April 17

My cousin Jeff would have been 68 years old today, and it is over ten years ago that he died.  I’ve written about him before—my oldest cousin, the one whom we all adored, the leader of our pack.  I am older now than he ever got to be.  He did not get to see his children graduate from high school or college, and he will not get to see them get married or have children.  He was cheated, and so were all of us who loved him.  So for Jeff, a photo collage of pictures, some that I’ve posted before, some that are new to the blog.  These give me comfort, and I hope that they will for all of us who miss him.

Jeff was an active child from day one, always into mischief.  I remember my aunt’s story about finding him on top of her high dresser when he was just a toddler.  Somehow he had climbed from his crib all the way to the top and was sitting there when she found him.

Gussie and Jeff 1946

Gussie and Jeff 1946

Jeff and Gussie c. 1946

Jeff and Gussie c. 1946

Jeff 1947 Jeff 1947 Jeff 1949 Jeff 1951

Elaine and Jeff 1949

Elaine and Jeff 1949

These next two pictures of Jeff make him look far more angelic than he ever was!

Jeff Lehrbaum 1952

Jeff Lehrbaum 1952

Jeff 5 years old

Jeff 5 years old

Jeff and Beth c. 1954

Jeff and Beth c. 1954

One of my favorites—I am sitting with two of my favorite people, my Aunt Elaine and my cousin, her son Jeff.

Elaine Jeff and Amy 1953

My cousin Robin sent me these three.  They were taken when Jeff came to visit them in West Hartford the summer after he graduated from high school.  I was so sad that summer, knowing that Jeff would be moving far away (to upstate New York from where both our families lived in White Plains).

Sue and Jeff 1964

Sue and Jeff 1964

Jeff in West Hartford 1964Jeff 1964 in West Hartford

 

Jeff 1965

Jeff 1965

Jeff at Horizons 1965 or 1966

Jeff at Horizons 1965 or 1966

Jeff and Jim 1971

Jeff and Jim 1971 oldest cousin to youngest cousin

 

Jeff remained a big part of our lives even after he went to college and when he moved to Philadelphia after college, married and had children.  I did not see him as often as when we were kids, but he was always there at family events, and he remained the leader of our pack and always will be.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “April 17

  1. I sure do miss my big brother. Guess he was the big brother to all the cousins.
    His daughter Jessie looks just like him in that pictures taken in 1952. Same angelic eyes and smile.

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  2. Amy, these photos are fabulous! They bring back the era and a beautiful boy of the time period. Reminds me of The Dick Van Dyke show, for example. Happy birthday to your wonderful cousin. Your memories of him are a real blessing.

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    • Thank you! I love the clothes, the cars, the black and white snapshots—so typical of the late 1940s and the decades that followed. That last picture—of Jeff with the mustache—is so typically 1971!

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