An American Family History

John Elmer Smith

Maryon White's Memories of her Uncle Elmer


Mt. Carmel Sunday School Class 1905
Maggie Hupp, the teacher, is in the middle
In the back row are (from left) Grace Smith, Addie Gookin & Harriet Myers
Girls in the second row are (from left) Nellie Redlingshafer, Daisy Myers, May Schreck and Minnie Hupp
The boys are Newton Hupp (left) and Elmer Smith
Photo courtesy of Frank Myers

Children of Josiah Smith, Jr.
and Eliza Fox
  • Mary Grace Smith White Hanley
  • John Elmer Smith
  • Bertha Edna Smith Kimsey
  • Harry William Smith
  • Ethel Edith Smith Taylor
  • Bryan Sewell Smith
  • Augusta Lena Smith Larson
  • Andrew Jack Smith
  • Twyla May Smith White

  • dresses

    If Ethel was 97 in 1991, she was born in 1894. I've already "guesstimated" that Mary Grace was born around 1885.  There were three children between Grace and Ethel and Elmer was 2nd eldest, so he must have been born around 1887. Much of my knowledge of Elmer is secondhand, but I'll try to relate most of what I have been told as well as the things I actually remember.

    Apparently he was named John for his father's brother John . . .  I don't know where the name Elmer came from--maybe his kids know. But he was soon given the nickname Emo and was called by that name for many years. I know that in 1966 when Jack and Lillian had us all for a Thanksgiving reunion in Portland, Jack was still calling Elmer, Emo. Maybe his little brothers and sisters couldn't pronounce Elmer. (I have a friend named Mary Alice who is still called Mouse for this very reason and she is my age.)

    I've already mentioned one of Twyla's first memories of her brother Elmer, when he and Harry stopped Josiah from whipping her for stealing a cookie. She also told me that after Elmer left home, every fall he would send a big box home to Red Oak. Gussie and Twyla always hoped for dolls, but it always turned out to be long underwear and stockings. Apparently Elmer had memories of not having enough clothing to keep warm. After a few years the clothing packages stopped. Apparently Elmer and Emma had their hands full providing for their own children.

    I have no idea where or when Elmer met Emma Bertrand, but she must have been one really remarkable lady. I never ever heard anyone say anything but the kindest things about her. I think Hazel was born about 1919 and Lee was born in 1923. There were six children all together:  Hazel, Bob, Joe, Virginia, Norman and Lee. Emma died in 1930 so it seems that all of the kids should have some memory of their mother, but I don't think the younger ones remember much. I thought this might be because Elmer never seemed to want to talk about the past, but Lee tells me his Dad was quite open with the immediate family.

    My mother was only about 7 years older than Hazel and Hazel would tell about Twyla coming to see them when she was pregnant with me. Emma's youngest, (Lee) was still a tiny baby, so that may have been part of the attraction. At that time they were living somewhere where there was a big hill between their home and the street car tracks. Hazel tells of going to escort Twyla to and from the street because Twyla always wore high heels and they were afraid she would fall. (They were probably the only shoes she had!)  I imagine Emma was very helpful and reassuring to a first time mother-to-be.

    My father was frequently out on the road, Eliza lived with Twyla and Elmer and Emma looked out for the whole bunch. Twyla told of canning quarts and quarts of tomatoes and applesauce from things they shared with her. Elmer often brought fuel to keep us warm, and I suspect Emma shared baby clothes with Twyla.

    I don't actually remember anything about Grace or Emma's funerals, I don't suppose they took little kids to funerals in those days, but I have mentioned that they died very close together in 1930 (January 7th and 8).

    Hazel was a pretty young lady when her mother died, but she cheerfully accepted the responsibility of keeping house and helping to raise the younger kids. Somewhere along the line she did marry, but the marriage did not last long. No one ever talked much about it, but I think that big problem was totally obstreperous step-kids. Hazel was used to kids who acted human (most of the time) and who halfway cooperated and minded.  Apparently this was not true of the Hamilton children and Hazel did not get much cooperation from their father, but I am getting ahead of my story. This happened after they had moved to California, and after she had put in a long stint as foster mother, cook, housekeeper, financial manager, nurse, gardener and companion for Elmer. She'll probably never tell whether she really enjoyed all those fishing trips, but I'm sure she could not have been totally thrilled about repeated trips to visit relatives every time she had a vacation.

