The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations

This One’s For My New England Cousins in Honor of the Patriots’ Super Bowl Win


One of the best things about having a treasure trove of my grandfather’s family letters, is getting his real time views on events that are often hazy (or nonexistent) memories on my part. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear that they were the perfect child? Especially when such views are so well documented by one’s completely unbiased grandfather.

In addition to his accounts of frequent visits to his son Bryant (my father) and family, JBK’s letters provide detailed descriptions of other trips that he and Kitty took. Tonight’s entry is from his letter dated September 16, 1957, recounting JBK’s and Kitty’s visit to Boston in early September where they spent time with his nieces, Peg and Doris, and their families.

JBK writes:

“Saturday morning, George came for us in his little Volkswagen and drove us through Cambridge and Newton to Needham, stopping at Mass Institute of Technology to see the modernistic auditorium and chapel.  You probably have seen pictures of them. They are certainly different from anything you would expect an auditorium or chapel to be, and it would take some time to get used to them, but I think I like them. Peg made us feel at home at once, and we were very comfortable and happy there for two days and three nights. Marc and Dean are handsome youngsters, with blond crew which show off their well-shaped heads and good features to advantage. They are quiet and well-behaved, but interesting talkers, and little Dean has a definitely original mind which turns up some very interesting observations and questions. After supper, George and Peg played some duets on bassoon and flute, harpsichord and cello, and we learned why that family will never suffer from boredom. Incidentally, Peg is a very good cook and housewife, she seems to do it with very little effort.

Sunday morning, the Gayzagians came about 11 and took George and Marc and Peggy drove Kitty and me and Dean in the Volkswagen to Somerset.  It was a beautiful cool morning and a pretty road, and we enjoyed the drive. We were delighted to see Doris again, and to meet Paul, Bruce, Carol and little Lisa for the first time. With three older Gayzagians, four Pahuds, and two Kingsburys, it seemed like an old fashioned family reunion, and Doris’ dinner made it seem like Thanksgiving. Their new house is lovely, with a nice lawn and playground behind, and a long view over an empty field.  Mr. and Mrs. G had lots of questions about Turkey, and we enjoyed talking with them.

[JBK, Kitty and their son Dean lived in Turkey in 1955-56 while JBK was teaching at the American University in Ankara.]

Labor Day, we took a leisurely drive through Needham, Dedham, and other towns. Peggy spotted an old country burial ground . . . where the first stone they looked at was the grave of Nathaniel Kingsbury. We all got out and examined it and other old markers. In the Dedham churchyard we started a systematic search for Kingsbury graves, each of us taking a different section of the grounds. {That is my kind of a holiday!} George was the first to discover one, and nearby we found at last a half dozen others, some of them dating back almost 300 years. We copied most of them and Peg agreed to make better copies. I suppose Forrest knows about all of them, but I believe Peg is going to send him the names and dates that we discovered.”

What a privilege to be the custodian of JBK’s letters! I only hope I will live long enough to read and transcribe them all.


Author: kakingsbury

I finally took the leap and started a blog in mid-March 2014. I currently maintain three blogs "All Things Kalen" "The Family Letter Blog" and "Trovando Famiglia." Trovando Famiglia is about my husband's family, particularly the original four Giorgio brothers who immigrated to western Pennsylvania from San Vito Chietino, Italy in the late 1800s. The Giorgio boys and their descendants have been the focus of my genealogical research over the past two years. The blog allows me to share family stories and photographs. Thanks for checking me out!

2 thoughts on “This One’s For My New England Cousins in Honor of the Patriots’ Super Bowl Win

  1. Thanks Kalen,
    What a neat slice of 1957 – I was still Marc until September of that year. That was the year our branch’s grandparents, Dean and Helen moved here to Sturbridge and started a whole new chapter in their lives. Your grandfather had an eye for detail! Lisa’s mom, my aunt Dee, told me that your grandfather set the bar for good writing skills in the Kingsbury Family Letter.
    All the best,


  2. Chris –
    As you can imagine – it will take me a long time to get through all the letters I have but I agree – JBK has a wonderful writing style. He seemed to really enjoy the letters from Aunt Grace – which I believe was one of Annie Walker’s sisters – wish I had some of those.
    Take care –


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