11/10/2014

Family Album - 2

 






"Family Album" is another in a long list of series I started and stopped for different reasons.  The main reason I stopped this one is I have never felt comfortable posting pics from my family album.  I still feel that way.  I intend to add a couple more chapters to this series before the 7th anniversary of this blog in April.  As I've stated before, we are in the winding down stage of regular participation here.  Oh, there will still be posts made on a weekly basis (for a few months anyway).  But, few, very few will be from me.  I'm ready to move on.  Most of the posts made here will be on the supernatural/paranormal topic.  Some staff members have stated they will post from time to time.  But, enough of this....this is about someone from my family album.  I will not post a picture of this individual.  I will tell a brief story about her as was told to me.

The person I will tell about today is my Great-Aunt Susanna Mitchell.  She was from my mothers side of the family.  Unlike most on that side of the family, Aunt Susanna was highly educated and held high paying jobs during her working years.  This was during the 1930s when women were looked upon suspiciously if they worked, especially highly educated women in positions of authority.  Aunt Susanna was co-chair of a newspaper in the Midwest.  She never rose higher than co-chairman (yes, back in those days they were not politically correct) of the newspaper.  Aunt Susanna was wealthy, had two homes and actually owned an automobile in 1938 when most people couldn't even drive.  My aunt dated lots of wealthy men and many were the suitor who courted her.  However, Aunt Susanna never married.  In the early part of the 20th century, it was considered downright strange if a woman didn't do her "duty" to get married and have children.  Aunt Susanna never felt under any obligation to do so.  She was too busy going to places like Paris, London and the Swiss Alps.  She enjoyed her wealth and the pleasure it brought to her.  Again, she never even discussed getting married to family members.  It wasn't until after her death in 1960 of throat cancer as to why she never did marry.

From photos found in her diary, her own private albums and her security box at the bank, it was discovered that Aunt Susanna was a lesbian.  Being gay (or homosexual as it was termed in that era) was something that was hushed up and never discussed under any circumstances.  Few in the family ever suspected my aunt was gay.  My grandmother (maternal) did say to several family members she felt Susanna was "homosexual."  But, she was quickly dismissed as being absurd.  Many just thought Aunt Susanna was eccentric and a member of the news media elite who basked in the limelight.  As it turns out, grandma was right all along.  I only met my great-aunt one time when I was 6 years old.  I don't remember much about her except she pinched my cheek hard and kissed me on my forehead.  Three years later she was dead.  The "great family secret" was never really a secret.  It was just that Aunt Susanna kept her private life....private.  She kept it very private.

In her will, she requested that a certain amount of money would go to a woman living in Orlando, Florida.  Initially, the family started to fight the will because of the woman.  But, cooler heads prevailed and it was decided that Aunt Susanna's last request be granted.  Her name is rarely mentioned because few remember her.  I still have pics of her in my family album.  She was a very attractive woman.  But, the shock of her "secret life" still is the cause of discussion at family gatherings by those who still remember her.


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