It is funny how our perspectives change over the years. There are family stories that we grow up with and never question, until we do. I occasionally take a fresh look at something and see a very different version.
My Mother's family was from Cornwall in South West England. I was born there. I have many happy memories of summers with grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins.
Aside from the tourist and fishing industries there is not a lot going on, which of course is the main attraction. I never questioned as strange that my Uncle John was a Londoner or that he had many Cockney friends who had also moved to our town and owned a variety of businesses. The Young Lads of London were characters and added a splash of color and life to an otherwise preponderantly older community.
Uncle John owned the news-agents, candy shop and post office, his buddy owned The Globe, a freehold pub on the quay side. The third Lad hated to be introduced as "Roy from Toy-land" but he was at the helm of the toy store of that name.
John's wife, my Aunt Wendy was stylish, attractive and funny. I last saw her at my Dad's funeral and we went for a drink afterwards which is when John's name came up as she told a funny story.
Part of Uncle John's notoriety and the reason they were divorced was his roving eye for other women. I had no clue about this as it had all transpired when I was a young child. Their separation was a given fact, no questions asked.
Wendy told of an evening with her then husband. They had had a long and enjoyable day together with their two boys. They had brought home two enormous live Dungeness crabs to be cooked and prepared the next day. In the middle of the night Wendy realized that her husband had slipped out of bed and she heard the car door close as he drove away. "Damn him, off to make a house call to his latest Tart" she thought.
Next morning John was asleep beside her and she banged around in the kitchen in a serious snit until he woke up and had the audacity to ask her what was wrong. It turns out the big lummox had been unable to sleep out of guilt for the crabs. He had driven them to the beach in the dead of night and set them free.
I have my (recently aroused) suspicions about why and how a bunch of London Lads with some ready cash descended from the Metropolis to make lives for themselves in our backwater town. I am not sure what notoriety I might find if I decide to Google their names.
I do know that when my Aunt Wendy died a couple of years ago her ex-husband stepped up and took care of all the funeral details and was there for his two grown sons.