Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday, Aunt Alice!

My father's sister Alice is having a milestone birthday today!
Alice as a girl. The Military Road house in the background.
I was four when Aunt Alice married Uncle Kenny. Dad took her down the aisle as Grandpa Gochenour  passed away the year before.
Dad and his sister Alice 
In 1935 my grandparents moved to Military Road; the house was so huge it held three apartments. Aunt Alice and Uncle Kenny moved into the upstairs apartment; my family moved from upstairs to the larger downstairs apartment--which Aunt Mary and Uncle Clyde and family moved out and into their own home. I was lonely with my three cousins left. Grandma Gochenour (known as 'Ma') lived in the smallest apartment before moving in with my family.

Soon enough I had a little brother and Aunt Alice had children. We played on the swing set and had a pool in the shade of the spreading willow tree. Then Aunt Alice and Uncle Kenny moved into their own home and my dad and mom packed up and we moved to Michigan.

One of my fondest memories of those early days was Christmas morning visits to all my cousin's houses. Because Aunt Alice lived upstairs, we would go up in our robes.
Mom, Me, Aunt Alice, and 'Ma' on Christmas Morning around 1958
Aunt Alice
Uncle Kenny, Aunt Alice, and Ma Christmas in late 1950s

Tonawanda winters meant snow and lots of it! Dad ran the gas station his father built and had a truck with a snow plow. We had lots of high banks of snow around the house to play on.
Aunt Alice, the gas station behind. 1963
There were parties, picnics, and fun. I always remembered a Halloween costume party at the house. Aunt Alice was Daisy Mae to Uncle Kenny's Lil' Abner!
1959 Halloween; Aunt Alice as Daisy Mae in Military Road kitchen
After we moved my family returned to Tonawanda every year to visit.

Aunt Alice in the 1960s

Aunt Alice and Uncle Ken in the 1970s
Aunt Alice reminds me of her mother: Easy going, optimistic, contented, and happy; crafty and capable; family-oriented with a uncomplicated faith in God. I am sorry I did not inherit more of those 'Becker' traits!
Aunt Alice, Aunt Mary and 'Ma'. Three lovely ladies!
Aunt Alice visiting Dad with her grandchildren
Aunt Alice is the Gochenour/Becker family historian and genealogist and I have learned much from her on visits.

Here's to a wonderful birthday, Aunt Alice, and prayers that you at least match your mother's long life!  
Aunt Alice, Uncle Kenny, and my cousins