My sister Joyce knew our family history. From 1630s pilgrims plus a puritan or two, to one Swedish immigrant, to present day. She knew about the important stuff, such as who was related to whom and how, who was still living and where they were located. She ignored the grudge matches, serious and petty, and was friends with everyone.
Joycie knew all the children’s songs
On road trips with our combined broods, plus an extra kid or two, I drove and she led the singing. I’ll never forget one day during the 1970s gas shortage. The economy was horrible and we were so broke. We all waited a long time in line to fuel up my VW bus for the hour long drive to grandma’s house. The children became bored and whiny.
About the Kazoos
As I drove by what passed for the Dollar Store of that day, Joycie gesticulated wildly. I parked the bus and she raced into the store. In less than five minutes she came out with a bag of kazoos. (A kazoo sale – 25 cents each. Who but Joy would have known about this?) For the next hour, Joycie’s slightly off-key singing was accompanied by joyful kazoo music. Halfway to grandma’s house, spit droplets fell from more than one small elbow.
Joy has been gone for several years, now, and we miss her every day. I could not begin to be the family historian, but I can write about people I know and experiences I have in a place that Joy’s future replacement can find them.