Monday, December 20, 2010

The Gift of Books

James AITKEN family
Originally uploaded by midgefrazel
This is the gravestone of my maternal grandfather's business partner and friend, Mr. James AITKEN. He was, according to my father, not related to my paternal grandmother's family who mostly spelled their name without the t.(I still have not proved this one way or the other!) Front of gravestone

My grandfather, Evans Stewart, died in June 1955 when I was 7 and a half years old.  We spent my early Christmas weeks living with my grandparents in their lovely Tudor style home. It is forever in this place, Christmas in my mind. Each night before I fall asleep, I mentally walk through that time, which really was only a few years. My maternal grandparents, Bop and Gram live on forever in me.

The only photo I have of Mr. Aitken is in my parent's wedding album as they were guests at that event in December of 1946 but I have not scanned all of those photos as yet.

My grandmother was not fond of Mr. Aiken. Part of the reason why was that he smoked smelly cigars. In the last few years before my grandfather died, Mr. Aitken used to come visit him at home when he was not in the hospital. The man was smart. He brought with him at each visit, an author signed childrens book for me. I could not wait until he visited. My grandmother left him in but you could tell she didn't want to. But, I think that Bop liked the man and so what could she do?

He gave me the gift of reading. Without his gift, my library card and the family Bible, I would not be the genealogist I am today. Rest in peace, Mr. James Aitken.

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