Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Very Sad, But True

Every family has one right? The black sheep? The wayward one? The one who could never seem to "get it together"? I only know Uncle Al through my research of the family, never having actually "known" him - so from my perspective, Uncle Al was this person - and surely not the only one in our family. Not to speak ill of the dead, just an observation on my part. I've done some research on Uncle Al's life. After all, he was my Grandfather's brother. But what a shocking ending! You'll see when we get there...

Alfred Sylvestre Cyril Bellew was born Oct. 27, 1928 in Central Falls, Rhode Island. A place that his family lived after coming to the US. He was baptized on November 11, 1928 at the Holy Spirit Parish in Central Falls, and married to Anita Claire Decoteau on May 2, 1953 in Adams, MA.

I've found a few newspaper clippings about Al and have one here, relating his 10th birthday party happenings for the social pages of the North Adams Transcript newspaper. There were also tidbits about his singing at school, playing basketball at school and having perfect attendance.

There was another clipping announcing his engagement, another about his entry into the National Guard, and a great find showing him during a gun inspection while in the guard. There was a story about his recruitment, his advancement in the guard, and his placement on the firing squad.

All typical stuff for someone's life, but then... Al died, living in the streets of the town where he lived, in January 1991 at the age of 62. A photo of his box, on the front page of our local weekly paper. Living in a box, that's how it ended. Such a sad story really but every family has one right?

Images: Ancestry.com. North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: North Adams Transcript. North Adams, MA, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper.


  1. Such a great blog Cindy -- and I love the title "everything's relative."


  2. A very interesting story. Reminds my a little of my mother's family - there seems to be a male in each generation who is so reticent, he sort of "disappears" - just loses touch with the family.

    I enjoy reading about your Bellews.

  3. Oh poor Al. This is indeed so sad Cindy. I wonder what went on in his head that he should end up that way.It seems to happen a lot and i find it heartbreaking to think about it. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs June

  4. Wow, how heartwrenching. Just serves to remind that our lives can turn on a dime. We are all fragile really.

    Love reading your posts !!
    Hope your new year is off to a great start.