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Recalling the Flood of 1955 and Ted Kosakowski's Spindle

Dear Dick,

Two things:

1. I'm writing to thank you for giving my 89-year-old aunt (Julie Rewinski Sedor) a lovely afternoon. She grew up with my mother (Nellie Rewinski Kosakowski) at 311 Morris Street, where my brother now lives (Tom Kosakowski- your classmate from SHS Class of 1969). My aunt Julie is having heart surgery at the Brigham soon. She spent a very lovely afternoon today going through your wonderful archives. What a fabulous job you've done. Thank you for bringing joy to my family.

2. An amusing footnote: my father was a policeman (Ted Kosakowski) during the flood of 1955. My mother would tell the story that she was very worried when my father didn't come home for days. In hindsight, the policemen slept very little, and that was  at the station. My mother waited anxiously with two little children -- Tom was 4 and I was 2. (Context: This was a young wife who had already waited years for my father to come home from World War II.)

When my father finally came home, guess what he brought? A spindle of thread that was floating down the street! I don't know which factory the spindle came from, but it measures  7 inches high. That spindle gave us years and years of thread for everything imaginable. We sewed almost all of our clothes. It's still only halfway used up!!!

Two years ago, a visiting nurse was cleaning out under my mother's sink at Overlook. She said, "What in heaven's name is this?" My mother was not speaking much in those days, but she and I immediately knew what it was, burst out laughing, and told the  legendary tale again…my father leaving home for days and returning home, brandishing that spindle.

I now have it with me in Woodside, California, my favorite memento from my parents and Southbridge.

Thanks again for the Flood photos (loved the German photo/caption)

My best,

Ann (Kosakowski) McNamee    p.s. I'll take a photo of the spindle with my cell phone and send it to you.

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Dick Whitney email: dickwhitney@charter.net