    In 1937 our family moved from Des Moines to Denver.  Twyla had gone out to find a house for us, and on her return she stopped in Omaha to pick up Bob. Doris Taylor was living with us at the time (I was 13, Doris 14).  We thought Bob about the most handsome, cleverest, wittiest, most charming person who had veer crossed our paths. He and Twyla packed things all night long, and after the moving van came, Bob drove us back to Omaha.  His driving was something else again! He had a habit of swinging the car door open to signal a turn, he passed everything on the road and he talked or sang non-stop. We were really sorry to see him leave us. So once again, family came to the rescue of other family members.

    I remember that Hazel told us where we could find Elmer. He was working for PWA or WPA or whatever it was.  It was bitterly cold, and apparently he didn't even dare get in the car with us to visit. I don't know what other kinds of work Elmer did during his lifetime, but that was a pick and shovel job and Twyla worried about him all the way to Denver.

    The next I remember was when the whole family (except Joe and Joy and maybe Bob) stopped to see us in Denver.  We only lived in that particular house for about a year (mid 1939-mid 1940). I had thought Elmer and family had moved to California long before, that, but apparently not.  They did not stay very long. Some of you kids please clarify.

    And then the next year, Twyla and Donald and I went to California to pick up Grandma. She had gone out to Visalia to visit Elmer and got sick. Only Lee and Elmer were still in Visalia and I vividly remember two incidents. One-we wanted to go to Yosemite Park, so Elmer sent Lee to get stuff for lunch. He specified avocados for sandwiches, I didn't like avocados then and I still don't so you can imagine my delight when lunchtime came and we had hot dogs.  Elmer wasn't really thrilled about that, but managed to eat his share. The other thing I clearly remember was that Elmer asked me to make gravy that night, and I didn't know how. After 50 years, I still can't make decent gravy.

    Bob was in the army, and Elmer wanted us to take him down to see Bob. This involved going through Los Angeles where Hazel, Virginia and Norman were living. Hazel managed to get an extra room for us three girls. Donald bunked with Norman, Twyla and Grandma had the bed in the apartment and Elmer slept on the sofa. I guess he kept everyone awake all night hunting his "nice covers" which were really everybody's coats and jackets.  (I don't think Lee had come along).

    When we got to wherever Bob was, he was much upset that we hadn't brought his wife, Lillian. Understandably so, but our car was small and Elmer, Eliza and Twyla were not.  We also had at least two teenage kids in the car, but that didn't console Bob. I don't think he ever did forgive us, and this was the first time I realized that Elmer did not like Lillian.  She is the only person I ever heard him criticize and that is saying a lot considering how smart and judgmental all Smiths are.

    After we moved to Spokane in 1947, we grew closer and closer to Elmer and his family. We made many, many trips to California to visit them. Hazel frequently brought Elmer to see us. At different times Virginia and Bob Miller, Ila and Lee Smith and Clara and Norman Smith came to Spokane.  Neither Bob and his family nor Joe and Joy ever came to visit us, but we were always treated royally when we ventured to California.

    I'm not sure when Joe and Joy joined the rest of the family in the Los Angeles area, but we always saw everyone when we were in that area. At different times I think I saw about all the "touristy" places and some not so "touristy." One of the funniest things that happened was when Elmer and Hazel took the whole bunch to Knott's Berry Farm for an old fashioned chicken dinner.  When Elmer came out after paying the bill, he found all his kids in the line again-waiting for a second meal. I don't think he was much amused.

    The only think I didn't enjoy about our California visits was the time Elmer made us all go deep sea fishing!  At times I suffer from motion sickness, and I hate the sight, sound or smell of fish.  We got our lines all tangled up with others on the charter boat, but we have to keep trying until we all caught at least one fish.

