Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Hands

     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.

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