My grandmother was the oldest of 13 children born in 1906 to German-American parents in Brooklyn, NY. Her father was a game warden on Long Island. Although she always took them off for photographs, she wore glasses from a very young age just like my daughter and she was a very early reader just like my daughter. They even have a strong resemblance. She grew up in Brooklyn in what was then a German neighborhood. She got married late at the age of 34. Before she was married she worked as an operator for the telephone company and at one point she had a factory job making doll clothes. I’m sure she was also kept busy helping her mother with all her siblings.
Her last job before getting married was setting up the selective service/draft office in her district. With some difficulty, my grandmother had 2 children. She was very close to her family and totally devoted to her children. She enjoyed having a simple life and keeping her home neat. She said a rosary every day, a promise kept for returning my uncle safely from Vietnam. She never drove a car or owned a home although it was something she always dreamed of. She enjoyed reading and crocheting. She loved The Little House series and Agatha Christie. When my sister and I were young she crocheted several matching outfits including beautiful capes with matching hats and bags.
Before she lost her ability talk because of Parkinson’s disease my mother tape recorded her singing Civil War songs she learned from her mother and reciting poems from her childhood including one comparing a fine French doll to a ragdoll and why the rag doll was better. She died in 2000 several years before I became a mother and sometimes I wish I could have shared this part of my life with her. I think she would have adored my children.
This post was inspired by a post by a fellow blogger, Maui Shop Girl, and her fascinating and moving post about her family history and their Plantation Days. If you are interesting in family history and photos definitely check it out!