember. One was called “Twinkletoes.” It was, in my youthful opinion, a horrid picture that always frightened me. Actually, it was a portrait of a little boy who had just taken a bit of a bitter orange. What a scowl! The other portrait was of a beautiful lady. She looked so kind.
In the 1950′s there was a huge tree in their front yard into which my mom’s sister, Marilyn and her friend crashed, killing my aunt. Alton cut it down immediately. The stump was always there as a horrid memorial.
After Alton’s heart attack in the 1980s, they sold their business and decided to move to a retirement apartment. Bumpa couldn’t stand the idea that they would be so far away (15 minutes!), so he and Mamie sold their house, too and moved into the same complex.
Alton died in 2001. Marion continued to live there until she was unable to take care of herself. She went blind and was in poor health. All of here wonderful antiques were recently auctioned off and wow, the economy took a toll on what they brought in. The beautiful lady painting went for the most money at $7000. The really valuable painting that mom had always tried to buy from them (worth upwards of $50,000) didn’t bring much at all (We suspect no one knew what it was, or that a dealer got a great deal and kept his mouth shut!). Oh well, stuff is just stuff in the end. We certainly can’t take it with us when we go.

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