My Dad’s father Linus and stepmother Lorraine shared a house with Dad’s Aunt Fanchon and Uncle Sam in Oak Park, Illinois, less than a hour drive from our Elmhurst house but more alien than Mars, or California.
They lived in a two-story Victorian, while we Larson’s were strictly ranch-landers.
They shared a house with another couple, while Dad seemed startled by the presence of his own children inside his.
They ate Sunday dinner in the AFTERNOON, universally sacrosanct, play-outside time.
Further, no one I knew, NO ONE had a stepmother. Stretching the limits of credibility, Dad’s stepmother Lorraine had been a debutante, presented to society in her youth, like a birthday present.
And Fanchon was nicknamed “Fanny.” Who ensures lifelong ridicule by naming their child “Fanny?” This, I thought, odd and funny. Oddly funny.
Oddly funny reached epic proportion when Aunt Dolly made an appearance in the Oak Park parlor. Like the photo negative of brunette Loretta Young, she was a flaxen blonde gadabout, as giggly as the little girl she once must have been; and she sewed pockets into her frilly-ful skirts to house her chihuahua “Chico.”