    One of the nicest times I ever had was when Virginia and the girls took me to a private beach club for a weenie roast in December.  It was a gorgeous day, so peaceful and relaxing-and I will never forget it.

    We had a Christmas dinner with the Millers one year, and one with Joe and Joy the next year. Don't know if the kids acted spontaneously or not, but every one of them did something special for us each time we visited.  Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Olvera Street, Ports of Call, Catalina, Disneyland, Farmers Market, Knott's Berry Farm, Etc., etc., are only a few of the treats we had and I'm sure many of you enjoyed the same royal treatment. 

    We've lost many of that wonderful family these past few years, and the ones still living are pretty widely scattered, but I hope someday that someone will organize another reunion.  Do you realize how many of our kin are in that area?

    Bob Miller and the three Miller girls plus their spouses and families (about 12 right there) Lee and Ila, their three kids and their spouses and families (another 15 or 16) Hazel and Joe, Bryan (Casey) Smith and his wife Wanda, Jonathan Smith (Jack's grandson) Dee Lynn Irwin (Joan's daughter) Roxanne Montegna (Doris and Roxy's daughter) Norman and Clara plus their two kids with spouses and children-and maybe more.  I'll come if I'm invited!  And please have lots of balloons in memory of Virginia.  I remember the whole campground filled with balloons in 1982.  Virginia told me that was their family tradition.

    We all remember Elmer's enthusiasm for some of his projects.  The worm business was about the longest lasting.  I spent a lot of time in his garage watching him sort worms.  We talked about politics, the relatives, present activities of his family, but I could never get him to talk about the past.

    Elmer (and maybe his whole family) was a dedicated Democrat who should have been a member of California Chamber of Commerce.  One time Elmer and Donald were discussing the relative merits of California and Colorado.  Finally Elmer said "I know damn well Colorado does not have an ocean!"  And Donald replied, "No, but we have the Colorado River!"  That ended that discussion.

    And I must tell what I remember about a neighbor named Mrs. Gathers.  For some reason, the kids decided to tease Elmer about a big romance between them.  They called her Mrs. Get-together and really gave Elmer a bad time.  There was some kind of wild tale about someone getting stuck under a house which gave everyone the giggles, but I don't remember the details.

    When Elmer died, the kids took him back to Omaha to be buried by Emma.  I don't think he ever got over the hurt of losing her.  All of his kids loved and respected him and he loved them all in return, but on one can deny that he had a special spot in his heart for Virginia and Joy.  They fussed over him, they complimented him and they spoiled him shamelessly and he ate it up.  I know he truly appreciated all that Hazel had done for the family, but I doubt that he ever showed his appreciation the quite the way he expressed his love for Joy and Virginia.

    Ethel Smith Taylors' Memories of her brother, Elmer, 1992

    Elmer lived much longer in California and I was with him a lot.  He insisted on me going fishing, which he enjoyed, but I nearly froze to death on those trips and I never could fish. I decked myself out with Hazel's overalls and coats, but still couldn't keep warm.

    He was very fond of raisin pies.  I baked a lot of them and he took on more weight, but really enjoyed them and would ask for a few more because the boys would be in, but I doubt if they got any.  OK, anyway they didn't go to waste!

    Robert Jack Smith's Memories of his Uncle Elmer,
    Albuquerque, New Mexico , April 27, 1992
    My direct memories of Uncle Elmer are limited to one trip we visited the folks in Moorcroft Wyoming.  At that time he impressed me very much as having all of the wonderful traits that my dad said that he had.
    Roberta Miller Tuller's Memories of her Grandfather, Elmer, 1992    My mother told me that Grandpa's earliest memory was waking up in a sod house when he was a baby and seeing a snake glide across the roof.  When I knew him he was fat and very jolly.  Family gatherings were always full of laughter and jokes.  We never drove up to his house that he didn't run out to the front porch to greet us.  I will always associate fishing, old Ford trucks, baseball hats, and bandannas with my Grandpa.    He taught us how to make popcorn balls and bought me my first pair of roller skates when I was three because I cried because all the big kids had them.  July 4th was always a special family day since it was his wedding day.  We always got together for hamburgers and watermelon.  I will never forget the time Katie threw away her watermelon rind and hit Uncle Norman with it.
    Jeanne Miller's Memories of her Grandfather Elmer,
    Santa Rosa, California , March 31, 1992

