Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Driver in the Family

Lillie Ahl Johnson driving--Rowena Ahl Odenweller riding

When I went to visit the ninety-year-old husband of my mother's cousin a couple years ago, I asked him to tell me about Aunt Lilliehis mother-in-law and my mother's aunt. Cal told me a little about her character, saying that she was gentle and thoughtful but also had her own opinions and stood her ground. He then volunteered that Lillie was “the driver in the family.” Oh, her husband knew how to drive and was willing to take the wheel for short distances, but Lillie loved to drive. On long trips, it was Lillie who did the driving.

Well, this made me sit up straight. I recently had acquired an old photo of a happy-looking woman with hair in wild disarray, sitting in the driver's seat of an open-top car. In the backseat was my happy-looking mother—about age three. I had suspected that the driver was Aunt Lillie, based on her resemblance to the young woman in other photos that I had of the siblings in the Ahl family. It made sense: At that time my mother would still have been the only grandchild and so it was likely that she would be taken for jaunts by her doting aunt.

I pulled up the scanned copy on my laptop and showed it to Cal. He allowed as how it did look like Lillie. He didn't swear to it. But I myself am now confident that this photo is of Lillie—the driver in the family.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Lillie does look like a doting aunt.
And your mom looks thrilled to be invited along!

We miss you too!
Eva xo