Dear Mary Jo,
While I wasn't sure where I stood in the family's IQ department, I knew who number one was. I guess I've told the story a hundred times. When my big sister went to Our Lady of Wisdom Academy, in her first semester, she had the highest grades in the school. She was pretty, had many friends, ever so popular and very smart. Her kid brother stood in awe.
How proud I was to be asked at 17 to act as her Daddy and "give her away." You've seen the pictures. All the young men were in uniforms and I was a 6" Captain in the ROTC, resplendent with a so-called Sam Brown belt.
The wedding, the ceremony itself and reception were put together in great haste since your dad was to be home for only a short time. All the neighbors and relatives were invited, and there was a great spread of home-cooked food at our home-105-11-220 St. Queens Village. The Mass was in the morning and then we walked home, about 1/3 mile. It was a chilly day and I think it was rainy. Your father was talkative! Your mother was radiant, her happiness not to be forgotten.
I didn't know your father very well. I knew the rumors. He too had a great brain. I believe the people who viewed the results of his IQ test upon his induction at Camp Dix were startled. I was not impressed however with the ability of either of your parents to select a vacation location.
I knew they met at Loon Lake but apparently had eyes only for each other. In 1949 Shirley and I took our first vacation and stayed where my big sister fell in love. Was it called the McAvay House? Perhaps it was McDump. No A/C in those days but also no screens and very hot and this tall boy kept hitting his head on the ceiling. We left early. You will remember we had some vacations together. Didn't we spent a week or so in East Marion, L.I.? These many years later our new home is quite near that area.
Your mother is an extraordinary woman; you can be proud to be her daughter as I am to be her brother.