Thanksgiving Day my brothers and I reminisced about Uncle Henry's cheese. Uncle Henry was a novelty to us. He smelled of wealth and culture and came bearing all kinds of exotic cheeses from the Pauly Cheese Co., of which he was president or CEO or something important. He couldn't have visited more than three or four times during my childhood, but it was always an occasion. Those cheeses coated in red wax, soft and sharp and smelly!
But our mother interrupts, saying that nothing could ever beat Daddy T's cheese. Daddy T's cheese was fresh and heavy. Mom would go to Aunt Mabel and Daddy T's store and he'd sneak her slivers of cheese while she sat up on the counter. He'd give her and her friends handfuls of peppermint drops and lemon drops, shooing away their pennies. In the midst of the Depression, Aunt Mabel and Daddy T offered simple gifts that were more precious than pearls.