Ode To Joy… And The Dowager Duchess

My Mother The Dowager Duchess is known by a number of different names. First, there’s the name she was given at birth. I think there have only been three people who have ever called her by that name.


When The Duchess started school, her sister Lilly was 14. She registered her for kindergarten and, since she didn’t like her little sister’s given name, she gave her an entirely different one. All my mother’s friends knew her by that name. And that’s the name she has gone by, officially (although not legally), ever since. It’s even on her marriage certificate.

However, a popular nickname for her original given name is Mimi. Most of her family — including, ironically, her sister Lilly — called her Mimi.

My father called her Mim. When San Geraldo met The Duchess, he followed my father’s lead. So, San Geraldo, his family, and all our friends call her Mim. She signs her cards (and emails) to us, “Mom/Mim.”

In honour of the 88th birthday of The Dowager Duchess, here’s… “Ode to Mimi.”

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

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