Monday, August 31, 2009

"Aunt Mary & Cousin Chester"


Aunt Mary was my mother's sister. Her son was named Chester. Aunt Mary was married to a Polish man named Henry Kubinski.
My cousin changed his name from Chester to David and Kubinski to Evens; he didn't want to be Polish.
When Michael and I had our neon gallery in the Village we would see Chester walking with a friend. He lived in an apartment across the street. He introduced us to him one evening. His name was Howard Ashman. He told us that they just had dinner with Peggy Lee.
We thought he was a little off, but it was true. Howard was a song write and a very successful one at that. He wrote lyrics for “Little Shop of Horrors,” The Little Mermaid,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Chester (or David) had an argument with Howard, and Chester moved to Chicago Three months later he came back. He wasn't feeling very well. Three months after that he died from Aids.
My Aunt Mary was in the hospital herself with cancer. It was the most difficult day of my life when Aunt Lola and I had to go to the hospital to tell her he was dead. My Aunt came to the Funeral Parlor and just stared at her son, never said a word.
Being Jewish Howard couldn't understand a Christian wake at all. He was so depressed. A month after Chester's death my Aunt Mary died. Howard died a year later. He won an Academy Award for “Little Mermaid.” We watched it on TV as his sister received the Oscar for him.
What did they do that was so wrong?

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