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Columns

April 3, 2013

Funeral brings back good memories

I have been attending too many funerals lately. I’m at an age when the generation before me is passing away.

Since the first of the year, six friends or relatives, from age 86 to 98, have left this Earth. One of them was almost like a mother to me.

Lila Blair Wilson Lamay died four days after I saw her at the nursing home. I heard she wasn’t well and visited with full expectations of her being in bed. Instead, she was sitting up in the dining room, eating her lunch, giving the staff member a hard time.

“Was that polite to reach across in front of me?” she said to woman. “How would you like it if I did that to you? I bet you wouldn’t like it.”

That was Lila. She was quick to tell you if you did something she didn’t like but equally as fast to tell you how proud she was of you.

As far back as I can remember, our families spent many weekends together. Henry and Lila and their children, Elaine, Lyle, Larry and Leroy, were like family.

My mother said Lila was the first woman to visit her when she arrived in Westville from England in 1946. An easy friendship grew.

As each woman had children, we just seemed to blend together. I had Elaine and Lyle, both around my age, for playmates; my brother, Leslie, had Larry, about the same age; and my sister, Sharon, had Leroy.

After church, we would pile in the cars and go for a ride in the Adirondacks with a picnic lunch, campfire and hot dogs at Barnum Pond or go to the St. Lawrence Seaway to see the boats or to one house or another for the day.

Long weekends at Bernard Fleury’s camp in Mountain View were wonderful.

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