Wednesday, May 5, 2010

countdown to 90

I was going on about my grandma in Ms. Moon's comment section a few days back, and she said I should blog about her more. Good idea! Grandmama (known to non-offspring as Ethel) will be 90 in about 50 days! Let's take this time to get to know her better.

The picture above has hung in my house since I stole it from my mother a million years ago. It was taken when Grandma worked in a beauty shop inside a hotel somewhere in Los Angeles where she had to wear a suit to do hair! (In the photo she is sitting in front of a picture on the wall showing an example of the hair styles the shop might do.)

Grandma moved out to California from Colorado with her first baby (Trina) in tow after her first marriage fell apart to be near her sister. This would have been sometime around late 1943 or early 1944. When she wasn't working in beauty shops, she did a stint at one of those aircraft plants out in Long Beach (I want to say it was Douglas) not unlike Rosie the Riveter!

Meanwhile, her future husband (my grandpa, AKA Charles) was a decorated pilot in WW2, mostly flying transport. I'll scrounge up some pictures of him in France and northern Africa another time. They had gone to high school together, and after the war ended he found out she had gotten divorced and he began to "woo" her, long distance. We still have some of the turquoise jewelry her bought for her while traveling back and forth between Colorado and California. They got married in a civil service in the fall of 1947. Grandpa adopted Trina and they had three more babies: my mom and her two younger brothers. This October will be my grandparents' 63rd anniversary (the day before my 33rd birthday, by the way.)

Speaking of me! I was their third fourth grandbaby, after Levai (who is now my neighbor) and Jason (who died in a car accident in 1995). And Ardele, I almost forgot Ardele! (She and I are closest in age.) I don't know if you can tell in this photo, but I am charming Grandma with a smile. I loved her instantly. And well I should. She's wonderful!

There were a few more grandbabies after me... David, Anthony, Jennifer, Kenneth, plus Anna by marriage. And then came the handful of great-grandbabies!


Petit fleur said...

That is a lovely photo of your gma. Beautiful AND artsy.

You were quite the outlaw cutie baby your own self!!

I love the word "woo" and all it implies. I'll bet grandma has some stories to tell.
Thanks for sharing,

Ms. Moon said...

Yay! What a beautiful story! Women are STRONG and always have been and your grandmama is a good example of that.

Bethany said...

Great photos.
Wonderful stories!

Mwa said...

Aah. I love stories of second chances in love that go right.

michelle said...

love the way you're smiling up at your grandma

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Nice post, Steph. She looks and sounds like a wonderful woman.