In a previous post I wrote about my aunt Gertrude, Tommy’s great aunt, who was my dad’s older sister. I recently came across the photo posted above, which was taken on a visit that Tommy and I made to her house in 1975. My aunt Gertrude lived most of her adult life in Riverside, California, and I remember making the pilgrimage to her home on Cheryl Way, where she lived with my uncle Allen and her children, many times as a boy. In the days before freeways it took a couple of hours to drive from our home in Los Angeles to Riverside. I remember that my dad always stopped for a half-gallon of ice cream before we showed up at Aunt Gertrude’s house. Tommy also got to know Aunt Gertrude, and the photo above was taken in her living room about the time of Tom’s sixth birthday in 1975.
Aunt Gertrude always kept a picture of my dad in a place of honor on the mantel above her fireplace. In the picture, my dad is wearing his naval/merchant marine uniform, and he has an “Errol Flynn” mustache like so many young men had at that time (see below). Tommy was very fond of his aunt and his cousins in Riverside, and he enjoyed these visits a lot.