When I lived in Dunkirk as a young child and when I later returned to Dunkirk to visit, one of my favorite memories was riding in the convertibles of two aunts. My Aunt Philly was my father’s youngest sister. She was still single in early years. It seemed to me that every time she went out in her convertible for whatever reason, she made a point of taking me with her. Sometimes we had no destination but just rode around town or out in the country. I took advantage of the opportunity every chance I could.
My other aunt, Teresa, was not really my aunt. She lived across the street from my grandparents and felt like part of the family. Once I found a picture in a photo album of a young woman who looked a lot like Teresa but was dressed in a nun’s costume. I learned that she had been a nun for a short time but then decided that life was not for her and she returned home.
It seemed that I spent as much time with her in her convertible as I did with my Aunt Philly in hers. I remember going to jewelry shops with Teresa to look at engagement and wedding rings. I learned that she had firm plans to marry my Uncle Dick when he got back from the army. I never heard my uncle talk about marrying her.
Then I discovered that my uncle had decided to become a priest and was soon in the seminary. I don’t remember talking with Teresa about the marriage which was not about to happen. She eventually married someone else. I still rode with her in her car until I got older but there were no more visits to jewelry stores.
I have never forgotten my early days and jaunts around town and the countryside with my two aunts.