Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bio #33 - Marriages and Changes

My sister Mary met Ken Tinkler, and they went dancing a lot. She and Ken got married in November 1942. Their son, Skippy, was born next year. Mary and Ken live in Durham, England, on a farm. The house is 250 years old.
From the left, Walter Laws, Letty, Mary, and Ken 1942 (happier times)
Long after Letty wrote this, Ken passed away, and Mary and Skippy returned to Canada, where she and Letty had their first very happy reunion in fifty years. Skippy died unexpectedly at the age of fifty, and Mary passed away in the early 1990s, not long afterwards.  Mary's story was not a happy one. Her husband carried on an affair with another woman for years, and left a third of his estate to his mistress. Skippy abused his mother and was a chronic alcoholic. So in the end, the "spoiled princess" of Letty's childhood memory, her older sister, had the worst life of the four siblings.

The same week Mary and Ken got married in Medicine Hat, my brother Charlie married Ruth McKinnon of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, in Ottawa, Ontario. They live on Vancouver Island and raise Morgan horses. They have a lovely place on thirty acres, at Shawnigan Lake.
Charlie and Ruth dressed for a formal event, 1950s.
Ruth died in the 1990s and Charlie died in the early 2000s. They sold their acreage about ten years before they died, and had their horses euthanized and buried on the property, which I never understood.

The next September Ron and I got engaged, and I looked after Dad. The following May, we got married, at St. Barnabas Church, and lived with Dad till the next January, when Ron was posted back to England. I got ready to go too, but I didn't go until the next October. Meanwhile I sewed to keep busy, and looked after my father. I really dreaded the day when I had to leave him. The boys were at the war, Mary was married, and everything seemed to land in my lap.
From left, Ron, Letty, Pearl Maynard, and Fred Dickinson, May 2, 1943
Letty's sister, Mary had already gone to England to live with her husband's family, which is why she, Letty, had to care for her aging widowed father, as well as prepare to travel to England on short notice, to live with her new husband.