Devil’s Slide

May 29th, 2019

From our house in Pedro Point, we could look across the bay, along the beach and across a fertile valley where Portuguese farmers grew artichokes. Just beyond was a hill where sheep grazed on wild grasses. Our house faced north and looked down on the two-lanehighway that connected the little coast towns to San Francisco twenty miles away. To the south, the road cut through the mountain behind us to reach Montara and Half Moon Bay. The narrow road was close to the edge of Devil’s Slide, a rocky cliff that dropped straight down to the open ocean.

One Sunday afternoon after a few drinks, my Dad decided it was time to teach me to drive. He told my little brothers Joe and Pete and my sister Mary to climb in the car. He opened the door on the driver’s side and told me to sit behind the wheel. In those days, there was no need for a learner’s permit. I climbed in and sat down.

I remembered a few things Dad had shown me the week before; so, I did some practice exercises, going through the five gears from neutral and low to high. With a few directions I was, able to back up and shift into low for the short distance to the corner where I stopped. We were high on the hill with a steep road down to the cross-road below. Dad said, “Go ahead. Keep it in low. You’ll be all right.”

I gripped the wheel and headed slowly down. I wanted to close my eyes but knew I had to keep them open as the road was narrow with ditches on either side.  When we reached the bottom, I stepped hard on the brake and let out a loud sigh. The kids began to laugh; they didn’t realize how close they were to disaster; Dad never should have put them in the car with me.

When we reached the main road, Dad said, “Turn right,” and I wanted to argue because that was the way to Devil’s Slide. He said it again, so I turned the car onto the highway. Suddenly cars were honking as they passed me. The kids were yelling and Dad had fallen asleep. I kept my eyes glued to the white line on the road; I didn’t want to see the steep drop-off close to the pavement on the right side.  I knew there was no place to stop and say, “I don’t want to drive.”

Finally, I reached a safe place to park. Dad was still asleep. I needed to find the courage to get back on the road and go home. The lane going north was next to the mountain and the car wouldn’t be near the deep cliff by the ocean. If I stayed in low gear and tried not to listen to the honking cars and screaming kids; if I tried to put Devil’s Slide out of my mind; I might be all right.  After all these years, I don’t remember what happened next or how we got home. Probably when Dad realized the situation and sobered up enough, he drove us home. I don’t know, but somehow, we did get home.

Patricia Hernan Grube
March 6, 2017; May 21, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Story

April 17th, 2019

4-AZ

THE FOUR OF US: Patty, Mary, Joe and Pete (1929)

When this picture was taken we lived in Phoenix. A few months after I entered the first grade at the Capital School, I had the measles and the other three caught them from me. The illness caused Pete to contract double pneumonia again. The house on Willow I remember very well; I can even draw the floor plan after all these years. (It’s not the house in the picture, that one is across the street.)

A TRIP INTO THE PAST

Shall I talk of the present or the past and which is which. The History Detectives on PBS can take a picture, document or gun and find its story. In January, 2006, I set out to find my past and  it seems I brought those who were long dead back to life.

GazildaGazilda's house
Gazilda Gamble Hernan                                          720 North Ninth Avenue

I took a picture of Grandma Gazilda’s house at 720 North Ninth Avenue. Today it’s pink but if I print the picture in black and white it will almost look like gray stucco of 1926 where I stayed with Grandma when Mama was in the sanatorium with Tuberculosis. Aunt Martha and Aunt Florence entertained me. I think my Dad lived there too and when he came in he would scoop me up and lift me high to reach the ceiling. My baby brother John stayed with Grace, another aunt.

Later when Mama was well, she came home and we lived as a family at 826 North Ninth Avenue.  We were all together, Mama, Daddy, Me and Joe. Soon another little baby Peter. Mama and I were strangers. Looking back I think that Mama tried really hard to make contact with me, but being confused by her abandonment, I kept myself apart. Every day I waited for my Daddy to come home from work.

I took a picture of the house. A neighbor said that the shabby neighborhood will be reborn when a University builds nearby. Looking past the gravel that used to be a lawn I could see a little girl waiting on the porch for her Dad to come walking up the street in the late afternoon. In the mornings she would skip down the sidewalk one and a half blocks where her grandmother was waiting on the corner.  It was hard for her to remember to look both ways before crossing.

