Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I just learned that my cousin David Lally passed away from cancer yesterday. He was several years younger than me and grew up next door, so we were in each other's lives throughout our boyhoods. When he was confirmed I was the one he chose to stand up for him as his sponsor. He was my little cousin till he hit his teens and grew much taller than me.

He was a relatively quiet guy, an introvert in many ways, and as a kid was often teased by mean boys to get him to react, and when he finally did they'd be sorry of course. But he was a sweet guy who just wanted to be left alone, as I remember him. He became a cop, like our grandfather, and one of my brothers, and others in the clan.

When my father passed, David bought the house where I grew up, and when I came to visit him there years later he had left the attic room where I slept as a boy with my sisters, and later alone as a teen, pretty much the way I'd left it, with my old 45 record collection and pictures on the slanted walls, which I took away with me to wherever I was living at the time.

I saw him over the years more and more rarely. He moved to the South when he retired. One of his son's, who also became a cop, remained in my old house. I wrote about him a few times over the years, including these lines from The South Orange Sonnets:

My cousin was an artist but no one knew.
They thought he was only a work of art
like a pinball machine made out of marble.
When someone deliberately broke the first
two letters of the ESSEX HOUSE sign, my
cousin did the same to a new kid's head.
He grew bigger than any cousin and more

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