    I'll never forget Grandpa, and the memories are happy.  Because I was the youngest grandchild, I often got to sit on Grandpa's knee or lap.  He would bounce me around, and I found it endlessly entertaining.  He played countless checker games with me-and I always won (sorry Bill).  Of course, I never knew he was letting me win. I used to comb his hair and he'd let me mess it up and comb it again.

    I loved looking for worms in Grandpa's backyard.  I remember the feel of the dirt and the earthy smell.  Those fat worms were really fun to watch. Like Roberta, I'll always associate bandanas and old trucks with grandpa.  Once I got to go fishing with Grandpa and Aunt Hazel.  I was about ten years old. I remember catching a few and feeling really proud.  Grandpa always let us have bacon.  e'd fry up a whole pound and we'd eat our fill.  I remember him eating tomatoes with sugar on top and "graveyard stew" (White bread with sugar and warm milk). He always had horehound candy which I thought dreadful.

    Grandpa was a skeptic when it came to the Apollo moon landing.  He thought the whole thing was staged.  Maybe it was.

    Lee Smith's Memories of his father, Elmer, 1992

    Elmer was a good father and father-in-law.  He had a sense of humor that we all enjoyed.  I remember Hazel was always putting him on a diet. Ila went out in the kitchen to get her a glass of water one evening when we were visiting them. Elmer was standing in the dark eating a piece of cheese. One time he bought a lot of ice cream for everyone and had ½ gallon left over that he couldn't get in freezer, so he ate it. 

    When our daughter Kathryn was born, he would hold her and sing "Beautiful Katie." She loved it. After our son Kenneth was born, we had to go to doctors and Elmer offered to watch Ken. I gave Elmer a bottle and told him if he fussed, he could give him the bottle. When we got back, he said Kenneth had spit up a lot.  When we got home and I went to rinse out bottle, I noticed a big cross cut on nipple. Elmer thought he wasn't getting milk fast enough. 

    Elmer's grand kids loved him.  Joe and John, Norman's boy and ours would go over and spend the day with Elmer.  For lunch, he would go to store and get lots of milk and packages of rolls.  One day he made rice and raisins, but the rice didn't get done, so he decided it was done enough, so he served it.  Boys still talk about that and laugh. 

    Elmer always enjoyed the family gatherings. I'd see him watching the kids and everyone with a contented look on his face. One day Hazel had her neighbor come over to clean her stove as she worked and didn't have time to do it. We were over visiting them and Elmer had pressure cooker on, cooking meat and vegetables and he decided to check to see if it was done; without letting the pressure off, he turned cover and meat and vegetables flew all over everything. Hazel bawled him out and he came in where we were with his had down. Was all we could do not to laugh.

    Elmer loved to fish and raised worms to sell. Joe, Joe, Hazel and Elmer went fishing a lot together. Elmer was always trying new things, trying to find something that he could make money on.  We felt it was good for him to be busy and who knows, he could have hit on something. He was always glad when anyone would stop by and see him.  I remember when Elmer, Ila, Lee and two oldest kids went to Oregon to Jack and Lillian. Lillian, as usual was a wonderful cook so know we all gained. [We] especially enjoyed her baked salmon, homemade bread and pies. Always felt really relaxed when we took a trip to see them. Always treated us great.

    One time Hazel and Elmer had gone on a trip and came to a hill that they couldn't pull their trailer over so had a guy pull them to the top. Elmer said it took 2 days for the brakes to cool down after going down that hill.

