Tuesday 6.19.12

Little Aunt Agnes.

I’d have to talk to my brother to get the family tree in order, he has taken on that task. I have random recollections of who is who and when they were. I’ll make an attempt to tell the story – which could be right or could be what I think is right. Either way, I’ll say it is so.

I had two Aunts named Agnes. My guess is that when they were present, and probably not at the same time, we called them both “Aunt Agnes.” When they were not around and to keep things straight when discussing people, they were referred to as “Big” Aunt Agnes and “Little” Aunt Agnes.

I probably only remember seeing either one of these people a handful of times. Little Aunt Agnes, in my memory, was this scrunchy looking little old woman with horn rimmed glasses and seemed to always be smiling or in a good mood. So… there’s this story about her that makes her interesting beyond the way she looked.

She was born in 1902 in Czechoslovakia. She came to the United States as a baby or young girl… not sure when that was. She wound up in Chicago where she grew up, went to school and did whatever you did as a young woman in the 19-teens and twenties. In 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified and women nationally gained the right to vote. I imagine this was a huge victory for Little Aunt Agnes who would be looking forward to getting her shot at voting. That would be in 1923.

The Little Aunt Agnes Story goes like this: She went to the voting place to cast her vote. She was denied… she was NOT a resident of the United States. Somehow, in the years she had been in the country, that little thing slipped through the cracks. She was pissed. She had lived here all of her life (in her mind) and was proud to be an American (but technically, was not one). She went out and became naturalized and nailed that mo-fo down by getting the American Flag tattooed on her arm.


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