PLAZA, AJO, ARIZONA

PLAZA, AJO ARIZONA

Recently I visited the town where I was born. I took pictures of the Plaza. Standing under arches, watching shadows stretch across the walk, it’s not possible that I remember this place and yet I know –it’s where I took some of my first baby steps The arches led to the station where trains arrived with business men or politicians or guests for parties in Isabella Greenway’s big house on the hill. On some days when we watched the trains we would count the cars as they went out loaded with copper ore.

One day when the train arrived, the station was draped in black. Daddy was among the mourners standing at attention as the coffin of General Greenway was carried up the long road to be buried on a knoll overlooking the giant crater of the mine. Mama held my hand as she wept. My baby brother was asleep in his carriage.

This part is not my memory but this is how I try to put together pieces of that time. As an old woman, I stood there looking at the Plaza, trying to understand why this space seemed so important to me.

Everything in this Website ©Patricia Grube

Getting Through Customs

October 29th, 2018

We were headed for San Francisco but first we had to clear customs at LAX. The line was long and the children were impatient and tired, yet excited to be back in the United States.  Two years can be a long time. In 1972,  the system was quite simple: just rollers on long tables to move our boxes, luggage and individual small private cases containing each child’s treasures. It was our turn and the official with a stern face and a big badge looked at our assortment.

It would be a challenge to go through everything and we wondered where he would begin. We could see that the bags of the passengers in front of us in line were being closely examined even exposing their personal items. We tried to be patient as we waited for him to begin.  Chris was fidgeting and reached for my hand. Alice was serious as she watched. David, the teenager with arms folded, observed the whole process with a critical eye.  Donald put his hand on his small case as if to protect it. After a minute, which seemed like an hour, the customs official began by asking where we had been and how long we had been gone. I said, “We’ve been in Zambia for almost two years. My husband is stationed in Ndola and has six more months of duty.  It was necessary for us to return early.”

“Now, to examine your bags,” he said as he eyed everything. I wondered how I would be able to repack the boxes, which were bulging and held together with strong twine tied in tight knots. The man reached for Donald’s case and Donald reluctantly removed his hand. The catch released easily and as the lid was raised, feathers floated into the air.

An astonished look flashed on the man’s face as he quickly closed the case, engaging the catch. He smiled at Donald; then in a stern authoritative voice, “You can pass on.” He signed a paper and handed it to me.  A few feathers floated above our luggage as it rolled down the long table.

6/11/11

My Irish Grandfather

February 21st, 2017

remember the fairies
and pots of gold, Grandpa’s
stories, as he smoked his pipe

My Irish Grandpa

When I was kid in grammar school in Phoenix, or much later in the sunny living room at Pedro Point, it seems Grandpa was always sitting in a huge chair, a huge chair with a wide armrest to hold his coffee. I wish I could remember the stories he used to tell.

For a while we lived just off Indian School Road in the outskirts of Phoenix. We had a nice house with a barn and my folks were thinking about having some chickens but they never did. There was a tree, maybe cottonwood or ash, where Grandpa would sit and smoke his pipe and dream his dreams. I was a small girl leaning against a big German Shepherd; together we listened to tales of leprechauns and tirades against the English. He praised Irish heroes fighting for freedom. He never tired of telling his stories and now and then he would tap his pipe on the flat arm of the chair. I loved the smell of his tobacco. I could see in my own mind the creatures that seemed to be his familiars.

poemHe came to Boston as a young man and when he married Gazilda he took her on a trip to Ireland. He told me how he convinced her that the little people were true. He said, “Put a bowl of milk by the door, the little people love milk”; and what do you know, it was gone the next morning. There was nary a cat or a dog around so who else could it be but the little people.

I think my grandmother enjoyed the holiday but was anxious to get back to Boston and her new married life. Before they left Manorhamilton, his mother gave Gazilda an item long valued by the family. She didn’t pack it away but carried it herself all the way home on the ship across the Atlantic. It was a large crucifix, hand carved from dark wood found in a bog. All through the years I saw it in a place of honor in her home. Later it was given to my mother and was her special treasure.

We moved many times but wherever we settled, Mama always found a mantle or a niche for the crucifix and a large chair for her father-in-law. Grandpa slept late every morning but when he was up he maneuvered, with his cane, to the living room where he ruled like a king from his throne.

We came to California in the 30’s and eventually to the North, where Daddy bought a cottage on a hill in Pedro Point. The living room was actually a long sun porch closed in with windows and skylights. Soon after we moved there, he brought home a large wooden chair with wide armrests. “Pa is coming from Phoenix. He’ll be here next week.”

