Hello, beloved family. I honestly wish I could be there with you all right now, but at least, through the miracle of technology, I can send this along via email and ask that it be read in the event that there's an "I Remember Margie"' moment during the gathering after the funeral.

My Aunt Marge was one of my favorite people in the family. Even as a kid, I enjoyed her easy-going manner and sense of humor. When you told Aunt Marge a joke, even as a kid and no matter how corny, and she enjoyed it, you knew that her laugh was genuine and not merely indulgent for the sake of the nephew who just told a lousy joke. Two which I know she enjoyed were the time I was in my late teens and the topic of drugs came up at a picnic and I told her that I'd tried snorting coke once, but I couldn't get the bottle up my nose (which, considering the noses on both sides of my family, would probably not have been the truth if I'd actually tried snorting Coca-Cola straight from the bottle). Then there was the long-winded joke about a kid named Roy who put his new dress shoes out on the porch to dry after having polished them, only to discover the next morning that an animal had chewed them up, and on his way to school, his friend pointed to a feline and said, "Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes?" (A riff on "Pardon me, Boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.") I know that joke is as old as Moses toes and twice as corny, but she enjoyed stupid humor as much as I did, so there ya go.

I will always remember Aunt Marge's macaroni salad as the best at any picnic I've ever attended. It was kind of al-dente and soooo "mayonaissy" -- none of that fake stuff -- with even chopped black olives, if I'm not mistaken. Sorry, Mom, but it's true. And I'm sure that none of us will ever forget the accordian "concerts" at family get-togethers. I remember sitting in the garage on a summer night in the old house as Aunt Marge played polkas and waltzes on the accordian while Grandma Corbett and my Mom and aunts (and my Dad and an uncle or two) danced in the garage and driveway while we kids stuffed ourselves with way too many chips and fritos and Ruther Girl Cookies and fig newtons and sodas, and I'm grateful to her and to my Mom and Dad and aunts and uncles for doing for us what their parents did for them and what our generation has done for its kids and, hopefully, those kids will do for their own: showing, and not merely telling them, that family is not only important but imperative, and providing for hundreds of opportunities throughout the years to experience the joy and the fun and the accumulation of a lifetime of memoies of family members, family get-togethers and celebrations, and family relationships that turn into true and lifetime-lasting friendships.

To Aunt Marge!

Love, Chris.


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