CATEGORY: GRASS VALLEY
PHOTO: GRANDMOTHER AND EVERETT JR.
My mother’s brother, our Uncle Everett was one of the most outgoing, hospitable, kind and generous men I have ever known. In direct contrast, his son, Everett (Everett May, Jr.) was the least favorite of all our cousins. He was a Spoiled-By-His-Mother, first rate Military Brat. Age didn’t improve him. He spent his whole life trying to prove that, since he was the oldest child of the oldest son of the Oregon May family, he should inherit the ranch and be the patriarch of the family. The only thing he did with his life, as far as I was able to discern, was to graduate from Stanford and then marry three very wealthy women (one at a time, not all at once). The last of these was a general’s daughter. To him this was the ultimate coup, since he was only a colonel’s son. But a FULL Colonel! That was an important distinction!
Sometime in his life he had become implanted with a certainty that his father had financially assisted some of the less fortunate members of our family during the depression. I think he expected the descendants of those he claimed his father helped, to pay this money back to his father’s descendants, namely himself.
He claimed that one of those helped was our mother and one was our Aunt Inez. I know that Mother’s father helped our family, but I never heard that Uncle Everett did—although he may have helped Mother in some way of which I was unaware. He may have also helped Inez and her tiny daughter, Velma, after Uncle Harvey’s death. However, I doubt that much outside help was necessary in her case, since her own large family was well to do, loved her dearly and were eager to help her. She had brothers who were doctors, and one of them gave her a job. She worked as his receptionist for many years. Furthermore, her whole Salem family helped take care of Velma while she worked.
I did not know what to say to Everett when he mentioned that we were indebted to his father, but my sister Grace, who was always outspoken, told him not to hold his breath if he was waiting for us to pay him for his father’s generosity.