    The first one to come to California was Hazel. She rode out here with a friend and his wife. She came to Long Beach, then into Los Angeles. Then Elmer, Bob, Norman and Lee came out in a 1931 Chevy that had the back cut off and made into a pick up truck.  We put a mattress and blankets in back. Elmer made a frame and put a canvas over it. This was in January, 1939.  No heaters.  Virginia stayed in Omaha, Nebraska with Joe and Joy and a year or so later came up and joined us. There was no work in Los Angeles, so we went to Marysville, Calif., a farming town.  Got work in the crops. Eventually we went to Visalia, where there was plenty of work. War broke out and Hazel, Virginia and Norman went back to Los Angeles and finally between us, we got a home in Hawthorne. Six months later, Elmer and Lee came down to Los Angeles. Hazel lived in that house for 44 years. The others got married and got their own homes. Joe and Joy had a home in Hawthorne, also, but Joe soon went into service. After he got out, he sold his home and they went back to Omaha. Later he moved back to California.

    After Elmer passed away, we sort of scattered out, but still live in Calif.  Bob stayed in Visalia and went into service.  After he got out of service, he went back to Visalia. He worked in different areas, but always lived in Visalia. hen we lived in Nebraska, we'd go with Dad down to public Market and he'd take us out for breakfast.  No one had a choice.  It was always hot cakes--twenty five cents a piece. One time Dad put in a dichondra lawn and it really looked nice. Hazel got upset with him because he decided to cut out parts of lawn and put in trays to sell to people to get a start for their lawn. Sure made our lawn look bad.

    I could go on with a lot of good memories of my Dad, but I have no memories of Aunt Grace of my mother.

    Nebraska was not settled by many European-Americans until 1848. In the 1860s, the government took Native American land and opened it for homesteaders. Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867,
    Lillian Smith's Memories of her brother-in-law, Elmer,
    Portland, Oregon , January 3, 1992

    The first time I remember meeting Elmer was when we went to Omaha in 38.  At that time he was delivering cakes of ice, as in those days, there was no frig like today.  Hazel had baked some pies for an occasion.  She had put them on the windowsill to cool.  Jack and Bob (I think) came in, saw the pies and helped themselves.  Hazel was very upset (and I don't blame her) and said "If I get my hands on them, I'll kill them."   When we left, Elmer gave us two Bantys:  rooster and hen.   As we were living in a small two room house, we kept them in basement.  Every day they got out, but would return at night.

    Elmer and Hazel came to inspect our first house.  Thought Calif. was the place for us to buy and settle.  I enjoyed his tall tales and this time he was telling one and went over backwards in a rocking chair.  He looked up and said, "I thought you liked me better than that."  This was about the time blackberries were ripe.  He went out and picked a coffee can full and came back and ate almost all of them.

    I remember when he started the worm business.  We had two friends who would get night crawlers and package them for shipping and we took them to airport so he could get them the next day. He had several refrigerators to keep them in.  Often wondered what he did with the frig.  This was one time we were at Elmer's when our oldest son wasn't ready to go home.  No one knew where he had gone so Hazel got on phone, called the police.  I can still hear her saying "Listen buster, I'm, a taxpayer and I want someone out here right a away.  She got results, but don't recall whether Bill came back and was ready to go home.  This was time Elmer gave us a box of peaches. Canned most and planted several seeds. Got two to grow and we had peaches many years. Another time at our house, was showing our kids how he cast to get his big fish. Wouldn't you know there was an apple tree near. He remarked "That's not the way the tree got in the way." Another pleasure he had was cribbage, which he and Jack always had a fun time.

    Roberta Tuller's Memories of her Aunt Hazel, 1992 Hazel was a very strong and independent woman who put her family first. She was always full of advice and home remedies for everything.  She wasn't social and didn't go out much, but liked her own company.  She liked to read and watch TV.  Hazel always contributed green beans with ham to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  She loved bright colors and loved to tat.  We all have pillow cases and towels with purple and magenta lace that she made.  She always played dominoes and watched football with the men.  Hazel had a special relationship with my daughter Hannah because they were both born on July 16th.  Their names both started with H and they both liked to get their own way.
    Bob Miller's Memories of his wife Virginia,
    San Pedro , California , March 7, 1992
    The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. It gave an applicant 160 acres of undeveloped land outside of the original colonies. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the United States could file an application. They had to live on the land and make improvements to receive title.

