The Importance Of Dammo's Life

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Dammo commandeered a first floor east-facing suite, the elder daughters and their husbands in the other two downstairs bedrooms. Since each included a private bathroom, it was fitting that the oldest of the group were granted this luxury. Jack and Millicent occupied the other front-facing room on the open porch, and Billy and Betty got the downstairs booby prize. The room faced the back screened-in porch and received little sun, thereby earning the name, “The Black Hole of Calcutta.”

On occasion, Dammo shared her room with others, since it was large enough for a crib and at least one other person. Winnie and Robin became the first hapless intruders. Dammo, a light sleeper, would often wake up in the middle of the night. Seeing other bodies in her bed, she would grab her flashlight and shine it right into their faces to identify her bedmates. Of course they woke up; but what could you say to a ninety-one year old? Winnie confessed she frequently worried that Dammo would die during the night and she would be responsible for reporting Dammo’s demise to the daughters in the morning.

In the coming years, any number of folks wound up in this room,
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However, one event divides the vacations into two segments: with Dammo and without. Dammo died in November, 1978, and the Swoyers discontinued the vacations after her demise. The Saenger family joined the Bitters and Elmores sometime during this period, and other visitors were more frequent with the added bed space. At this point, “Ellis Island” became the home to the Karl Bitters and the Elmores. John and Carol moved from the upstairs cell to the privacy of “The Black Hole of Calcutta.” “The Last Roundup” nicely fitted the Steve Bitter family of three, then four in 1982. The Saengers occupied the second bedroom upstairs with their two boys. Millie and Miles later joined George and Kay when extra guests needed space in “Ellis

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