Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Rich Uncle

Shuffling through family pictures and attempting to get them scanned and in order, I ran across this letter from my cousin. She enclosed the "rich uncle' photo above with the letter and comments that Hilda (my aunt, second from right) and Stuart Carroll (right) had a love affair for years but were cousins and never married. 

Hilda was one of my three "maiden" aunts and the oldest of the lot. I knew her only as an elderly woman who wore lisle stockings and those awful clunky shoes with a thick wedge heel and laces up the front..."nun's shoes".  She ended up never marrying which in those days was a tragedy; this letter implies that she never got over Stuart. Instead she worked for the Canadian National Railway for 50 years, retiring with the proverbial gold watch. I wish I knew more.

The rich uncle with all the hair acquired real estate in downtown LA and in Hawaii. Not only did he get the big hair gene he was also a driven entrepreneur. What kind of imagination and guts did it take to leave the farm in Canada,  get into the U. S. and start acquiring property? I have no idea who he used as a role model but "go west young man" was the adage of the day and he heeded the advice. His property was left in a trust, very well managed, and his brothers and sisters, one of whom was my grandmother benefited from the generated income throughout their lives. When the last of his siblings died in 1967, the remains of his estate was divided among the heirs who were all listed in the account of distribution of the estate. There are so many relatives, so many Irish names that I wonder if I'm related in some way to most of the people of Irish descent in Canada. 

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