I Am Inspired

another clapkin clan.

I am inspired this morning to share a “what if” thought. Usually, if you are on a solid track, you don’t go off into that dark patches full of what if’s. Today is a day I am going to let myself travel in that direction.

One thought I have never shared, and it is a “what if”. Once we lived in a lovely part the City of Los Angeles called Cheviot Hills. Our family grew and grew, and very soon there were 7 of us. Our beautiful English Tudor three bedroom home shrank and shrank until finally we had to make a move to accommodate our growing family. Our question was to stay in the city or move to the Valley beyond.

We moved to the Valley beyond. Every so often we talk about how our lives would be different and how the lives of our children would be different if we stayed in the city and NOT moved to the Valley Beyond!!!

We could not have a nicer family. The children and grandchildren are all well, educated and settled. We still live within a short driving distance to all of them. So you see this “What if” question of whether this or that or something else is not even pie in the sky. We have already received our rewards. Now it is still up to those in the photograph to continue growth and development.

Keep on the right road kids and mom and pop, good job!

clapkin van

Memories: A Memoir Writing Class Assignment

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Interview with Carly about Memories she has of us Together:

“What memories do you have of us together?”

” I have memories of us looking through your jewelry and the jewelry gave me memories of you. I also remember the first black and white bracelet I made for you that broke after a long time. I knew I had to make you a new one so I did. I remember our trip to Mexico and the swim with the dolphins. I remember our trip to Hawaii and the swim in the Seven Pools.”

“Any more memories?”

” Oh yes, I remember cooking and when we were making muffins, I made a mistake and dropped too many chocolate chips in the batter. It ended up being a good mistake. Also, you taught me to put a package of pudding mix in cake batter to make it extra moist. I remember you and grandpa taking me up to the top of the hill to a giant, pretty sunset. You bought me a stretchy real pearl bracelet at Ross. It fits me perfectly. I remember telling you I had to run a mile nearly every day and you agreed with me that you use up your parts to early and maybe will have bad knees when you grow up. And today I remember the Birthday Scavenger Hunt!”

MY MEMORIES OF GRANDMA AND ME: BY JOEY

Don’t ask me for just one memory because I don’t have just one memory; I have so many. You are a person I admire and a cool, calm, and collected person. The parties at your house are really fun. I remember a lot of those and a lot of fun. We made a lot of muffins together. I like the banana ones and chocolate chips. I liked all the stuff we bake. One time we used almond flour and the cake tasted much sweeter and softer with almond flour than the cake box.

I remember the times we went out to dinners. All the food was always really good. One time I remember is when we went to an Italian restaurant and you taught me to dip my buttered pasta into a side order of marinara sauce. It made the pasta taste great. I won’t forget to order a side of marinara or maybe meat sauce.

I remember sleeping over your house on the couch in the bedroom. Now I am to big for it and besides you got a new couch. I’ll have to try it out.

MEMORIES GATHERED FROM COLBY MY FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GRANDSON

  1. We used to have fun in the mall. I remember we were sitting having lunch and I saw the wrinkles on your neck. I called you Gecko Neck. You collected gecko pins and earrings for a while. You showed me your collection.
  1. I remember our New York Trip and our trip to Hershey Pennsylvania. I remember the graveyard in Philadelphia and we saw a ghost rise up. No one saw it but us.
  1. I remember you helped me learn to read better one summer and we read a whole series, but I don’t remember the name of it. It helped.
  1. I remember the whole family was riding in a bus on our Hawaii trip and the driver slammed on his breaks. I went flying right over your head.

Memories Shared by April:

One time you bought me a really nice pillow from Ross. I remember sleeping over your house; I think I was six.   Also, I remember when we bought some washcloths and made pillows with them. I still have mine. We cooked food together,

We had a lot of fun at Sheri and Jodi’s house on Easter, we had a scavenger and egg hunt and you brought big baskets for everyone.

I remember when my mom was ill and you and grandpa picked us up and we went places and did a lot of things together, and then we went home when my mom felt better.

I remember we went on a trip to Mexico, then, Hawaii and a trip to Alaska.

I remember all of the Jewish Holidays at your house, but I never found the Matzo. I remember your 50th wedding anniversary party and I remember a birthday party for you when we all wore the same shirt with your picture on it.

My Aunt Myrtle

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What? You have never heard me speak of my Aunt Myrtle? How could I have even told you her name, because I did not know she existed until several years ago, when at a family reunion someone put her name on our family tree? Still we were not sure and no one ever spoke of her or gave a hint this person existed or was connected to our family. She is gone and everyone connected to her is gone, too.

