GEORGE HUGH OWENS:
He outlived 4 of his 11 children, and 3 of his dozens of grandchildren.
But he was always cheerful; went to Mass every morning.
But he wasn’t always saintly.
His first wife died; the children thought he’d spend his days baby-sitting.
Bob Lyons was in Chicago in the Navy.
On Wabash Street he saw a photo of Geo.H, with a strange woman !
Turned out he’d married her secretly.
She was very meek; but his new mother-in-law was a terror.
After a drive,she’d say, “You never take me anywhere.’
Also, “I’d like to see an atom-bomb land on your bald head.”
Served him right for shocking his children.
When I reached 21, the other factory-workers insisted
that I drink with them.
Coming home on streetcar, I got to Grampa’s corner,
got off just in time to vomit.. Later he said,
“Vomit on my lawn any time.What are relatives for?”
The Owenses had a super-strong musical streak.
We had to invite him at every visit to get his fiddle
from the car and play. He was awful.
One day I joined him in a big Rosary procession down Hennepin Avenue,
hundreds of people praying for collapse of Soviet (It worked!)
Afterward I asked why he didn’t introduce me to his friends:
“Who’d want to be known as grandfather to a bald-headed coot like you.”
He was sinfully vain.
Luckily he died before a grandson disgraced us all
as a right-wing(twice-elected) Governor.