My sister, Mary, and I always looked forward to the boxes of chocolates he would bring to us. But we didn’t look forward to his complaints about our short dresses or long loose hair that he insisted we tuck back behind our ears. He checked our nails for polish and warned us about becoming “painted ladies”. We couldn’t wear lipstick during his stay and he lectured us about manners and how we should insist on respect from young men. This was when I was in high school and no longer fascinated by the little people.

©Patricia Grube
January 25, 2010

Bagdad Road

October 28th, 2016

When Grandpa butchered a steer, he shared part of it with neighbors; and he kept a hindquarter or a shoulder and hung it in the big tree. This tree was the center of all activity on the ranch. Sometimes when the neighbors gathered on Grandma’s porch to tell stories they would talk about the tree. No one seemed to know what kind it was. I remember one of them saying, “Well now, Cottonwood grows in these parts, but I’ve never seen one so big.”

My son, PJ and I are traveling together on Bagdad Road. He wants to see where I lived when I was a child. Before I go any further, I need to explain that actually, we are sitting at my dining-room table studying a map on my computer. The road is well marked so we can easily observe the landscape on either side. There is an image of a wooded area that reminds me of the road runners that scooted in front of us as we climbed the rocky beginnings of the mountain. Now and then we discuss what we see when I blow up a picture with details of the area.

Leaving the main highway just past Wickenburg and wandering through small settlements in the high desert we approach Hillside, a village that grew around a railroad stop. When Grandpa Reagan shipped his stock to market this is where he loaded them on the cattle cars. His cattle grazed on government range. He would go out every day to be sure they were okay. When it was time to take them to market he hired other cowboys to help round them up and bring them down to the road, three miles to our place and then to Hillside to put them on the train.

This is where there was a general store and the proprietor always gave me a small bag of peppermint sticks. From Hillside, it is a five-mile descent to Yava. The rocky hills bring back memories: I would like to see the “goose egg rock”. (Now I think they call it a “football rock”). In the past, the first kid to see it always shouted out.

The Google map leads into the valley, and I realize that after 70 years it all looks different; but the terrain is still familiar and I easily find where the school-house had been. Now there is a pasture and a barn. I turn to PJ and point out the gentle hill where we played baseball and explained, “We ran up hill to reach 1st and 2nd, but then it was an easy run down-hill to 3rd and home.”

Continuing into the valley, the map shows the bridge over the river; just beyond are the fields and the driveway of Grandma’s house. The long veranda has been closed and an addition hides most of the little stone house. It’s difficult to find the big tree; it seems to be hidden by the addition to the house.

Years ago, the tree shaded a large area of the yard. Every Monday Grandma put her wash-tub on the long bench to soak the clothes. That is where tools were repaired. When Grandpa hung beef in the tree, he covered it with several layers of canvas; first a clean one that was covered by another and another and another until it was thick enough to hold in the cold. At night, he would uncover it so it could get really cold; in the morning he would cover it up again.
My cousins and I liked to climb up in the branches; it was protection from the sun. Under the same tree, Grandma had a cooler where she kept the milk, butter and cream; anything she wanted to keep cool. It was about two or three feet square with a slanted top covered with rags; a container on top let water dip onto the rags and cool the inside.

“How old were you then?” PJ asked.

I was about 4 when Mama brought me and my two brothers to live in a little two room house near the main house. I think that Daddy must have been between jobs and it was the best place to be. Now as I look back it also seems that Mama was pregnant with Mary. After she was born they moved back to Phoenix and left me with Grandma. They tried to have me around now and then, but just for a short time. Perhaps I was just too much. Mama had the other three kids and she just couldn’t cope. I would say, “But I could help you take care of the baby.” The answer was always, “No. You’re going to stay with Grandma.” A few times they left my brother Joe with me. So, I felt pretty deserted as a child.

Sometimes I stayed in Phoenix with my Grandma Gazilda, Daddy’s mother. I loved both my grandmothers. They adored me too. Grandma Alice was a very strict. I remember once when I hurt my foot and I was hobbling around, I wanted Joe to dry the dishes for me and he wouldn’t do it. So, I asked my Grandma and she said, “Well if he won’t do it you’ll have to do it yourself.”

PJ was laughing, “That was Grandma Reagan. She loved you, but she was a task-master?”