Myrtle Levin was born to my grandmother and grandfather and lived just under three years. She was found buried at Salem Memorial Park and Garden with a beautiful aged gravestone stating she died May 10, 1910. Born February 16, 1907, Myrtle was the first child of Dora and Joseph, was a sister of yet to be born, Stanley, Martin, Merriam and Max and Aunt Myrtle to many of us.

After checking all of the vital records and finding that indeed Myrtle is ours, we discussed moving her to the Levin Family plot at 1051 El Camino Real, Coloma, CA 94014. Please visit when you can. With proof in hand and without even time to think, Myrtle was moved to a lovely little spot in the Levin Family plot. We were told that when Mrytle was disinterred, there was still a casket intact with little particles very much in existence. Our family wondered why she had never been moved to join the family, but found that she was buried in a children’s section, which was the way things were done then and in some cemeteries still done. Did the family feel it was better to leave things lie? Did we have the right to move her? Thank goodness it was done the moment both cemeteries heard the story and saw the proof. They took the case in hand and did a most genteel move to right what they deemed a wrong.

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It must have been too painful to discuss Myrtle with later generations or were things like a child’s death a sacred secret. Did they think that by not talking about her they would ease or lessen the mourning of this child? Was the shock and disbelief so overwhelming that no words would ever come? Did they think that by being mum they could ease back to a normal life and leave the hurt of this unordered death behind?

Since I do not know and did not know of my Aunt Myrtle until a short time ago, I will have to create her from the part of her family I do know.  She was beautiful and had strength budding in her character. Mrytle was intelligent, kind, enterprising, respectful, active, very energetic, aware, balanced, appreciative, affectionate and authentic.  She had an outgoing personality. She was resourceful. She had dark hair and big brown eyes. She had a twinkle. Her body was shaped like a spirit, soft and delicate and she had an overpowering will. Myrtle rarely cried or whimpered; she got everything she needed by willing it to be. She left this earth, but not our hearts. Now her aged stone is shining in the sun with her family. Her truth is known.

Fifth Grade Culmination/Graduation in West Hills, California Celebrating our Granddaughter’s Achievement

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As you can see, modern technology secures a record of this event for each iPad holder/user, but for me it screened out the event that I so desperately craned and wiggled to see. I know they did not realize that they were being obtrusive and prominently using up my space and the space of others to see their family member culminate/graduate. I enjoy bringing you the above photograph of the experience plus I have added the interior chuckle I have every time I see the iPads using my space or is it theirs once they have taken it?

Well thought out plans had been made for this event and many practice sessions had been conducted; all speeches were committed to memory, the songs well rehearsed, outfits for the event had been searched for and purchased by the celebrated child and family members. As the rewarded volunteers took their front seats, we the others, scrambled for the best leftover seats we could secure.

The prossession began. We were on the wrong side, oh well.  The speeches began and songs sung. The school officials gave appropriate speeches of their love for the children, rewards given, culmination certificates lovingly handed to each child, another song was sung and the procession off to begin a new life began.  The photo on the top is what I saw of the event for most of the time. But I am not one for the back scenes or do I like to sit on the sidelines, so I scrambled, nudged, gently elbowed and jostled myself in position to grab the shots of our granddaughter receiving two awards and her diploma for our family records.

Aside from enjoying and witnessing this charming event I saw so little of, I had an opportunity to feel like I was my mother. She so proudly came to these advancing events for our children and smiled with hugs. Now I am she.

UNEARTHING MY GRANDMOTHER’S RUSSIAN SILVER FOX FUR JACKET

I knew what I wanted from my grandmother when she was ready to give it up and I told her. When I would visit her in windy cold Tule fogged in San Francisco, she would let me wear her fur coats. Never ever before or after the wearing of the furs did I feel more regal. I came from a very warm climate in Southern sunny Los Angeles, so when I would arrive for a visit to Grandma Dora and Grandpa Joe, it was a quick hello and a whisk off to buy me undershirts, a sweater, a jacket and some socks.  When Grandma Dora passed away, I received as physical remembrances of her, a half used lipstick, all of her undershirts, which I Tie- dyed, and her Russian Silver Fox jacket. What treasures, all of them.

