Cousin Linda's Memories
I have three main memories about my cousin Benny: a vague memory of him visiting my father and mother and me when I was a toddler in the late 40s; a memory about his wedding to Dorothy in 1958 when I was almost 11, and a memory of conversations I had with Dorothy and him when I visited them in 2015.
I was a post-WWII baby boomer born in 1947, and soon thereafter my parents bought a small house in rural North Haven. The house was a cottage style house with 3 acres on a hill located near the foot of the giant for which Sleeping Giant State Park is named. So it was close to the woods and a hiking trail. I remember seeing deer occasionally. In those early years I believe he came to stay with us (his Aunt Helen and Uncle Jake) several times. In 1947 he would have been about 10. There was a lot to do on the property, and I believe Benny helped my father start filling in a big gully with dirt, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, to expand the flat portion of the property. I have a vague memory of watching them do that. I also have a memory of standing by our garage where we had rabbits in a cage, and watching him traipse off down the road to go into the woods with his BB gun. Those visits didnt last for too many years, because by the time my sisters, Nancy and Joanne, were born in 1951 and 1952, he was 14 or 15 and he had his schooling and other things on his mind.
I also have a memory of his wedding to his beautiful wife Dorothy in September of 1958. I would have been 11. I dont remember much except that it was a happy time with love and romance in the air. I vaguely remember throwing rice at the bride and groom and seeing them drive off with a just married sign in the car. I vaguely remember the reception and dancing a polka with his mother, my Aunt Helen. At the time I thought that Benny reminded me a little bit of the very popular singer Pat Boone, because he also had a roundish face with a ready smile and a smooth voice. Plus they were about the same age. Pat Boones song Love Letters in the Sand was a hit at the time (1957), and that matched the love and romance between Benny and Dot.
Then I visited Benny and Dot in 2015 to ask Benny about those years right after WWII. He reminisced about helping my father and about shooting a Winchester rifle my father had. He said he shot it at a big tree which was right across the street, but he missed it. He laughed when he told me that my father had said, thats it for you, you couldnt hit the broad side of a barn!
Im so glad I had that visit and we shared fond memories about those years.
Rest in peace.
Love ya Benny,
Cousin Linda Flis
Wednesday July 25, 2018 at 4:05 pm