Double Up

Elijah Brownheart and Thomas Botsch were photographed by the Oakville Tribune in 1948, standing awkwardly together in front of the pharmacy. They had been told to lean their slight frames up against the pillar outside the store. Neither looked comfortable.

From the image on page three you could see that they both squinted with their left eye against the sun.

The caption read “amazement as twins are reunited – lives are mirror image of the other”.

The copy went on to explain that even though the pair had been parted at 6 weeks after birth, adopted out to families on either side of the country, they had “uncanny similarities”. According to the paper Elijah and Thomas had both married women called Janet, had a deep disapproval of alcohol, believed strongly in the righteousness of Jesus, enjoyed their eggs sunnyside up and weren’t averse to a cigar. They both liked double breasted suits and, it was discovered, they could be absentminded.

The fact that the two had been found was “due to the untiring efforts of local woman Bernice Trout”.

Bernice was the wife of the local chemist, hence the posing of the photo in front of the drugstore. For Bernice this was “the piece day-la resistance” in getting the Trout Family Pharmacy back into the papers.

The discovery of the missing twins was met with a tightly held thin smile by Avaline Calthone, the remaining and unmarried daughter of Mr and Mrs George Calthone, deceased, who were said to be the parents of the twins.

For weeks afterwards women with squalling children leant over the counter — ‘how awful it must have been for a mama to give up her children’; and ‘my, wasn’t there some type of scandal?’ and ‘I knew all along she was no good’. Bernice would nod sagely and press liniment and talc into their gossiping hands.

After the end of another profitable day, Bernice handed over the agreed money to Elijah and Thomas. They tipped their identical twin hats and returned to Seattle where they lived with their very much alive mother.

Avaline, left with the remnants of her tattered family reputation, wept.

Double Up


Joined August 2008

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