Before I continue with the unearthing of my grandmothers silver fox jacket, let me tell you I began having a flashback of visiting in my grandparent’s home and being given permission to search for treasures in the downstairs basement which had, to the naked eye, basic furniture and all the signed books from My Uncle Irving Stone.  But, leave it to a child in a candy store, or that is how I felt being given searching rights.  I unearthed from the very recesses of the closet that held her silver fox jacket, a box full of little bits and pieces of jewelry.  They did not have anything connected to them or did they relate to each other in any way, but they were unusual and one of a kind pieces. When I showed the unearthed box to my grandmother she was very surprised and told me she had forgotten about the box since her mother who was in the pawnshop business, put it there before she died.

We had a wonderful, more than wonderful, an astonishing and brilliant afternoon picking through each piece and enjoying guessing where they had been and what they had adorned. She finally made the statement that I could pick three items to keep. Oh my, I leapt and pranced and ran around the box picking what would be mine.  Not so fast, not so easy, lots of moans and groans and picking became the hardest work imaginable. I must tell you that I learned then and there, that my grandmother stuck to her word and never, ever gave in to pleading.  I learned from a master grand dame and I never forgot her secret desire peeking through to give me the moon, but she stuck to her three pieces.  I took the three pieces and they hang framed in my living room ever since our encounter that foggy cold afternoon in the basement of their Ocean Avenue home.

Now to the saga of the Russian Silver Fox jacket.  I never thought my request to have it would come to pass.  Why?  There are many, many San Francisco relatives who I thought wanted it, too.  Who I thought would be chosen over me. Why I thought that they would be chosen and not me is another story.  But to my joy and delight I have had the jacket for 47 years.  It was worn, stored and worn again and again stored. Then, PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals became very vocal and very physical in the early 1980’s, so the jacket went into semi-permanent storage until yesterday.  I opened the bag containing the jacket and little hairs began to fly. I threw it in re-cycling. I went in the house in psychic pain. I saw all the faces of those who had wanted the jacket. I saw my grandmother looking at me. I remembered my fervent desire to own my grandmother’s precious possession. I ran outside and pulled the jacket from the trash bin and shook and shook the jacket; hairs flew. Albeit, less and less hairs flew as I continued to shake.  I put the jacket in the drier on air dry.  I took it out of the drier, took it outside and shook it again.  The more I shook the more beautiful it became. I thanked all of the Russian Silver foxes that lent their hides to make this jacket.  I did not apologize to PETA because after all, this jacket was before PETA’s time, then, again, the concept of cruelty to animals should have always have been observed.  Now the beautifully fluffed jacket is hanging in a closet downstairs.

At this writing I wonder if I am really going to wear the jacket.  I know I am, I just do not know when.  When I wear it, it will sing out about the relationship between my grandmother and me.  It will show that I was chosen to receive this gift by someone who valued my request. I will wear the jacket with one of her tie-dyed undershirts and complimented by lips wearing the half used lipstick she left behind. I will once again feel glorious and regal. I will melt into my grandmother.

My Uncle Max Levin

My Uncle Max Arnold Levin was born on February 12, 1927 and died July 24, 2012 in Millbrae California at age 85. Max was born to my Grandmother Dora and My Grandfather Joseph Levin in San Francisco. He was known as one of the twins.  He was a true sports fan and was loyal to the S.F. Giants, 49ers and a Warrior fan for his entire life.

I knew little about his life and his growing up years. I was not even born for some of it and then, he lived in San Francisco and I lived in Los Angeles.  I would visit my family in San Francisco and got to know Uncle Max.  It wasn’t until I was grown did I really understand my Uncle Max’s talents. He was quiet until he spoke and when he spoke everyone within range heard his booming statements. He thought for a long time before he made a statement.  Everyone did not agree with him all of the time, but all of the time he was right. I realized that those that did not agree did not understand his well thought out truths.

My Uncle Max had many bosses in his life that told him what to do and he did it.  When he got to be his own boss, he was happy and satisfied that he did a wonderful job.  Now that he was the boss, he made decisions he had made all of his life, but this time he made them and carried them out to fruition in his own time and in his own way, the right way.

Later in his life, a painter put a paintbrush into my Uncle Max’s hands. He dipped and stroked the paper with great and true abandonment.  His works of art dripped and strode across the page.

He created masterpieces with remnants of his life story. They were the simple truths of his reality. They told of his struggles and his gradual coming through to the light. They are few, but they are brilliant statements he alone could have made. They stand unaided in all of their beauty. The artist born in my Uncle Max marked him and enlightened the world.

