This my great, great grandfather Charles Drury, with his wife - my great great grandmother, her daughter in law - my great grandmother, and my grandmother - the baby, Vera Drury, photographed by my great grandfather - Dr. Charles Drury of Natural Bridge.
Somewhere there is another photo of the great great old man seated in front of his family, in the Boston rocker which you see sitting empty on the right side of this photo; his hands closest of all family members to the camera, appearing huge, gripping his knees like gnarling cedar roots on rock, looking as if they, THE HANDS themselves, were largely responsible for sending his three sons to medical school, freeing the old fellow to travel organizing farm granges, to farm out his cows, to become a bee keeper, and rock in the chair, growing the long white beard.
When the old man was gone, the Boston Rocker went to the Dr. Drury home in Natural Bridge, where I lived as a child.
When we moved to Ithaca in 1949, we brought the chair along.
In transit, or maybe in rocking horse use at Edgewood Place, the chair got broken enough that it was stowed in the basement to await repairs.
We also kept our firewood in the basement.
One day my brother went down cellar for kindling and , finding none but seeing the busted chair, he split himself an armload, and emerged with it from the cellar: to the mortification of our mother at the stove.
That was the only time I ever saw Mama Dot cry.
We kept the chair, a bundle of nineteen pieces in the cellar, for fifty years or so.
In the nineteen nineties, my niece Liz Sticker who was then a carpenter for my Natural Bone Builders, rebuilt the chair, and my daughter Mnetha has painted it a couple of times since. Liz has it now. Maybe she has the hands photo too. I won't need it though: I'm actually getting the hands.