Adeline Carpenter Salmon

Yesterday morning my sister Anne called, something she never does. Mother had died during the night. She had lived in a nursing home for two years, crippled by a broken hip and arthritic joints, unable to get about except by wheelchair and specially-equipped vans.

But she had been travelling for some weeks, visiting friends and family, far away in place and time. She received a visit from her parents. Her imagination had slipped its bonds and made its way where she wanted to go. Towards the end it had been less important to get up in the morning.

Or at least these are the things that I imagine from the things that I have been told. From my perspective here on the rocky coast of New England this seems to have been a peaceful leave-taking. But I was not there, and only Anne can really say.

Adeline Carpenter Salmon

This photo carries the comment, “for Uncle Marion.” A search for him turns up a Marion S. Bonneville who enlisted in the Marines on May 28, 1917. Of the many muster rolls that mention him, the one below reflects his promotion to Corporal during April of 1919. So this must have been mom at a homecoming celebration (it can’t be the Fourth of July because of the heavy clothing she’s wearing).


One comment on “Adeline Carpenter Salmon

  1. lakeside4ever
    February 19, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    You do not remember me, but oh how I remember you and your family. Your sister Anne was one of my best friends as a child and your Mother was a role model of all that was genteel and proper in the world. I mourn the loss of Lady. Certainly no where near as you and your siblings do as her children, yet in my own way it is a deeper sadness than one would expect.

    My twin sister Kris and I were great pals of Anne. Dad worked at the paper, wrote a sports column for many years. To this day, every year my Christmas tree holds delightful ornaments, given as party favors every year at Anne’s December Birthday parties. I can still see in my mind every nook and corner of the “mansion” in Beloit. Playing about as little girls and sneaking peaks on all of you “grown-ups” as you sat about the dinner table long after the meal was done, conversing about I had no idea what, but certainly always seeming deep in scholarly discusions.

    After we moved away in the late 60’s Anne asked, and Lady agreed, to invite Kris and I to the wonderful island of Madeline. Such an adventure, such a wonderful time. It was a mix of freedom, beauty and finishing school.

    We were welcomed every Summer from the end of grade school through our graduating Summer. At first it was just Anne, Kris and me. Then the next year we added Cindy and then the following Summer Ali and thereafter claimed ourselves to be the “Lakeside gang”. Five young girls who spent a week or two together each Summer at our very own private camp. People along our side of the Island, when seeing five yellow slicker clad girls headed to “town” on the rainest of days, grew to simply comment, “oh, it’s jut those Lakeside girls.”

    Each year as we came together it became an interesting study, being a part of an organic experience, that changed day-to-day.

    I have a photograph of Lady, standing on the small motor boat, during a picnic to one of the neighboring islands, hat on, ever so elegantly licking a bit of something that was escaping her sandwich:-)It was so out of character for her, yet so full of fun, it never fails to make me smile still after all these years (remember Anne? it was the time Lady hurt her hands on the anchor rope.)

    She taught me so much about the ways of a Lady. Never stack plates when clearing the table, the importance of speaking without raising one’s voice, how to enjoy Lake Superior White fish, how to engage in dinner conversation. To disappoint her, as I am most certain I did on a few occasions through the years, was to feel that I had let not only her down but my dear friend Anne too.

    To undertake the care of five teenage girls, most people would have thought her mad for doing so, never seemed to fluster her. I realize looking back through the years that the reality was probably much different, yet she never showed it.

    My regret is that I never followed through with telling her just how much her largess of having me come to the Island every Summer meant to me. To be given the ability to maintain our friendships through the years, despite the miles which kept us apart for 51 weeks a year remains one of my most treasured memories.

    My memories of my childhood friends and the wonderful times we had together, are, as they are for all of us, probably quite different than the rest of the “gang”, yet I would like to believe that in the end, we share a deep and abiding memory of closeness, happiness and love.

    Lady, I thank you for making so many of my memories possible.

    With deepest affection,
    Lynn Williams

    P.S. I had a strong craving for a tuna salad sandwich for lunch today. As I prepared the tuna salad (just as you taught me how to do) I thought of you and told myself once again that I must find a way to contact you to thank-you for all you gave to me through the years. It was only after I arrived at work today that I received a note from Cindy B. telling me of your passing. I’m sorry that I was too late.

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