When Uncle Max told you some thing, it was something he had been thinking about for a long time.  If he asked you something he wanted to know the truth. If he was quiet, he was thinking. He was always thinking and then sharing. Uncle Max was a caring man, but he didn’t care if you believed him or understood him, but if he liked you, he wanted you to like him.

When Uncle Max’s parents became ill one by one, he took great care of them. He made promises to them that he carried out to the letter until the day he died. He was a man who if he made a promise, always followed through.  Knowing this about my Uncle Max has led me never, ever if possible to make a promise for fear I might not keep it.  Uncle Max never worried because he had always kept his promises and knew he always would. He was so diligent, conscientious and attentive to all of his tasks.

The tradition in the Levin family was to keep in touch. The two business locations were in different cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  A designated person, family member and manager in one city would call a designated person, family member and manager in the other city on a certain day, at a certain time every week, week in and week out. When the managers and family members began to die off, the tradition continued, but the designees changed. Uncle Max, the last of the tradition called my father Martin, every week until Martin died, and I called Uncle Max until he could speak no more and soon died.

My Uncle Max was a successful businessman and enjoyed the fruits of his labor.  He was generous, big hearted and a loving man. If he loved you, he wanted you to love him back and we all did. We love you dear Uncle Max and thank you for being our Uncle Max!!!

Divinity Fudge and Lula Dora McKissack

 “MAMA LULA”

         February 13, 1903 – November 6, 1999

I am respectfully submitting the recipe for DIVINITY because not only is it the most delicious, melt in your mouth kind of candy, but it is also because divine providence brought the giver of this recipe into my life.  Lula McKissack hails originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she grew up on a small farm. She was given to her aunt when she was nine years old by her mother because she was strong and could do the work her childless aunt needed done. She left her aunt’s home at sixteen, married Mr. McKissack, and had two boys, Tommy and Bobby. Soon after Bobby was born Lula left Mr. McKissack and the hard life she lived with him. She moved to Louisiana where she built her own home with the help of her boys.

Lula’s boys left home early to join the navy and Lula was left alone with little means of supporting herself.  One of her friends, Nola, found out about two jobs in Huntington Park, California. They both decided to come for the California jobs. Nola came first and since my Aunt Bessie and Uncle Harold owned a jewelry store and needed someone to help with their children, Nola took the first job with them.

When Lula came to California, she went to work with our family.  I was nine, nearly ten years old when Lula came to us and she stayed with my family for twenty-nine years.  I remember calling Lula after being married for two weeks, crying that the house was dirty and everything was a mess.  I had no idea where to begin.  She told me to begin in one corner of the room and circle around until I was in the middle and the job would be done.  She was right and now, I always know how and where to begin my jobs.

Lula added unconditional love, forgiveness and a deep spirituality to our home and family. She worked miracles in our home and even though she has passed on, she continues to work miracles with our family.  Her philosophies of life have been handed down to the next generation like nuggets of gold and her Divinity candy will satisfy your hunger many things.  It will calm your nerves as you pause to enjoy it.  You will feel empowered with all of Mama Lula’s sweet charity and goodness.

Lula’s Divinity Recipe

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

1/2 cup of hot water

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 egg whites beaten stiff

1 teaspoon of vanilla

(Lula added 1/2 cup of chopped pecans)

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt.

Cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil and cook to the hardball stage. (a little of the mixture is dropped in a cup of cold water and when it forms a little hard ball, it is ready)  Beat egg whites stiff. Pour hot syrup slowly over beaten egg whites, beating constantly at a high speed. Add vanilla and beat until mixture forms soft peaks.  Drop from a tablespoon onto waxed paper, lifting and twirling spoon to form a peak on top of each mound.

They Say You Can’t Go Home, but YOU CAN GO BACK: Huntington Park, California

I decided to make my workday consist of enjoying the sights and sounds of my hometown Huntington Park, California, USA. There are many others who call Huntington Park their hometown, so I am not alone. None of the people in my memories are here, only the physical structures on which I BASE MY MEMORIES still reside here.  I am sure what I remember is accurate.  I once remembered out loud, at a reunion,  something that occurred in a gym class at Huntington Park High School, and a former classmate informed me that I was under an illusion.  I pondered her comments, her recollections and her demands that I remember things as she does.  I came to the conclusions that my memory still stands as one of my strong suits and I do not want my memories to take a back seat to anyone else’s which, while they may be perfectly true for them, are not true for me.

Now, please join me on my journey down memory lane.

