Helen Lonsdale Torrey

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Helen Lonsdale Torrey
I was born on April 4, 1943 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It is so hard to believe that was 69 years ago. So much has happened in my life since then. I was raised near Harford, CN where the weather was never over 85° and milk was more expensive then gas. My whole name is Helen Lonsdale Torrey but I always just liked Lonnie. My name is from a tradition in our family that has been in practice since the 1820s. The first daughter of the first daughter is named after the grandmothers middle name and that daughters middle name was the maiden name of the grandmother. Every generation the name Helen is exchanged for Hetty of the first born daughter. There is a silver cup with all of the names and dates of birth of those first born daughters; I am on that cup to be remembered forever.

I lived in 3 different houses till I moved out of my parents’ house. Every time we moved the house got bigger with a new addition to the family. Our last house was a 7 bedroom, 2-story house. I have 3 other siblings, Jodi who is 3 years younger, Jane who is 6 years younger and Jim who is 15 years younger than me and 2 dogs. I always thought both of my sisters were more talented, more pretty and smarter than I was and I never got to know my brother very well till later in life because of our large age difference. Both of my parents got a college education, and for women in that time that was rare. My dad, James Torrey worked in an insurance company, and he always felt distant to me. My mom, Hetty Bixby Torrey never really had a job but she joined a lots of committees and participated in volunteer work. Don’t forget she had to take care of me and my siblings too.

My family first went to a Congressional Church, then later started going to a Presbyterian Church where I was baptized. My family would eat our dinners in the dining room with fine china and silver. My mother cooked the meal and it was always very good. She taught me a lot about cooking, and started my interest in...
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