Editor’s Note: Nancy Gwinn, my mother’s sister, married Jacques Riboud in 1933, nine years before I was born. Though she and Jacques raised their five children in France, I remember meeting the Riboud family in 1946. That was the year the Bowe, Casey and Riboud families all travelled to Mt. Washington in Baltimore, Maryland for the funeral of Nancy’s mother, Elizabeth Tack Gwinn. All I remember about the Gwinn family house at 1809 Dixon Hill Road in 1946 are the second and third floor landings. That was the out of the way location where I played to my heart’s content with my cousins Betsy and Livie Riboud. (Chesley must have been too old to hang with a youngin like me.)
In the 1950s, both Nancy and Jacques made occasional trips to the States. Chicago was almost always a stop on these trips, as this was where Nancy’s sisters Martha Gwinn Casey and my mother were raising their own families.
When I got to college, I began making reciprocal trips across the Atlantic to visit the Ribouds. Later, my business trips to Europe for Encyclopaedia Britannica gave me regular opportunities to visit France. Following in my mother’s footsteps over the decades, I’ve been able to add photos of my Aunt Nancy to the ones my mother had carefully placed in her photo albums.
In looking at these photographs today, it’s possible to see the full arc of Nancy’s life, from a childhood playing with her sisters in Baltimore to her mature years, surrounded as she was by not only her own children, but a host of adoring grandchildren, nieces and nephews.