First, we drove to Huntington Park from our home in the San Fernando Valley over the hill from Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

As you continue on the 101 Freeway, your off ramp is Soto Street. Continue on Soto Street and you will see the old Sears building. You are heading in the right direction (south)

Soon you will be approaching Farmer John’s located in Vernon just north of Huntington Park at Farmer John
3049 E. Vernon Avenue Vernon, CA 90058.  As you will see from the photos, there is a mural painted on the exterior of the Farmer John’s slaughterhouse and meat packing plant. This mural has been here since 1957 when Les Grimes began his work here. Since 2000, extensive restorations have been made. The animals have changed a bit from time to time as each new artist lends his or her hand to the work. This mural will certainly get your attention and I have photographed small portions of it for you to see.

Next as you travel down Soto Street, you will soon see the Huntington Park Water tower. I was fascinated with this tower most of my Huntington Park life. It is a symbol of leaving and of coming home.

So, now that we are in Huntington Park, where to go first is the question. Actually, it is not a question; you go home. The house where I used to call home is as beautiful as it was years ago, only it is not home. Memories of my room with its window off to the right hand side of the house, second level and the sights I used to see from it come flooding back. I saw all the neighbors walking by. I saw the Jacaranda tree in full bloom and watched as it transitioned into a purple carpet of fallen blossoms. I loved that tree and now it is gone. My mother had roses lining the walkway to the front door and now there are roses lining the entire yard. Some of the old bushes are still there, but gone are the Camellia bushes. My mother would send bushels of Camellias to my teachers and I was popular on Camellia day.

The little window top right of the house is my bedroom window, my window on the world..

Gone, in reality, are Mom, Dad, Lula, Michael, Ron,  Clarke, John, Carolyn, Anita, Allegra, Helga, Johnny  Wake, and all the other people I remember in reality, but they are still there in my mind, so fresh, that I can see the spittle as they smile and the snot coming out of their noses, the pretty faces, long hair, their strength, their intelligence, and their bright eyes.  Gone is the Apricot and Fig tree. The building on the corner of California and Florence that was once the poultry farm and market is still there, but the squawking and the slaughtering and the poultry are gone. Again, what remains are memories. Once my brothers got a hold of a chicken foot and put it at the end of my bed.  To this day, I check the end of my bed to make sure there is nothing hidden there.

My Elementary school: State Street School

Next we drove down State Street to my elementary school where more than a million memories bombarded my senses. I remember buying 5 ice creams a day for lunch until they caught me and even after they caught me I tried to do it again.  I figured you got 25 cents a day for lunch a rather nasty lunch that smelled like the garbage can.  But you could wisely spend your 25 cents in an abundant way.  Each ice cream was a nickel and even though I did not excel in math, 25 cents bought 5 ice creams a much better deal than lunch. It was hard to stop me, but involving my parents did the trick. Where are you Abby Gratz, Sydney Michel, Sheryl Wriggle, Winnie Mae Miller, Gordon Outhier, Johnny Wilheilm, Terry Cunningham?

Here is the church where I was saved.  I was in the 3rd grade and talked too much in class. The teacher got very angry, dug her nails into my arms and threw me out into the hallway. I was too independent to take that so I ran away down the street. I was running so fast, I tripped and fell right in front of the church. Knee skinned, bleeding and crying I needed help.  The folks in the church came out and helped me inside, washed up my knee and asked me if I wanted to go to heaven.  Who doesn’t? So I answered, “Yes, I do.” After saying a few prayers and reading from the Bible, they drizzled droplets of water on my forehead. I thought it was raining and the roof leaked, but someone just said, “You are saved and you are going to go to heaven.” They are right, I was and I am.  The little lady with the pretty hair and powder blue suit walked me back to the entrance of the schoolyard and I walked back to the hallway in front of my classroom. The teacher came out and invited me back into the classroom.  So you see, major lifetime of experiences can occur between being thrown out of your classroom and being invited back in.


Gage Jr. High.

The years I spent in Gage Jr. High School are a blur except for deciding to wear lipstick and losing an important election.

Lots of things happened in Huntington Park HIgh School.  I remember way too many things I’d rather forget, plus this place was not good for my self-esteem. I never gave up, but I gave in.

