Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Legacy Questions - Paternal Grandfather

Someone gave me a book entitled Legacy Questions. It has 867 questions to answer about your life in preparation for writing a memoir.

I am going to go through and answer as many of the questions as I can. Obviously I won't mention things that may be used as identification questions at banks and things, but that doesn't mean there aren't stories there.

The first question is "What do you know about your grandparents?"

I was fortunate in that I knew both my maternal and paternal grandparents. My mother's parents lived within driving distance, so I spent time with them. My father's parents moved to California when I was about six months old, so my interactions with them were limited to phone calls and infrequent visits. After I married, my grandfather in California and I became pen pals, and he wrote me many stories and poems. I have the originals safely tucked away. I typed out most of his stories and made a book out of them, which I have shared with my father.

My mother's father was, in my eyes, anyway, a stern man. He and my grandmother had six children. My mother was the oldest. The youngest is a year younger than I am, born on my first birthday.

Granddaddy went to work early and came home at 4:10 p.m. every day. My grandmother had dinner on the table when he walked in, and they ate around 4:20 p.m., after he'd washed up.

My grandfather worked for Kroger at the warehouse where he was a fork truck operator. He worked there for 35 years.

My grandfather was 57 years old when he had a heart attack. (Incidentally, his father also died at the age of 57.) I'm not sure about the details of his pension, but for some reason Kroger refused to pay my grandmother whatever it was she thought they owed her. Nobody in the family shopped at Kroger for a very long time after my grandfather passed away.

He smoked cigarettes constantly. He had a workshop in the basement where he worked on television sets during the weekend to make extra money. My brother and I, along my two youngest uncles were never supposed to go in there (of course we did), and we definitely were not to mess with his tools (we generally did not). I remember him as being rather gruff, probably wondering who these kids were that were at his house all the time.

He drove a big white Ford car with a blue interior. Occasionally he took us on day trips to Hillsville, where there was a big store called Hills that had all sorts of trinkets, and to a place called Sunset or Sunnybrook or something like that up near Floyd. That store also had all sorts of intriguing items.

Once he raced us kids in a foot race. He laughed the entire time he was running. He also, after I reached about the age of 9 or 10, let us mow the yard. At the time he still had two boys at home. He'd pay us each a quarter and we'd split the yard-mowing up for the privilege of earning that quarter.

Then, quarter in hand, we'd race off to Orange Market on Apperson Drive to purchase comic books, candy, and a soda (yes, a long time ago, you could buy all of that for a quarter. Or maybe we put our quarters together, I don't really remember).

My mother worked about a block away from my grandparents' house, so if I stayed home from school because I was sick, I stayed with Grandma, and by the time Mom left work at 5 p.m. I was fed and she could take me home to Botetourt and put me to bed.

Grandpa grew up in Botetourt on the property that borders the land on which I grew up. A barn that he helped build still stands there. He only went to school through the fourth grade; I assume he quit to work on the family farm. He attended the Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren when he was young. (I was later baptized in the same church, and I saw his name on the roster.) I think he attended school in what I knew as a barn growing up, which has since burned down. I'm not sure what the name of the school would have been.

He had six siblings, three brothers and three sisters (I think), so a family of seven children. 

One story passed down was of a prisoner (?) that they saw walking in the field. He was bloody and in rags. Then he disappeared. My grandfather always said it was a ghost.

His mother moved the family to Salem after my great-grandfather passed away, and Grandpa got his job at Kroger. He was ineligible for the draft due to poor vision.

I remember him with glasses and a hearing aid, his head bent over a TV, telling us to go away while he worked. I do not know if he was a happy man, but he was a hard-working one. I hope he was happy.

Grandpa would stop work on Saturdays to watch wrestling. In the evenings, he watched the Johnny Cash show. On Sunday nights, if we were there, we watched The Wonderful World of Disney with him.

This is a picture of my grandparents holding my mother when she was a baby, circa 1944.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Indigo Bunting

I spied this bird and took these shots out a window with a screen on it, so they aren't the best. But this is a beautiful bird. I love the color.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1. List your favorite songs.

