Friday, April 30, 2010

Vintage Grandparents

I was a lucky little girl in the grandparent department.
Above we have me and my Grandma Gladys just after my Grandpa Arthur's funeral. Grandma Gladys was always "put together". I never saw her in pants until she entered a nursing home. She always had some earring/pin set on. She made incredible fried chicken and served us Raisin Bran with A&E half-n-half on it. In Blue Danube bowls no less. She had a life sized porcelain cat that we would "pet". I look and act a lot like her, which probably bugged the crap out of my mother. That and the fact she called my Dad "Tommy" in her extreme Southern Iowa accent.

My Dad said that once as a very young boy in Chariton, Iowa about 1937, he was picking on a black kid who would walk by their house. He'd tease that boy, then run for the screened door when the kid took after him, lock it, and make faces from behind the door. Evidently Grandma had been watching. So one day she quietly locked the door before Dad could get to safety. She let that kid clean Dad's clock, and he got the message.

My maternal grandparents Gie and Ginny at Uncle Sam and Aunt Mogul's wedding, sometime in the 1950's. This was taken in the front yard of the farm house. Beautiful June days in Iowa always make me think of them.

Gie and Ginny at Lake Kabetogama. People were probably thinking "Oh how cute - that old couple is helping each other" but we knew the truth. Grandpa was trying to tie fishing line with his GIANT work worn fingers and Grandma was swearing at him. Actually in this photo Grandma had a fishing hook caught in her hand, and Grandma was getting it out.

As a little girl, my Grandma Gie once remarked to me that I was pretty. I said "maybe it's because I take after my Grandma". She replied "You do take after your Grandma, the other one, and she's beautiful". You were too Grandma Gie.

Those two were thick as thieves.

Grandpa Ginny. We all adored him. He was handsome and funny and hardworking. Eating cheese and crackers brings back his memory.

Again Grandpa Ginny, building the "new" barn in the early 1950's. Look at the size of his forearms! And look at that beautiful Iowa June sky. He would often quote the poem that begins "And what is so rare as a day in June? Then if ever come perfect days . . . . . . "

Ginny playing with Grandchildren, about 1960

My Mom and Grandma Gie, Ames Iowa, for Uncle Sam's college graduation. My sister #2 looks just like Grandma.

This is what turkey will do to my relatives on Thanksgiving. Gie and Ginny are napping on the couch. On the floor is Uncle Smartass. Probably 1967.

Grandma Gladys and my Uncle Jim, career Navy pilot.

Grandma Gie, one year before her death at age 96. I LOVED this woman!!

Here's what makes me sad - that my own parents died so young, and my kids' surviving Grandma lives 1500 miles away. As far as grandparents go, my kids got robbed.


MommyLisa said...

There is nothing like a GREAT grandparent in your life.

I was blessed with awesome ones too. ;)

Dr. Monkey said...

Great photos.

SkylersDad said...

Great stuff, as always. My grandpa had huge hands and knarled fingers from working in the mines all his life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing those great photos.

Anonymous said...
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Churlita said...

I only knew one of my grandparents but she was really cool. So, I still feel lucky.

Life As I Know It Now said...

My younger sister is the spitting image of our maternal grandmother, which in this case she doesn't think as being a good thing.

I don't rightly remember my other grandparents. You were lucky to have such good ones.

Jeni said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandparents and it's one I can fully relate to as well. I was born in the house I live in now -which belonged to my maternal grandparents and my Mom and I lived with them until they passed away-here, in this house. I adored my Grandfather; loved Grandma too but my Grandpa, well he was something ultra special to me since my dad died when I was only 17 days old. I never knew my Dad's parents as my paternal grandfather died 22 years before I came along and my Grammy died when I was 2.
My kids -only my oldest ever really knew and remembers my Mom -the two younger kids, my son has a few memories of her but not many and my younger girl, remembers nothing of my Mom. They didn't have a chance to know their paternal grandfather either as those grandparents lived 800 miles from us and rarely traveled here, especially not after my ex and I divorced. Their paternal grandmother is still living though -now is even farther away in South Dakota so they barely know her, but the girls do try to keep a little bit of contact going with her. My grandchildren -the oldest lives a stone throw from his paternal grandmother and 45 miles from me; almost 3,000 miles though from his maternal grandfather -my ex and the two little grands -their paternal grandma died before they were born and their paternal grandfather is in a nursing home and they barely see him so don't really know him either and of course, have met their "Poppy" (the ex) I think maybe 3 times, 4 maximum in their short lives. So compared to the benefits I reaped from at least knowing my maternal grandparents pretty well, my kids and now my grandkids too -as you so aptly put it -got robbed too!

Cathy said...

Found you from Mommy Lisa(I'm planning the Mn bloggers get together with her).

This is a great tribute to your grandparents! They sound wonderful!