Grandma - AKA Mamaw

My Grandmother was an excellent cook.  I loved her fried foods: fried potatoes, fried chicken, fried pies.  She was always trying new recipes.  She was a wonderful baker too - lots of cakes and cookies and the best baking powder biscuits!  I strive to immitate them on a regular basis.  I'm not doing too bad.

She was the only Grandma I knew that had a job outside her home. 
She was "just a housewife" for many years but then they moved to the big city and the love of her life found someone else.  She became a single woman in a strange city with no income.  Her son was in the Air Force at the time and she sent my Mom went back to West Virginia to live with family and finish school.  Grandma was alone for the first time in her life and had to support herself.  She said she lost 50lbs in 6 months. 
This photo seems to be of Grandma at work.  Grandma was only about 5 foot tall so don't think that the woman in the back is six foot tall or something, this is just a picture of a lot of short women.  Grandma probably had some good sized heels on too. 
If we were out shopping and Grandma saw someone shorter than her she would try to stand by them and then do a whispered shout to get our attention.  Once she had our attention she would point out the shorter person and stand as tall as she could to show us she wasn't the shortest person in the world.  It was all we could do to keep from laughing out loud! 

Grandma loved her grandbabies.  Here she is with one of "The Boys."  My Uncle had 6 boys and my Mom had 2 girls.  I liked spending time with Grandma growing up.  We always lived close to her and often lived with her.  I loved Grandma's house dresses because she always had a piece of peppermint in her pockets.  Once when I was very small I felt a little piece of candy in her pocket and decided to bite the pocket to get at the candy.  I was shocked when I discovered I'd bitten into a bitter asprin.  I must have made a pretty good face because Grandma sure had a good laugh.  Her belly would shake up and down when she laughed and if she continued laughing she'd tear up.  Her laugh was a throaty laugh almost horse sounding from the cigarettes she smoked.

Grandma loved to laugh with family and friends. She liked to tell jokes. Most of her jokes were dirty or ethnically inapproriate. Whenever she was telling these kind of jokes she'd stop and say, "Lisa you better leave the room."  This picture is a good example of how she looked when she talked or told a joke:  a cigarette and cup of coffee in front of her and her arms propped up on the table.  My favorite times were when she told stories about growing up in West Virginia.

This last photo is one of my favorite of Grandma.  We were living in Oak Park and it was the first snow of the season.  I don't remember who started the snow fight but it made me laugh to see Grandma throwing snowballs.  I had obviously gotten her a few times.  I don't remember if she got me but I'm very glad I had my camera.  I made her pose for the picture and it's been one of my favorites ever since.


Alan said…
She sounds like a great lady.

What a cool post!
Jane Babcock said…
It is good to write down what you remember about grandmas -- It's a beautiful way to give them to your children.

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