One more church that played an important part in my life was the St.Matthias Church on Florence Avenue. I was looking for a sign. My boyfriend at the time wanted me to attend mass at his church so I did. As I entered and took my seat a coolness came over me and I was enveloped in a strong semi-vortex of spiraling spiritual energy.  I remember asking God for a sign.  I told him I was in a difficult place and I needed a sign if I was EVER, EVER going to be a believer. The mass was over and my boyfriend and I headed out of the large double doors to the parking lot where I left my car. My car had moved. I was a relatively new driver and must not have put my car in gear, so it rolled into a tree at the edge of the parking lot. If not for the tree, my car would have rolled into the middle of the street.  I asked for a sign and got a big one. Thanks be to God.

The temple: Huntington Park Hebrew Congregation which is now the Seventh Day Adventist Church, is flanked by a new motel on one side and a bakery on the other.  When this was the temple, it was my salvation. My life revolved around the activities here and this is the place I received a healthy dose of strong self-worth, until Doomsday. Doomsday for me happened in my 12th year when, the Rabbi called me into his office and told me that I would not be confirmed with the other girls in my Hebrew class. Was he kidding?  No, he was not. I begged, pleaded and then, asked why?  He complimented me on being a very good student, but calmly stated that my birthdate fell 19 days after the cut off for the confirmation exercises and that I would have to come another year for studies.  When I realized that anything I had to say was not being heard, I said, “Shit on you, Rabbi.” I then turned and ran from the temple, never to return. Years and years later, the same Rabbi must have suffered a bit of guilt. My parents told of him of our large family and that I was doing the Seder for the first time. He asked that a package be delivered to me. The gift package contained 20 beautiful brand new sparkling Haggadahs that I have used every year since I received them. Thank You Rabbi Hyman, may you rest in peace.

The best part of my visit home was to witness that Huntington Park is a vital, bustling beautiful vibrant city full of activity and remains an important commercial and industrial area southeast of Los Angeles City Center.

You can never go home, but you can go back, visit, and get your memories in high gear. Isn’t Huntington Park a beautiful city?  May she have continued success and continue to serve her community well.

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Visiting my Mother and her Friends

Left to right: Merriam, Sofie, Rose, and Violet

Give me a moment so we can visit my mother and her friends. This photo was taken a long time ago. How long ago, I do not exactly know, but definitely in another century.  I bring this to your attention because perhaps you have photos of your mother and her friends, or just a lovely little photo of your mother, father, brother, sister, maybe one of you with someone you love. Find them and spend some time reminiscing. It is a positive thing to do. Do be aware that emotions run high when visiting memories.

I began to focus on the photo of my mother and her friends. I do not have permission to write about these women, so I will just call them by their first names. Left to right: Merriam, Sophie, Rose, (my mother) and Violet. They met in their early school years and maintained their friendships into very old age.  At this writing, Merriam is still alive, living in West Los Angeles in a retirement home. I wish I knew much more about each woman, but remember I was very young when I would meet up with them and true to form, young people do not know what to ask or say to grown ups; they just stand in awe, and grown ups forget to tell the little ones things they might treasure.

From my limited knowledge and memory of my mother’s friends:

Merriam was married to the most handsome man I had ever seen. She is a woman of valor. There is boldness in her as well as a strength and courage that has not diminished with age.

Sophie was a woman who possessed spunk and a zest for living. She was married to a lovely, handsome man with a huge handlebar mustache. He was dashing. She was adorable. Sophie was an honest, forthright, up font person.

Violet was spunky and was a family centered person. She remembered everything that was ever in her life. Violet will go down in my mind as the most brilliant woman of her time. She always had a smile and a personal note of recognition for everyone she knew. She had a special vibrancy and LOVED chocolate.

Rose, my mother, was diligent and fierce about the success of her children. She was moral, true and honest. She loved and adored my father, and her children. She was constantly trying to improve herself. She possessed a brave spirit and was dedicated to her family and friends. My mother was a best friend to everyone.

Take some time off of your busy life and grab a stack of old photos. They don’t have to be ancient, just older than today. Be prepared for a journey into yourself and enjoy it!

GRANDMA DORA AND GRANDPA JOE


How can I begin to describe two people who are responsible for a part of my creation and a part of the essence of who they were, which makes me who I am? I will endeavor.

When I look at what I believe is their wedding photo, I am struck by the look of innocence and their sweet youth. I knew them not then, but came into their lives as a descendant, as they came into mine as grandma and grandpa, ultimately my ancestors. All of us entering a timely relationship of granddaughter/grandson and grandparents encounter: Hair not quite gray and bodies beginning their descent. I loved them to pieces and partly because they showed love for me and partly because they are/were part of the architects of my origin. I knew they were to be honored, respected, admired and pursued.

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