This here is Aunt Kitty. I don’t know her last name, but she was the sister of Joan’s, my mother’s, mother. So her maiden name must have been Barrett, the same as her sister’s. But she was married at least twice and I have no idea what her last husband’s name was.
She is like a little time machine back to the era of the Late Edwardians, over there in England. She had her heyday around the time of WWI. She was the tutor for the children—or so the story goes—of Count Zeppelin, the guy responsible for the Zeppelin, over in Germany. He told her a war was coming, so she got out of Germany and went back to England. From there, she immigrated with her sister to Canada.
She ended up with her second husband in San Diego. He was an alcoholic. He had a house, but he didn’t work. He mostly lay around drunk. She had to make ends meet. She sold eggs and kept goats and they sold the goat milk. Also they were on relief. She took in Joan and Aunt Betty after their mother died of breast cancer, the so-called father, Kaller, being pretty long out of the picture.
Joan went to Grossmont High School, so this picture was probably taken somewhere out in East County, the boondocks as it was called back then, near El Cajon.
That’s about all I know about Aunt Kitty. I saw another picture of her somewhere and she has a big wart on her nose, and I thought she looked like a witch. I don’t know when I saw this picture.
She died a few months before I was born. So in addition to her normal depression, Joan was depressed by Aunt Kitty’s death about the time I came into the world. I would say I sucked in depression with my mother’s milk, but Joan’s breasts “caked,” so I wasn’t breast fed much.
And, oh, that dog lying over there in the right side of the picture–that was Joan’s dog, according to Joan, and it’s name was Teddy. My brothers and I had for years to suffer with another dog named
Teddy. Joan named it and I don’t think we knew it was an incarnation of the Teddy lying in this picture.