I've written before about my grandmother's sisters Bea and Blanche. They were about as opposite as two women can be. Bea was all HEY, AIN'T LIFE GRAND? and Blanche was all WHERE'S THE NEAREST OVEN SO I CAN STICK MY HEAD IN IT.
Also, Blanche is the one who sat on Bea's Happy Halibut that time at the mall. I took them to buy some fish and chips and when we sat down we were missing an order. We discovered, finally, that Blanche was sitting on it. As you can see for yourself, that aunt was no fun at all. Obv.
Anyway, TRQ, the Coach and I went to a viewing up in Beaver Dam, where a very kind older woman asked who I was.
"I'm LaVell and Patti Edwards' daughter," I said.
"What's your name?" she asked.
"Oh," she said, "were you adopted?"
After we straightened that bit out, her husband told me he was Blanche's nephew and did I know that Blanche had been a good athlete. And then he said almost the last thing I would have ever expected someone to say about my Aunt Blanche.
"She was a champion pole vaulter."
I immediately texted this conversation to my brother Jimmy.
JIM: I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW POLE VAULTING WAS INVENTED BACK THEN.
ME: THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE SURPRISING IS IF SHE HAD BEEN A CHAMPION POLE DANCER.
JIM: THIS COULD CREATE A WHOLE NEW LINE OF JOKES. WHY DID AUNT BLANCHE CHOOSE THE POLE VAULT?
JIM: THE 100-YARD DASH IN A PRAIRIE SKIRT WAS TOO HARD.
Like Bertie Wooster always maintained, aunts are not gentlemen.