Great Great

FRANKLIN MASON

November 22, 1993|By FRANKLIN MASON

Her name is Allie and he wore his Adlai tie. They are 80 years apart, she born this year, he turned fourscore this year.

It is a high occasion, Allie the centerpiece, he an adjunct in the audience. It is christening time, time for Allie's christening. She is his great great niece, he is her great great uncle, a lot of greatness.

He wanted to do the right thing, dress right. He wore what he wore on high occasions. He wore his Adlai tie that said Adlai all over (Stevenson, of course.) The tie went back in time like he himself went back in time.

But Allie beat him. As she should have, being centerpiece. She was dressed back in time too, back before the Adlai tie, even back before he, the Adlai-tie wearer, was born. Her snow-white gown was long in length and years. It went back 89 years, four generations, had known 14 previous christenings. Allie was christening 15, a lot of christenings.

Well, it went off well. The church filled, the choir sang, the minister spoke. It was christening time.

Allie carried it all off. He sat up front to see, proud and proud. Allie didn't mind at all, mind all the goings-on. She didn't peep or chirp, certainly not squeal or scream. Knowing, almost knowing, all of it was just for her.

And all of it, the event, on the altar, all before the stained window, all suitable for the event.

And on the altar there was some whispering. About Allie's name. Before it was spoken, before the christening.

Was it Allie, really Allie? Wasn't it Alison? they whispered. No it was Allie, they whispered back. Just Allie. Allie was it. And so it was the name ''Allie'' spoken aloud.

He liked the name Allie. She was named after her great-grandfather, a great good thing to do. He thought perhaps all girls should be named after their great-grandfathers.

Yes, all was well. This was the place, the place for the meeting of the oh-so-young with the not-so-young, for the blending of a new name with an old.

And he was glad he wore his Adlai tie, hoped it fitted in. And he knew full well Allie and her gracious grown were simply great great.

Franklin Mason is a retired Evening Sun copyreader.

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