February 22, 2016

The Road to Hull

The two centers of my life growing up were Cohasset and Hull, where one of my mother’s sisters lived. No Christmas was complete without a trip to my aunt’s house, where I would dive into foil-covered chocolate coins and the box of ribbon candy she always had out. The kitchen was presided over by my uncle, sitting at the table with an ever-present cup of coffee that was never just coffee. Like my father’s, this was a big family. The bond between my mother’s brothers and sisters was forged in the inferno of the Depression, when family and neighbors were all you had. At one point, the state was thinking about breaking up the family because both parents were dead. The neighborhood got together and issued a communal “We’ve got this.”  They were just immigrants. There were no rich people on that street. They worked with their hands. Most of them hadn’t had time to master English, but they knew how to stick together and take care of their own.

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