reticulated earrings

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Here's To Ya Wayne................

Maggie here, and I know, it’s been months since I took time away from the bench to write for this blog.  It’s like that sometimes, and sometimes it is going to take something kind of big for me to write.  So here we go, there is a point so hang in there with me.

I am the oldest cousin of my generation.  There were six “original” cousins (known as “THE cousins) and five more who came along a bit later.  The oldest of the second batch was my cousin, Wayne Magisano.  He was named after an uncle who had died suddenly in early adulthood.  Since Wayne was eight years younger than me and I left home when I was seventeen, I didn’t really  get to know him, and yet I will never forget him.

This is my “Wayne” memory.  It comes from the time when I was about twelve and he was about four.  My mom, his Aunt Waldene (she went by Dee, which sounds a bit less like a small town in Wyoming), was very adventurous and would gather all “the cousins”, plus Wayne, in her little car and off we would go.  We never knew exactly where we would end up – rain or shine.  On this particular day, probably sometime in the spring, we were headed to an area near Albany, NY to scope out the 4-H camp in which my sister and I were to be imprisoned for a week later that summer.  At some point after arriving at the camp, it began to rain.  I mean DELUGE!  In minutes, all seven kids were soaked to the bone.  S O A K E D.  My crafty mom told us to take off our wet socks and roll them up in our car windows so they would dry in the air as we continued on our excursion.  So there we were, all 8 of us, crammed in and cruising down the road in our 1962 Ford Falcon with sixteen long white tube socks flying from the windows.  I loved this about my mom.  

Eventually, we stopped, likely for a potty break, at a doll museum.  Seven young kids, without socks, or much discipline, decided to take a look around.  I can still see the look of terror on the pudgy woman behind the glass counter as we raced to the door.  In my mind, her name is Wilma.  All the dolls were set up in fancy dioramas and everything was fragile.  Everything, especially Wilma.  Wayne was the youngest in the bunch and a rather gregarious child by my recollection. Each of us was warned to keep an eye on Wayne and not one of us did.  Wilma screamed.  We feared the worst, heading like a stampede toward the action.  There HE was, Wayne, climbing out of a diorama with a doll’s arm in one hand, like a hairless King Kong scattering a miniature living room set with his giant dirty bare feet.  Wilma was clutching her chest as Aunt Waldene/Mom whisked us all away.

I don’t remember much else.  I knew that Wayne loved and excelled at baseball.  I know my dad  who loved baseball, was proud of him and there were hopes that he would become a pro.  Instead he got married and had a son who was also athletic.  Wayne coached and bowled and worked with his father. He did not become a professional baseball player but I think he was happy.  When he was just 41 years old, Wayne died.  Suddenly.  Unexpectedly.  Taken from his family by an aneurism.  I did not have a chance to say good bye.
Live NOW brooch
The beautiful pin back & stamp
This last July, randomly, I was contacted by a woman representing the Joe Niekro Foundation.  Joe Niekro was a baseball player who spent many years with the Houston Astros baseball team.  He lost his life to a brain aneurism.  I was invited  to donate a piece of my work for auction at the annual Knuckle Ball which raises money for the research of brain aneurisms.  So, to make a long story come to an end, on September 7th, my brooch “Live Now” was auctioned off to help raise funds to be spent trying to find out more about the very thing that took my little rambunctious cousin away from the family that loved him.

Here's to ya, Wayne.