March 30, 2005

This is a transcription of a letter sent to my mother by her uncle, Sydney Crosswell. Attached at the end of the letter were the addresses in 1970 of his four children.
304 Airport Road
CLANTON, Ala. 35045
Friday, July 17, 1970

Dear Fay,

I have your most interesting Christmas Missive 1969 telling me about your growing family. In it, you request the addresses of my New York children which, I gladly furnish herewith, on a separate sheet - page 4.

I delayed writing because, I really wanted to write about them; then, the germ of PROCRASTINATION took over and your missive was mislaid. My age is the culrit, my dear .... I swear, the lunatics in the big cities in this country rush about so fast they, too, get mislaid or lost and blame it on TIME. It is appalling. I admit that. I am a little handicapped since both my cataracts have been removed - writing on paper without lines is a nuisance but, it is harder to write on lines, unless they are very clear.

I note that your eldest daughter, Ann, visited in Austria and attended summer school. Sidney's wife is German. Lydia's daughter married a young lawyer whose surname is Schult and you married a Schulmeister... Our grandfather was a native of Switzerland He was a graduate of Heidelburg University, Germany. This German strain is fascinating - it intrigues me - particularly as we become more and more embroiled in this socalled melting-pot on earth.

I have 4 children, all of them married and well - 11 Grandchildren and 7 great grand children.

Your father and mother I presume were Roman Catholics. My children were brought up in that FAITH. What denomination do you all profess?

Music used to be my favourite pass time. I know it used to be yours; And I think it must be wonderful to boast of a Harpist in the family. God BLESS HER!

I am trying to write as legible as possible I hope you can read it.

(2) Fay 7-17-70
Back to my children now:

Lydia, the eldest, married a Spaniard from Madrid, named Andres Abello - a "simpatico joven". They have 2 children, both married.

Sidney, known as Edward, married a charming German "fraulein", named Karen Klopottek. They have one boy, a teenager.

Elsie married a handsome Swede, named Wallen. Engineer. Inventor who is really making the grade. They have one girl, married.

Ralph turned out quite the "gay Lothario" type. He has been married 3 times, has 6 children and 4 stepchildren; all well, healthy specimens. He chose "all-American" spouses.

Yes,my dear - now comes the most important expression of personal sentiment regarding the demise of your devoted and beloved parents. A.Noel my dearest brother, and his spouse whom, he always referred to as "Una, my one and only".

We corresponded frequently with them, and we miss their lovely letters.

I make no excuse or apology, nor do I ever offer condolence on such occasions.

Strange! what so many people fear most is DEATH; a term which I refrain from using, because, to me it has meant the beginning of LIFE. LIFE ETERNAL which I look forward to, wth joy and curiosity. I believe we all have a mission to fulfill here; and so soon as that is complied with comes our transfer to other missions on an Higher plane eventually, to share PEACE for which we desperately yearn. PEACE cannot be made by Mankind; regardless of Russia, Germany, U.S.A. or Egypt, et al .... It is not a matter of Man's POWER OF CHOICE as Satan would have us believe:

PEACE can and will be attained only, by obedience to GOD'S Will: Remember, "THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN", said Jesus.

(3) = Fay 7-17-70
I am sorry I ran out of paper! - please excuse - shortly after your mother became a widow, I wrote to her in just such terms - No, it was after Noel Jr was called to join his father - ... I wrote no message of conventional condolance.

She promptly answered - I quote from her letter, dated Dec 30 - 1964:
"Dear Sydney, Many thanks for your letter. You will be glad to know it bucked me up a whole lot for, although I received a couple hundred cards, letters, etc. not one was couched in the language of yours - it made me realize the meaning of death. Up to now I have not had the energy to write anyone overseas to tell them of Noel's passing. ..."

I hoe you do not resent my attitude. I do not mean to be dogmatic, or to impose my convictions; but simply to inform you of MY point of view.

I am happy to commune with you and trust my belated effort is appreciated.

Heaps of love and blessings to all your family from

Mabel and Your Uncle Sydney.

/s/ S M Crosswell

March 04, 2005

Today, I got e-mail from my cousin in Hawaii with a link to a Honolulu Star Bulletin story about the death of Martin Denny, who composed exotic music in Hawaii a while back. My dad used to tune pianos for both Denny and Arthur Lyman when I was a kid, and he used to tell stories at the dinner table. Those days, I was too young to pay attention to grown-up talk, so I don't remember any of the stories. I do recall that the music was edgy for the time, and that you either loved it or hated it.