Two Aarons

There were two Aarons on the farm when I was growing up, a living one and an ancestor. The living Aaron, my mother’s younger brother, was 19 years old when I was born and seemed more of a cousin than an uncle. My mother taught me to spell “Aaron” by reciting – “Big A, Little a, R-O-N.” This may have been my first spelling word.

Although named after the stately and historically significant Aaron Hall, Esquire, my Uncle Aaron was happy-go-lucky and full of fun. He and my mother shared an infectious sense of humor, and loved a good joke. In this photo from Thanksgiving, 1977, they’ve dissolved into giggles, my uncle trying to keep the turkey in his mouth with his napkin, and my mother laughing until the tears ran down her cheeks.

Thanksgiving 1977, Aaron Hall, Janet Hall Crump, Austin Norton, Carol Bryner, Paul Bryner

Thanksgiving 1977, Aaron P. Hall, Janet Hall Crump, Austin Norton, Carol Bryner, Paul Bryner

My Uncle Aaron died in 2005. He never attained the level of seriousness or accomplishment of his namesake ancestor, but he enhanced my childhood with his joy for life and his love for his family. And he kept the ancestral Aaron alive for us through this name association.

A portrait of Aaron Hall, Esquire, hung in the parlor of the farmhouse. This is where I remember seeing it. My brother remembers it hanging in the living room. It’s possible we’re both right, since my grandmother liked to move the furniture and pictures around every few years. It now belongs to my cousin Patti, Aaron P. Hall’s daughter.

Aaron Hall, Esq, 1760 - 1839

Aaron Hall, Esq, 1760 – 1839

The inscription on the back of the portrait says:

“This picture presented to Wm E Hall by his cousin Elizabeth Upham Jan 11, 1902. Aaron Hall son of Asahel Hall born Nov 11, 1760. Died Sept 29th 1839. Served in the revolutionary war and participated in the battles of Germantown and Monmouth.”

How different this eighteenth century Aaron Hall was from the Aaron I knew. The curly-haired boy who grew up to become my uncle fought in no wars and farmed no land of his own, although he lived just across the lane from the farmhouse and was always on call as an extra set of hands. He lived in different times, and they shaped him just as his ancestor’s times shaped his long-ago life. More about Aaron Hall, Esq. next week.

Aaron P. Hall, around 1931

Aaron P. Hall, around 1931

On Wednesday:  Out on the Sidewalk


5 thoughts on “Two Aarons

  1. Carol Post author

    On my right is my uncle Austin and on my left (with the white hair) is my father-in-law, Paul Bryner. Alex’s dad.

  2. Katy Gilmore

    I think Aaron P. Hall seems like a lot of fun! And I know for sure that Janet was – made me miss her to see this photo – specially the day after Mother’s Day.

    1. Carol Post author

      I miss her also – and I especially miss laughing with her. Her sense of humor got her – and me- through many difficult situations.

  3. netzy

    Hi Carol, what a fun Thanksgiving you all enjoyed. I can hear all that laughter… what wonderful cherished memories you have and now you will have a book to share with other members of your family….. I so enjoy reading your stories filled with treasures….


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