So I have two Aunts, Janice Swinney & Diane Daigh Swinney. I was closer to Auntie Diane as she and her two daughters, Laurri and Carrie, lived right there across from the Middle School in Grapevine of the Texas variety. Where it used to be, not where it is now.
So let’s globalize this from the personal, shall we? My story of Aunts is personal, which we will get to. But let’s think about you…. your Aunts, maybe Uncles, family. Blood relations. You get it. Those people who are near & dear to you. People you have so many shared memories with that it can be difficult to tell where the stories leave off and the memories begin. That’s what I’m talking about right there.
So we’ve all wanted to be that cool Aunt & Uncle. Or we had that cool Aunt and Uncle & benefitted from the relationship. It’s lucky in life to have family that you think are cool. I must have been pretty lucky, born under the right moon, the right sign, something like that. I have two Aunts, Aunt Janice & Aunt Diane. With Diane I got to baby sit the cousins growing up, her two daughters. One was so convinced to runaway a few nights that I ended up chasing her from door to door to block the eventual departure. She left eventually and hung out with the Washburn kid as I recall. It was a thing. She made me earn the payoff when Diane would come back home. I had made the Mac & Cheese and listened to her record collection, Eddie Rabbit, Mac Davis, and the others. Evidently this was worth some monetary payment, some exchange of currency. Easiest money I’ve ever made because I’m pretty sure I would have just hung out with my cousins anyway. Eventually Auntie Di let me drive her Toyota Supra on a date, Karen Martine as I recall. Only time in High School I earned a speeding ticket. But man, that car could go.
Auntie Jay… Janice. She was all party all the time. That’s not true entirely. Janice was social, a beautiful soul. She liked to have fun. Her and her boyfriend in High School took Doug Zimmerer and I out to the lake, Lake Grapevine during the night & told us ghost stories, something about an Alligator Garr, the 13 Steps, and something about that guy hanging from the tree with his fingernails scratching the roof of you car. Surely you know all these stories. Suffice it to say, we were scared right out of our elementary minds, dear Watson.
What else about Auntie Jay? She loved people. She loved to have fun. She loved her son John Ward Swinney & his super cool family. She was cool. She had that cool factor that can be underestimated and undervalued in life. I loved my two Aunts, Aunt Di, Lady Di, and Auntie Jay.
She also built a homecoming parade float at our house, for the GHS homecoming parade, when she lived with us her senior year. I thought she was a HS cheerleader but as it turns out she only wore the outfit on the float during the parade, right down the Main Street of freaking Grapevine. She was cool like that.
Wished I could find the photo but it eludes me online. I know it’s out there.
So suffice it to say Auntie Jay recently passed, thus the reason for this good thing post. In tribute to Aunties and Tia’s everywhere. The gift of family in one’s life is not to be overlooked.
Aunts Y Tia’s. Aunt Diane y Auntie Jay. Your Aunt, my Aunt. Does it really matter whose? All good things.