We had chores to do. No question about that. There was a routine for everything. Every night she sat with me when I did my homework. I mean she had her ways but she taught me how to live.

I pointed to the map where I was trying to see the big tree that used to be behind the stone house; and just north of the tree, there used to be a windmill.  It had a wonderful sound when the breeze would turn it to pump up the clear cold water. The windmill was great; and the water that came out was cool and sweet and produced enough water to irrigate the whole twenty acres.

PJ exclaimed! “Oh! You had twenty acres so it was a little ranch?”

Yes, twenty acres. We called it “The Ranch.” There was a corral and there was a barn. There were about five acres, way in the back, along the creek. Grandpa kept the grasses cut and now and then they would try to grow a crop but it never was successful. I know one year they tried to grow sugarcane.

He had a work horse to pull the plow and he had several other horses. He would get up very early in the morning, milk the cow and do other chores before he came in for a hearty breakfast. After that I watched him get on his horse. He had a lease on a government range and he would ride out there, almost every day.

There was another large section of land where Grandma grew vegetables. The one thing Grandpa did for Grandma’s garden was to plow the ground each spring. In my child’s eyes, I can’t tell you how big it was; but it was probably as big as a city lot and filled with rows and rows of carrots, spinach, cabbage, string beans, potatoes, squash, lettuce and whatever else you can think of. People from all around and travelers driving by would stop to buy vegetables. She would take them into the garden and let them choose what they wanted.

A little further up a hill there was another fertile section where she tried to grow other things; one time it was strawberries and that was good for several years. One year when we all lived there they decided to do a cash crop of carrots. My Dad said he would take them to town. The truck was stacked high with carrots when he left to go up to Prescott to sell them. Then we waited to hear from him; and we didn’t hear from him; and we didn’t hear from him. Finally, one of my uncles went to Prescott to see if he could find him.  Dad was in the Veterans Hospital and was very sick. I don’t know what happened; but he must have sold the carrots and gone on a bender or something. I don’t know. I don’t really know what happened. But there was no money that came back from the carrots.

Daddy was released from the hospital and he went to Phoenix to get a job. Soon after Mary was born, Mama took my brothers and the new baby to join him. I also went to Phoenix, but I stayed with Grandma Gazilda in order to go to kindergarten. Then we learned there was an epidemic of Smallpox or Chickenpox. So, I skipped starting school until the next year when I went back to Yava to start the first grade. That year there were enough students to have two rooms in the school house. The teachers were friends of my folks and when they would go down to Phoenix they would take me with them. For the next few years I was back and forth, staying with my grandmothers and now and then for a while with my folks in Phoenix.

PJ said, “Look, the map shows the whole length of Bagdad Road. Going west from Yava it ends at the town of Bagdad and a big copper mine. Going east from Yava it goes through Skull Valley and then connects with the road to Prescott.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonnie’s Julia Child Moment

November 25th, 2010

 Thanksgiving  started for me long before the date on the calendar, as Lester’s family was coming to our house for dinner. In a composition book, I recorded all the traditions that were expected: mince meat pie for Aunt Eleanor, pumpkin for Auntie Maude, brussels sprouts for Nina, candied yams for Bonnie, my new sister-in-law, and especially creamed onions for Grandma Christine. My extensive lists described the week’s tasks of cleaning and shopping and looking for recipes; and the day itself was planned minute by minute. This was my initiation into this family.

On the day, everything went very well through cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The turkey was out of the oven, Waldorf salad was on the plates, the rolls were browned just right; I took the onions off the burner at just the right moment of doneness. Bonnie volunteered to help me put things on the table while the others talked.
Bonnie Grube

As I drained the onions, the lid slipped and they all toppled into the sink. My heart sank, my perfect meal was ruined; it would be a disaster if Grandma Christine didn’t have creamed onions. Bonnie saw  and quickly scooped up the onions. This was our bonding moment. She held out the pan of drained onions, and said, “No one but you and I know this. Where is the cream and what bowl shall I put them in?”

Whenever I watch reruns of Julia Child’s cooking demonstrations and she scoops up the chicken that fell on the floor, I think of Bonnie. From that day forward we were friends.

