a reply to: halfoldman
All I have are memories, too.
Both my grannies, though I'd never have dared call 'em that...
My Maternal grandma grew up in a little town just outside of Dayton, OH... She came west just prior to WW1, met my grandfather, and he wasn't spoken
of after about 1926...when you bring home an STD, that tends to end relationships. So my Grandmother raised my mother and three sons as a single mom,
in a time where that just wasn't all that socially acceptable... She never remarried, though there are more than a few hints that there was another
woman in her life after that--yet another "socially unacceptable" thing she did. Along with working in a speak-easy during the Prohibition Era. She
bowed to nothing and no one, and made her own way in the world, along the way raising kids who were the same.
Honest as the day was long. Except at cards...she could bottom deal, deal seconds, and any number of other "tactics" with the best of 'em. Taught me
nearly everything she knew...which I, of course, would never-ever
dream of using. Ever. Her attitude was, with cards, if you ain't cheatin',
you ain't tryin'!
She taught Mom, too. It made pinochle nights at home very, very interesting... My Dad soon learned to not
play. I played. How else do you
learn, I say.
God, I miss both her and Mom.
My Paternal grandmother was from Dayton, OH. Far as they ever knew, they never met. She came west in 1916. Worked in a dry goods store 'til after
WW1, then moved to a little town in SE Washington (where I live now, oddly enough...) where she met my Grand-dad who was just returned from the
trenches of WW1, and was a county sheriff. He happened to be in town delivering a prisoner to the State Pen here, and was walking around town and saw
"the prettiest damned girl I'd ever set eyes on!". Three months later, they'd married, and soon moved to Los Angeles where they ran a store in Watts
(it was still standing in 1980...my Dad and I rented a car while stuck in LA overnight and went to see if it was still there, it was. He was born in
the apt in back.)
It was shortly after my Dad was born that they moved back to Washington, where my grand-dad later became County Sheriff for the rest of his working
days. Together they raised six boys.
She was the quintessential farm wife. If it can be grown, she could cook it. If it's a plant, it can be grown. Deadly with both rifle and shotgun,
she could give my grand-dad a run for his money with a hand-gun, too. More than one coyote lost its pelt trying to get into where it didn't
Along with her daughter-in-law, she taught me how to can anything. She taught me how to preserve/dry meat.
Both my grandma's had spines of steel, you crossed 'em at your own peril. Sweet as could be, but grand-kids all knew there was a definite line you
I love 'em dearly. Cancer took one, look up "downwinder" sometime. ...and just plain tired took the other.
Love 'em. Miss 'em.