I’d already been warned by her almost 93 year old Sister, Aunt Hannah BARWICK SLAUGHTER that Aunt Lena was not happy I’d recently sent Aunt Hannah more pictures than I’d sent her, so I expected when I called to wish Aunt Lena Happy Birthday, our chat would be lively!:)
I wasn’t disappointed either! Rather than being upset about the unintentional picture-slight, Aunt Lena was ecstatic I’d included her 16 year old 1936 Rensler’s image, along with the BEAUTIFUL “tea-party” image of her and Aunt Hannah!
Aunt Lena said it was the BEST birthday surprise she’s received! She recalled how on the day she’d taken her picture, she and friend Minnie LEDBETTER DIXON had gone to the Cincinnati Zoo and taken pictures at Rensler’s together!
Aunt Lena said when Ms. Minnie passed away this past June, her program included Minnie’s 1936 Rensler’s image, and reminded her of how long it’d been since she’d seen her own!
We also spent about 40 minutes discussing how slick my Grandfather had been at “stealing all the old family images” BUT how happy she was they were under my care.
Aunt Lena said ever since her picture had arrived, she’d been singing Ella Fitzgerald’s “A Tisket, A Tasket“, as it was the song playing on the Zoo’s speakers those many years ago when she and Minnie had spent the day!
I even got my very own serenade straight from Aunt Lena via phone!:)
I promised to send copies of all the “old pictures” I’ve inherited from my Grandfather, which includes an image of their Grandparents — James and Laura ROSS BARWICK. Aunt Lena requested this one specifically along with the image of my Uncle James [BARWICK] who she recalls having been the “spitting image of his Grandfather and namesake” James.
And it seems our Ms. Minnie was somewhat of a local celebrity! This Cincinnati Herald article – Family values, education and community service came naturally to Minnie Ledbetter DIXON, talks about her advocacy for and meeting with, President Bill CLINTON, her support of Marion Wright Edelman’s (CDF) and Morris Dees’ (Southern Poverty Law Center) fight against the KKK and of her first dream vacation celebrating her retirement at age 61 years to Hawaii with her childhood friend — Lena BARWICK!:)
This time, I’ve made sure BOTH Sisters will receive the EXACT same BARWICK images to reminisce over and am blessed to have them to send.
As Felicia reminded me today, Elders and Oral Family History is a gift not to be taken for granted.
Blessed am I. Blessed am I.