Another reader Gail Porritt from St. George tells us about My Grandfather, Thomas Hampton Porritt, lived in Idaho between 1869 and 1956. He was a colorful person. Only had a hit and miss elementary education because in those days, in rural Idaho, helping on the farm seemed more important than school. He could read and write, but that’s about all. I remember him well because I was 28 years old when he died. After he married Grandma, they moved around a lot getting work wherever he could find it. Grandma said they moved so often that whenever Grandpa would hitch up the wagon, the chickens would all lay down and cross their legs waiting to be tied up for the move.
Just from this brief excerpt I can feel the admiration for a grandfather and his personality that comes out in the details. Another humorous experience shows this grand parent’s attitude about new inventions…His sons bought Grandpa a used car, but they didn’t teach him how to drive it. On the first try, he drove into a ditch. Grandpa told his sons to come and get the blamed thing. He never tried to drive after that.Susie Hatch, a reader from Cleveland, Ohio tells us about Gladys Evans Thomas Holman…My grandmother was from Cornwall, England. Grandmother suffered from Rheumatic Fever as a child, before the advent of penicillin and was always frail, walking with a shortened leg. She was one so strong in many ways. Scared but obedient enough to travel to America to wed a Cornwallian man her parents had chosen. Wise enough to divorce him when their daughter was eight to end the drunken rages, the beatings and the abuse. Grandma went from being very wealthy to very poor. In the end, she married the man of her dreams, and needed for nothing else. She had three more children.
The biggest lesson I learned from her was to never divulge anything that was said or done in our home. If an adult were to ask me a question about family, I was to say, “you will need to ask my mom that”. She taught her daughters and this I taught to my children. Grandma lived with us after widowhood, always had time to sit and tell a story from her childhood or listen to us talk and offering advice when asked. She never had unkind words to say about anyone. I miss her to this day!
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