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We took advantage of the complimentary hotel breakfast this morning, which was pretty decent.

My dad read the headlines about Senator Craig resigning, and said, "The only reason he's resigning is because he's a Republican. If a democratic had done the same thing, he wouldn't be forced to resign."

I bit my tongue and thought, Robert's vote will cancel out his.



We left for Aunt Vivian's and Uncle Nib's house in Swansea, Massachusetts, about a 30-minute ride—not factoring in missing an exit, of course.



As soon as we arrived, and after hugs all around, they showed us a DVD they had made from old reel-to-reel movies that they had taken years and years ago.

There were some great scenes of all of my dad's side of the family, including my grandmother and grandfather, which were so great to see. There were also several pictures of my brother and sister and me, as my sister was very close to my Aunt Vivian's daughter, Judy.

There was a classic scene of the two of them—Vivian and Judy—in the bathtub, with Judy kissing my sister and washing her all over—including her "bum."

I've asked Uncle Nib and Aunt Viv for a copy of it.



We had a 2:00 reservation for Clam Boils at Lepages Seafood & Grill in Fall River, not far from where we once owned a house.

We started off with appetizers, some killer, killer clam cakes, and Aunt Vivian and I playing some Keno. I played 5 games (for $5.00, which mom paid), Aunt Vivian played 20 games. I won $4.00, and I think she ended up winning $6.00.

This was the best damn clam boil I've had in a long, long time!



A Fall River Portuguese Clam Boil:
Clams, A Potato, An Onion, 2 Hot Dogs, 2 Sausage Links, A Link of Chourico



Of course, there's a cup of broth on the side in which to rinse off the clams, and a separate bowl of melted butter in which to dip the clams, and in which I dipped just about everything before every bite. That's my story and it's sticking to me.

My Dad's Sister Vivian (left), His Brother's Wife Terri (right)
And Terri and Dennis' Daughter Cynda in the Middle



Dad and His "Baby Brother" (Dennis, Terri's Husband and Cynda's Father)


We had a nice, leisurely lunch, and I, of course, had to take a few more pictures once outside, before we said our good-byes.

The Siblings: Dad, Sister Vivian, Brother Dennis


And Another With an Endearing Tilt of the Head
(My Dad and His Sister are Close, Just Like Me and My Sister, Who is Also Named Vivian)



And Here's the Whole Crew
[
(l to r:) Terri, Nibby (Vivian's husband), Vivian, Dad, Mom, Dennis and Cynda]


Getting into our cars, Aunt Viv said, "That's Uncle Dennis' car there," pointing to an SUV with a W'04 sticker on it. I winced, My friend Joe's vote will cancel out his.

On our way back to Uncle Nib's and Aunt Viv's we drove by our old house at 914 Eastern Avenue. Cool.



After dropping them off, we drove out to Uncle Frank's and Aunt Annette's, and when we first got there, I walked to the lake in the backyard, where these dining hopefuls approached the shore from the other way, and peered over the edge to see what I might have:



I'd called on the way to let them know we were on our way, and Aunt Annette related that they'd spotted a big pile of white feathers, not moving, on the other side of the lake. Though hard to confirm even with a pair of powerful binoculars, we're all quite certain it's the male.

I guess that "mate for life" commitment is over.



We had a short visit tonight, spent around the bar, and again reminiscing. Aunt Annette brought out a bunch of old Lachapelle (mom's and her maiden name) family photos. This one was the gold mine find to me:

The Capone Kids (Evidently)
My Brother Michael, My Sister Vivian, and Yours Truly



This photo was taken in June of '61.
My brother was 4, my sister was 6 months, and I was 3.

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