Favorite Photo, April 27 – History Redux

Cliff, Dottie, and Sue, Ukiah California.
Uncle Cliff, Aunt Dottie, and Cousin Sue, Ukiah California. April 27, 2011.

This is a special edition of my favorite photos by date series. In 2011 I set out across the country on a family history excursion. My mission for the California part of my trip was to visit several relatives and record their stories.

One of those visits was in Ukiah to visit Uncle Clifford and Aunt Dottie. Cliff is my mom’s older brother and Dottie was my mom’s roommate in college. That is when Cliff and Dottie met.

Dottie is a nickname for Dorothy. Cliff decided it was too complicated to have two Dorothys living in one room , so he gave his girlfriend the nickname Dottie.

We lost my mother unexpectedly and way too young. We had wanted mom to write down stories from her childhood, but that never happened. I knew Uncle Cliff would have lots of stories to tell about my mom and their childhood together. My cousin Sue lives in California and she went along for the visit.

Cliff and Dottie shared lots of stories about my mom. Some of them I had heard before but many of them were stories that were new to me. It meant so much to hear them. We had a great day together and my digital recorder was on all the time, even during lunch. At lunch we sang the table grace we used to sing at grandpa’s house at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners back in the 50s and 60s.  The stories Cliff and Dottie shared are family treasures.

Dottie took us into her studio and showed us some of her art work. She had just been asked to send a digital copy of one of her paintings to be published in a book. She asked me to create the digital copy so I did that while we were there.

Clifford and Dorothy Buck

While I was there I made a copy of this photo of Cliff and Dottie.

This was a very special day.

Less than four weeks after our visit, Clifford died in the night. I think that is how he would have wanted it.

It is difficult to put into words what the memory of that visit means to me.


Series: Favorite Photos by Date – all about this series