Saturday, October 01, 2005

Essay: Family History pt. 1, Summer '04

My great-grandmother Hazel was an interesting woman. It's a shame that all of her great-grandchildren didn't get the opportunity to know her. Great-grandma had alzheimers and it did all sorts of odd things to her brain before she died. During her times of lucidity, she told my brothers and I such facinating stories.

Once, Hazel was writing a letter to a friend who was a soldier in World War One. Her adopted mother didn't think too highly of her writing much of anything. Hazel used to write poetry and hide it in an apple tree that grew near the house. At the time that she was writing, she was called into the house to do some chores. So, great-grandma climbed up into the tree and hid her letter in the tree's forked branches before going into the house and doing those chores.

Before she could go outside and finsih her letter, it started raining. Great-grandma's letter was ruined by the rain. She said that she lost contact with that friend after the letter was destroyed and she looked back on the event with a mixture of sorrow and regret even in her 80's. I don't know, but I believe that she was in her teens when that happened.

There was a time pefore that letter incident that made for an interesting Sunday afternoon story from Hazel. My brother asked her what cars were like when she was a child. Great-grandma laughed and explained how cars weren't too common when she was growing up. Then she told us about when she saw her first car.

Hazel was down by the barn with her adopted father/grandfather (the story changed, my grandmother thinks it was actually an uncle.) and shw as watching him do something with the horses. As they stood there a car drove by, I think she said it was a Model T. Hazel thought it was just facinating. The man with her said that he wouldn't ever buy or even ride in one, and then he complained about how they spooked the horses. When he did finally use a car, apparently he enjoyed it, but never admitted it, or so great-grandma said.

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