Frances McDonald Vaughan Spelman
In September 1956, when I was four, we moved from Newport, RI to Garden City, NY.
Back then, that drive with small children was a day-long project. By the time we arrived in Garden City, it was, from my perspective, the middle of the night.
We didn't go to our new home. We went to a softly-lit beacon of warmth and hospitality glowing in the darkness - the home of my mother's aunts, Frank and Marie Vaughan. We were greeted with clasped hands and murmurs of, "Oh, Joan!"
Alison, age 3, and I were swiftly introduced to tiny tea cakes, comfy, welcoming rooms and a mahoghany bannister designed for small children to slide down. We had arrived in heaven.
My great aunts were the grandchildren of Frances McDonald Vaughan Spelman. I attribute to her benign and gentle influence the gracious atmosphere of my aunts' home - an aura that was replicated in my mother's and her sister's homes.
We don't have any photos or portraits of Frances Spelman. What we do have is a legacy of a beautiful and loving life.