Today, I would like to welcome as a guest blogger, my second cousin once removed, Patricia. Her father was HP McCormack and her grandfather was John Michael McCormack.

John Michael and HP

John Michael McCormack and son HP

Being the youngest of ten children I was not always aware of the goings-on of the older siblings, but one of my fondest memories was in 1945, four of my brothers returned home from WWII. My mother fixed a feast and what jubilant celebration it was. Thankfully my father, HP McCormack took moving pictures of the event which I still have and cherish, showing loving hugs to my mother and father, grandmother, aunt, the teasing between brothers, what fun it was.

Secondly, the summers spent at our cabin at King’s Beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, California. It was a real log cabin built in 1932 from the pine trees cut down by my father, HP McCormack and older brothers. The older ones got to sleep in tents but younger ones in the cabin. In the mornings we would wake to the scrumptious smells of Mom’s pancakes cooking. Hurriedly we’d put on our bathing suits, gobbling down the pancakes, grabbing our towels and dashing down to the beach with our dog, Snooper, right behind us. Ack, the clear blue sparkling water was icy cold! Snooper was usually the first in and out, saunter over to us and shake that cold water all over our hot sun drenched bodies. We acquired terrible sunburns that would crack open, Mom would gently pat vinegar on the open cracked skin, ah, and the pain of it all, but soon we were as tan as could be. In the evenings we would sit around the beautiful rock fireplace, read, play games, pop popcorn and jump every time a pine cone would pop in the flames. Or, we would go to the movies, walking along the boardwalk whiffs of vanilla floating through the night air from the ice cream store.

The third fondest memory was our Christmas celebrations. Mom’s delicious turkey feasts, my father’s decorations, and family togethers. The younger ones would pile into a brother’s car, drive around town delighting in the beautiful decorations anxiously anticipating the excitement of Santa’s arrival. Upon arriving home, we would warn my brother not to honk the horn. His elbow always slipped causing a resounding loud honk. This was to warn the other brothers in the house to start ringing “Santa’s bell”. Brothers would ring the bell, throw it to the next one in another room, and we little ones would run through the house following the jingle of the bell in hopes to see Santa but never did.

I would like to thank my cousin Pat for sharing the memories that she did. If you have someone like Pat in your family, ask them about any memories that they would like to share.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something today!


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