Esther Elizabeth Denby Kelso my paternal Great Aunt
Aunt Esther was born in Missouri on September 7, 1898. The 1900 US Census finds her living in Cass Township, Greene County, Missouri with her parents Claude and Adele (Pollack). Her younger sisters Irma Marie and Jo Helen were yet to be born. When she was 24 she married Arthur Howard Kelso while they were still living in Missouri. By 1930 they were living in Long Beach, California. Esther and Art never had any children of their own but she dearly loved her nephews and their children. She worked in the grocery industry in the deli department. The people who knew her when she was younger said she was a very outgoing social person. I don't remember her being anything but an old woman crippled by gout and arthritis with a slightly off color sense of humor which horrified my Grandma Jo. They lived together for many years after they were both widowed.
Aunt Esther had a secret that only her closest friends knew about... she kept a big bottle of Port under the sink and after dinner every night she would hit the bottle. It's interesting that my fondest memory of her is talking to things in the house as she was shuffling towards her bed. She would touch the faucet and say "Off", touch each stove knob and say "Off", check the door knobs and say "Locked", and then toddle off to her bedroom to call it a night. If I was there I would follow her, tuck her in and she would give me a big hug and tell me how much she love me. She was such a treasure.