by Emmett R Smith
THE Magpie little Maglys were witnesses to the Jakob Maegli will-flummery of 1899 [see ‘Jakob Maegli’, infra–ERS] and it left its mark going on sixty years later.
This was evident for example in a finicky regard by my Great-Aunty Leona (b 1901, after her Grandfather Maegli’s death) for any question of legalism. Altogether, it went far to leave her a convinced lifelong Lutheran.
There was also a fundamental atmosphere of family distrust, in wills and inheritances and anything to do with them, as displayed by my Great-Uncle Carl Magly (born after all of his big sisters, including my Grandmother Emma Magly Jacobson):
MY Great-Aunty Alma (b 1889 and a witness to the strongbox-swindle of 1899) died in 1967, when I was eighteen. She was the eldest and my Great-Aunty Leona’s bugbear–not least because Alma lifelong favored her baby brother Carl.
Indeed, Alma Magly bequeathed her house at 817 South Front, in old Mankato, and all of her money to Carl Magly. And to add insult to injury she named Leona executrix, so that she, Leona, should have to hand over to her behated brother Carl Magly all of those desirable assets.
Whereas Carl Magly for all the pampering scarcely showed himself a devoted sort of man to the memory of his deceased elder sister:
AFTER The interment in the old Eagle Lake cemetery and we having all piled into the chief-mourners’ limousine, I perched on a drop-seat while my elders accomodated themselves in spacious benchseats. As the motorcade pulled out onto the Eagle Lake road under gray skies, “Uncle Magly” leaned forward to peer with a jaundiced eye around the bulk of his wife Marie Schuck Magly at Leona Magly (Leona did not like Carl not least because he drank whisky and smoked cigarets):
“WELL Now we’ve got her where we want her–if we can just KEEP her there!” said Carl Magly in a raspy tobacco-voice.
“What I want to know is–just WHAT’S in that God damned will?”
NOW Come my Great-Aunty Leona Magly into her brief shining moment, as executrix of the timebomb will and intentions of my dead Great-Aunt Alma:
“HUMPH!” Leona smacked her lips in a finicky way.
“Bad news for YOU [Leona Magly bit down on the second-person singular] I’m afraid….”
Carl Magly looked suddenly ashy.
“…you’ve been cut off–completely! Yass indeedy, um-hum!”
The detested Carl Magly lapsed back in the fine-smelling impersonal black leather seat.
“ALMA Has left EVERYTHING to the Immanuel Church–all of it except MY proportion! Mmp-mmp-humph! Just so–yass!”
ALL Of it a dreadful lie of course, but we made our way back into old Mankato thereafter in an unbroken and more-or-less mournful silence, meditating in silence on the evanescence of all things.
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 22 July 2006]