Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Michigan: Random Almost Lost History

On the second day, the long 7 hour day, of the funeral I had a lot of time to reflect. I was thinking about how a whole generation had finally died out with my grandfather and I found myself instantly obsessed with photos and stories from the past.

How Grandpa and Grandma met:
My grandmother lived in Buloxi Mississippi with her mother Great Grandma Oldness. It is not much talked about but her mother, Great Grandma Oldness, divorced her husband and moved to Harley Illinois with her mother Great Great Grandma Super-Oldeness. In those days divorce was severely frowned upon and because the matter was kept so quiet no one knows why her mother left her husband. My grandmother met her best friend in high school in Illinois and soon after her best friend married grandma’s brother. Granma moved to Detroit and worked as a telephone operator at the Gas Station. Her friend at work (not sure who) set up grandma and grandpa on a blind date. I can remember grandpa telling me that he could not understand a word grandma said in her thick southern accent on their first date, but her beauty and her smile caught his heart for life. They did not date long before they were married.

Stories of Grandma’s youth:
My grandmother and her brother lived right off the ocean. Every morning before school they took out the little row boat and set lobster traps. Every afternoon after school it was their job to collect the traps and the lobsters inside. Their mother would cook lobster a million different ways more ways than you can imagine. After my grandma moved away from Buloxi as a teen she never ate lobster again.

Stories of Grandpa’s youth:
My grandpa as a little boy was a watcher. His father (The General) owned a “Speak Easy” in the alcohol abolition days. The kind that looked like a store but that had swinging walls and a hidden bar. My grandfather would stand on the corner and watch for policemen and when one was spotted it was his job to run up the street and warn his father to convert the BAR back into a store.

These are just a few that I remember but I think having them here will keep them from slipping through the cracks with my inevitable loss of memory when I get old, or Great Great Super Oldness.

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