A. Band on the Run, Stairway to Heaven, Landslide, Like the Way I Do, O Shenandoah! Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)

2. Name your favorite bands.

A. Fleetwood Mac, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Rolling Stones

3. Who are your favorite actors or actresses?

A. Sandra Bullock, Kristy McNichols (anybody remember her?), Viggo Mortenson, Ian McKellan

4. List your favorite books.

A. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Alphabet Series mysteries by Sue Grafton, and most any book about writing.

5. Name your favorite movies.

A. The Lord of the Rings, Dirty Dancing, Under the Tuscan Sun, The Replacements, Steel Magnolias, Forrest Gump.

6. What are your favorite TV shows?

A. Supergirl, Penn & Teller, Jeopardy!, Survivor, The Voice, Deadliest Catch, Big Bang Theory, MASH, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (is this coming back, does anyone know?), Downton Abbey.

7. List your favorite foods/drinks.

A. I drink water but I like root beer. My favorite foods are potato chips and cake.

8. Name your favorite kitchen appliance.

A. My dishwasher.

9. What is your favorite animal?

A. The deer. It is my spirit animal. They're also fun to watch.

10. List your favorite scents.

A. I don't do scents, but my favorite scent is my husband's chest.

11. What are your favorite things you do in your free time?

A. Play guitar, read, talk to friends.

12. List your pet peeves.

A. Grocery carts not put in their place, spam phone calls about car warranties, Zantac lawsuits, and Social Security, slow mail.

13. Name things you collect.

A. I collect books, apparently, since I have lots of them. I also collect notebooks, guitars, Christmas mice, and ink pens.

14. What are some things you like to swap?

A. I don't swap.

15. Name some places you've been.

A. Myrtle Beach & Charleston, SC; Williamsburg, VA; New York City; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; San Hose, California; Reno, Nevada; Orlando, FL.

16. What are some places you'd like to visit?

A. Ireland, England, Scotland, Peru.

17. What classes did you like in school?

A. English and History.

18. What are some crafts you would like to learn?

A. I wouldn't mind learning how to whittle.


I encourage you to visit other participants in Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Saturday 9: Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) TV writer Allan Sherman based this song on his own son's letters of complaint from camp. Did you go away to summer camp?

A. I went to band camp when I was in high school, but never summer camp.

2) Our camper is afraid of both bears and alligators. What animal scares you? 

A. Snakes.

3) One of his fellow campers developed poison ivy rash. Have you ever experienced redness and itching caused by poison ivy or poison sumac?

A. I have indeed. And required steroids for it because I had it all over me.

4) Early in his career, Allan Sherman created the game show I've Got a Secret, which became a big hit. What's your all-time favorite TV game show?

A. Jeopardy!

5) In 1959 he moved from New York to Hollywood, where he transitioned from writing to performing almost by accident. As a lark, he entertained at the parties of his next-door neighbor, Harpo Marx. A recording company executive heard him and offered him a contract. Tell us about the last party you attended.

A. My stepmother held a party for my father's 80th birthday. You can read about here.

6) Allan Sherman got unexpected press attention and a boost in record sales when it was discovered that President John F. Kennedy was a fan. What's something you purchased because of a recommendation from someone else (friend, relative, celebrity endorsement . . .)?

A. I have an iPhone because my brother recommended it over the Androids.

7) In 1963, the year "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh" was popular, Studebaker stopped producing cars in the United States. What was your family car when you were growing up?

A. We went through many cars. The one I remember was a blue Dodge Charger.

8) Also in 1963, Vogue magazine did a cover story on how make wearing white "new and exciting." What color do you look best in? Is it the color you wear most often?

A. I look best in blue or green. I wear blue, mostly. I have hazel eyes and blue clothing makes my eyes look more blue.

9) Random question: Have you ever gone on to have a platonic relationship with a former lover?

A. No.


I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however. 

Friday, July 23, 2021


Since I live on a farm, sometimes I should post pictures of cows. These were in the barn lot with babies calves that were awaiting their shots (cows receive vaccines and shots like people), and were being moved from one area of the farm to another.

I happened to be down there in the late evening and took these with my cellphone. They're not great pictures. But here are cows!

This one is my favorite. She's giving me the stink eye.