I remember that Mrs. Plexman had presence in our classroom. She spoke with precision, calm and dignity. And she was lovely: dark, dark hair and a creamy complexion. What I didn't fully realize is that Mrs. Plexman was my great-aunt, my mom's paternal aunt. Eventually, Mrs. Plexman became Aunty Rose as I got to know her in my teenage years.
After she died in
The family story is that when Nona Maria held the new baby, Maria Ontaria, older sister Helen looked at the baby and declared that she was so beautiful they must call her Rose.
One day when I was about 18, my mom and I ran into Aunty Helen on the street. My mom mentioned that she always thought I resembled Aunty Rose. Aunty Helen said, "No, Kathy's much prettier!" I wish it were true.
|Rose Bertolo, at her brother Luigi's wedding, October 1929|
But I do see the resemblance. And I take that as a great compliment.