©2010

Grandma

April 16th, 2010

Grandma Alice

Her name was Dora Alice from her English ancestors and if you say it quickly it sounds like the Mexican pronunciation of dos reales. Grandma said that according to her name she was worth two bits (25 cents) for that was the value of dos reales in the South West. She said it laughingly and although I was only seven, I knew that her worth couldn’t be counted like that. She wasn’t just my Grandma; everybody called her “Grandma,” even old lady Sattersby who was older than anyone. One day she received a letter addressed only to “Grandma, Yava, Arizona.”

Yava was a small cluster of houses around a post office and a two-roomed school.  A creek ran through the rocky hills, the beginnings of the distant mountains that surrounded the little valley which was like an oasis after climbing out of the dessert. The post office was the center for sharing local news as well as for picking up the Phoenix paper. The postman knew everyone in the area and there were other women whose grandchildren had moved away and might be writing. The fact that a letter addressed to “Grandma” had been delivered to her by the Postal Department of the United States Government was an official confirmation of her title of “Grandma.” Although I never knew who sent the letter or what it said, I heard the story many times of how it had actually been delivered.

At times when relatives or neighbors would come to call they would sit in the cool of the late afternoon on the porch of Grandma’s little gray stone house. My brother, John, and I would linger nearby, whittling on sticks or playing with hollyhock dolls, to listen to the grown-ups talk of happenings in Washington, about which water hole on the range was drying up, and would we have an early winter. They relived and shared memories, recent or long past.

Many times I heard people ask Grandma if it were true that she had only weighed a pound and a quarter at birth. She would bring out the little red sunbonnet she had worn when she was a year old and tell of how her first bed had been a cotton padded cigar box. We would each measure the little hat with a fist and try to imagine such a such a small little toddler. She was considered an unusual person first of all, because of her survival; and as she was then well past sixty it seemed to be even more amazing. Now-a-days we are unimpressed by such for we have been insulated from the brutality of nature’s sorting out the fit.

Tenacity, then, set the pattern for her life which began in Illinois on January 20, 1861. The family moved to Texas, because her father thought his wife’s health would benefit from a warmer climate. Alice was seven when her mother died of tuberculosis. Grandma told me she cared for her two younger brothers and that her mother had already taught her to knit, crochet and cook. She described the little stool she stood on to reach the work table. She was always small, under five feet tall, but her vitality reached far beyond her tiny form. Her hazel-grey eyes were sharp and friendly, her hair dark and very curly, her skin soft, her face small and round with a gentle chin, but clearly sculptured with the high cheek bones of her Cherokee ancestry. She liked bright colors and wore a full-length gingham apron over her long dresses. When we went Sunday visiting, she put a crocheted lace color on her dress and wore a long double strand of jet black beads. She was deliberately a lady and she knew who she was and was proud of all she was. She had a strong will and determination to control her own life.

When they would talk of the early days it seemed to me to be full of adventure, but after living a share of life myself I sense the struggle and the storm that must have characterized some of those years. Her father had remarried when she was fourteen and she couldn’t get along with her stepmother. She went to work for a neighboring family, caring for their children and tending the garden. When she worked in the fields she wore long stocking gloves and a sun-bonnet so her skin would stay white, so she would appear delicate and fragile – the fashion for young ladies.

She and Grandpa were childhood sweethearts, both strong willed and holding two different attitudes to life: that of the herdsman and that of the cultivator. He had been working for the same family as a cowboy during vacations from school. She was sixteen when they married, and in the next few years two sons were born, Ned and Bill. The Arizona Territory was opening up and they decided to settle there. Grandpa was a cattleman and his main concern was to find range for his stock. She told of being left alone for months at a time to care for their growing family while Grandpa was off on the range.

For twenty years, the herds flourished; then after an extended drought Grandpa drove many thousand cattle and hundreds of horses to Dodge City. Grandma went with him on the drive. She and the two youngest children, Bernice and Bess (five and ten years old) rode with the wagons at the rear of the caravan. Their job was to find, pick up and care for the new calves born in the course of the trip. The youngest son, Jim, was thirteen and he rode a horse with the men. The two older boys, Ned and Bill, were cowhands. The stock was sold and they bought land near Lakon where my mother was born. For several years, Grandpa worked for meat packers, buying cattle and fattening them on his land. Heavy blizzards for two successive winters put him out of business again.

