Morning Coffee on Lewis Road

Our youngest daughter is an artist. As a Mother’s Day gift, she painted me some beautiful panels for the room divider we brought home from my mother’s apartment after she passed away. Michelle did a beautiful job and I love it so much.

This divider used to contain a mishmosh of family photos. We had taken them out of the frames so that I could divide them up between my siblings and myself.

One photo I never looked closely at had been at the bottom and was difficult to see. I assumed it belonged to my mother’s partner, Bob. There were several photos of Bob in the panels that I was gathering together to send to his son. When I looked at the photo up close, though, I immediately spotted my  grandmother, Jenny. She is third from the left with the black dress and white ruffled shirt. While I appreciate having all the other names listed, unfortunately they aren’t exactly in the order they appear. I’ve added them in the correct order

L – R Helen Wyman, Joe Kunkel’s sister Frances, Jenny Willett, Florence Folger , Phoeobe “Red” Kunkel, Lil Coe’s mother, Ruth Dahlin. Seated Front: Lillian Coe.

My grandmother was 44 years old in this photo. Her 21 year old daughter, my Aunt Jean, was probably newly married when this photo was taken. Aunt Jean married in May of 1943. My mother, 15 years old at this time,  had been shipped off to boarding school in New Hampshire a few months earlier. Mom was a rebellious teenager. My grandparents sent her to Kendall Hall in Peterboro, New Hampshire.  Mom straightened up, by the way, and loved Kendall Hall.

When I look at this photo, it reminds me how important it is for women to have a strong support system in their lives. A tribe. These woman of Lewis Road in Swampscott, Massachusetts helped each other through many milestones. All were mothers. They were friends until the end of their lives.

Picture taken in my back yard on one of our “Mornings’ 11 o’clock Coffee” We sure had a wonderful neighborhood!! We loved each other. A great loving sharing place to be.

I have clear memories of Lil Coe, who sent that photo to my mother many years after my grandmother had died in 1988. She loved my grandmother very much. Lil eventually moved to Colorado to be closer to her daughter, Sarah and died there in 2007.  Lil also sent my mother another photo, below. On the back she wrote about it and about her friend, Jenny Willett. It must have meant a lot to my mother to have kept it out on display next to the group one. 

Hand Hooked rug – designed by Jenny Willett – an exact replica of my house on Lewis Road. Jenny was very artistic and “Love in Action” – not just a word. She gave me this – a very special present. I cherish it and have it on the wall in my bedroom – Lewis Road is a “Yesterday” but always a part of my heart. Thanks to Jenny I feel surrounded with “Love” – Your Mom, Lee, was super special person. Lil Coe



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