The story is apocryphal and it matters little. It is the iconographic rememberance of Aunt Peg, always the supporting actor but one who deserves an Academy Award for her performance. “Who’s askin’ Peg?” What is the meaning of Francis “Sam” Boyce without Margaret “Peggy” Boyce? Where is the center of gravity in an extended family strewn about the eastern third of the country. It is Aunt Peg. What loss is the most devastating for a family that has little left to lose of “the Greatest Generation.” Aunt Peg.
From her hospital bed she gathers the family to her and creates connections between us. Holding court in her tiny apartment with empty refrigerator and rented furniture, she commands our attention, our devotion, even while she waits almost impatiently for the thing she fears and, maybe, welcomes.
Her wit. The dry Walsh humor unscathed by her decaying body. Unintentionally making us laugh not at her but in amazement at her observations. Her truth.