Land in Arizona had become available for homesteading, so they returned to Springerville, Arizona where they had settled before. Grandma used to tell with a tone of self-satisfaction, how she decided to go into business herself. Grandpa did not approve and went on with his plan to build a new herd of cattle. She borrowed money from a distant relative, and, being a person who loved to have people around, she established a hotel.  She wanted to live in town where there was a school; above all she wanted her children to be educated. My mother has always spoken a little wistfully of “when we had the hotel” and says it was a great success until one tragic night when it burned completely. All she saved were feather pillows, which she combined into a mattress; she slept on it all the rest of her life.

Grandma was not to be defeated and began another venture, a restaurant, which she built on the same spot. It was during those years that my mother was growing up. She was helping in the restaurant when my father arrived from Boston thinking that the Arizona climate would heal his lungs; they had been damaged by mustard gas. After my mother and father were married and settled in Phoenix, Grandma and Grandpa moved to Yava. Perhaps it was to find a milder climate or perhaps it was to be near her youngest daughter.

They were already in their late sixties when my brother Joe, and I went to stay with them for a while. The little stone house was cool in summer and warm in winter and near it was a huge old tree. Several trees had grown together and there was a hollow place in the middle. The shadow of its branches covered an area with a radius of twenty feet and a bench was built under it making a cool work center for hot summer days. There, Grandpa would repair or sharpen his tools and there, Grandma would set her tubs of soapy water on washing day.

I would climb up the center of the tree where there was a stump of a sawed off branch. It was like a throne from which I could watch everything beneath the tree or in the far fields and no one would know I was there. When my cousins visited we all played a game of “pretend” in which we were black birds, each one having a special place to perch. Our chirping and giggling would become very quiet when Grandma would come to get milk out of the cooler, which was nearby in the shade or to gather her clothes and fold them on the bench.

“I wonder where the children are?” she would say. “I always know they are all right when they’re noisy. It’s when they’re quiet that I worry about them.” We would be so quiet that we would almost burst, until finally my cousin, Gwendolyn would let out a thin airy giggle, and then we would all begin to roar. “My goodness those blackbirds are making a clatter in the tree today, they probably have their eyes on my radishes. I’ll have Dad get out the shot gun when he comes home tonight.” At that we would become fearful and confess right away that it was just us.

I think that Grandma and that tree both represented security to me; remembering one brings up a picture of the other. She was always busy but never hurried; I think of her as a center of peace which she seemed able to give to others. People often dropped by to seek her advice or help. Strangers, even, traveling through, would stop, explaining that her flower garden had been such a welcome sight after miles of dry barren desert and god-forsaken rocky hills that they just couldn’t pass by without stopping. Water, freshly pumped by the windmill, was cool; and Grandma’s friendly welcoming chatter was refreshing. I would listen from my hiding place in the tree and wonder where they were going and where they had come from. Sometimes candidates for public office would stop, as they wanted her endorsement. Then for several days the issues of the coming election would be the topic of conversation whenever neighbors stopped to visit.

In the evening, we would sit at the round table in the kitchen and read or do our homework. The lamplight was a warm yellow color and made a flickering circle we all could share. Grandma was always willing to help us because she set a high value on education. It was through her efforts that there was a school in the little settlement. As a girl, geography was her favorite subject. She would trace her fingers on the shape of a country on the map and dream that she was traveling there. Such traveling was an unfulfilled fantasy but when she talked about it I thought that some time it would really happen.

There was little time for fantasy. Her life was ordered by nature and her day began with as much regularity as if she had to punch a time clock. There were animals to be fed, crops to be planted or tended or harvested. In the early dawn, Grandpa went to milk the cows while she fed the hens and fixed a hearty breakfast. He then left for the hills on his horse. Her daily activities were decided by the seasons. Rich fertile ground was wealth to her.  She explained to me the mistake that the cities like Phoenix were making by spreading across the fertile river valleys. If they woul build in the surrounding hills, there would be room for people and for crops. She tended her garden but was concerned about the broader issues.

Grandma, Dora Alice Wilkerson Reagan, lived to be ninety-four. She was living with her youngest daughter, Winnie, my mother. Wherever she was, she made new friends and continued her interest in world affairs. New inventions were exciting to her. When television was introduced she could listen to all the political speeches and see the candidates. She thought that television would make it possible for everyone to know the issues and vote wisely. She eagerly watched the travelogues of the lands she had never visited. She loved to watch wrestling; Gorgeous George was her favorite. Each day she was busy sewing for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She asked me to bring her my mending to keep her fingers busy. She was occupied thus, working for others, the day before she died.

©1976

Website created and maintained by Paul Hughes