    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

    Virginia and I were married for 45 years.  She was the fourth child of Elmer and Emma Smith preceded by Hazel, Joe and Bob and followed by Norman and Lee.  It was a long happy lifetime of magnificent experiences and now of good memories.

    I remember her closeness to her family, particularly her father who she tried to see at least once a week.  For many years, Hazel and Elmer lived on 134th Street in Hawthorne.  Norman and Clara and Joe and Joy lived two houses apart on 129th St and Lee and Ila lived on 120th Street.  We all got together hundreds of times including all of Elmer's grand kids and any other relatives or friends who happened to be around.  Through these meetings I got to know far more about her family and its history than I knew about my own.

    Both of my grandfathers emigrated from Ireland to find a better life for their families. The Miller's first went to Canada where my father was born, and then to San Diego County, the Treahy's (my mother's family) also went to San Diego County. The two families ended up on adjacent homesteads near Del Mar. My mother was born in San Diego. My sister Hester who lives in San Pedro today, was also born in San Diego. My father who worked in shipyard all his life happened to be in Washington State when I was born.  Although my family traveled extensively up and down the coast (wherever work was available) they finally settled in San Pedro in 1920. Virginia and I were married in 1946 in Las Vegas and spent the remainder of our lives in the San Pedro area.

    I remember Virginia's love and devotion to our three daughters:  the endless trips to music lessons, dancing lessons, swimming lessons, Brownie meetings, choir rehearsals, church and school activities, shopping, recreation and transportation to and from friend's houses.

    Virginia also, from the time the children were infants transferred to them her inherent goodness, spirituality and compassion for others.  She set an example that I think helped mold their lives into the fine people that they are today.  She early loved and enjoyed our grandchildren.  I cannot forget the hours she spent playing children's games with Josh, Tyler, Hannah and Mike.

    I remember some of the great times we had together.  Our trips:  (before children) to Death Valley, The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Catalina, Mexico, San Francisco, etc.  Our trips with children (we were young) to Sac City when Shelley was four and Roberta was one, when we saw some of her old friends in Omaha and stayed with the Larsens in Iowa, our trip to Victoria BC where we stayed with Jack and his family in Portland; our trip to Moorcroft where we stayed with Bryan and our kids were split up between Aunt Ethel and Jimmie Taylor; one trip where we went to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion (where Roberta fainted and was treated by about 6 handsome park rangers), Cedar Breaks, Jewel Cave (the girls will not forget this one) Mt. Rushmore and many others.  We had memberships at Abalone Shore Club (a private beach) and the San Moritz club (in the mountains at Lake Gregory) where the family spent considerable amounts of time:  our trips, without children; to the family reunions in Sheridan and Reno; our four fabulous and unforgettable visits to the Hawaiian Islands, a tour of colonial Mexico and at least a dozen where we started with no firm destination and just traveled.  On these trips we explored almost every part of the western USA.  On one trip we were traveling north through monument valley when a gigantic rainbow covered the entire northern sky.  Virginia said it was the greatest sight she had seen in her life and to her was like a spiritual awakening.  The last trip we took, she asked me to take her back to monument valley.

    Virginia was a lovely person and I am grateful to have had her for so many years. The world was a better place with her in it.  I still miss her immensely and probably always will.  She left us in February, 1991, and from that time on the sun is not as bright or the sky as blue as it was.

    I am reminded of an old Irish poem about the death of a beloved family member that ends:

    "The circle draws closer-and a cold wind blows."  Our family circle, with the addition of the beautiful young people that have and will continue to join us will keep that circle intact.

    San Diego, California was incorporated in 1850, the same year California became a state. The original Old Town was located several miles inland. In the late 1860s, Alonzo Horton promoted a move to New Town on the bay. New Town grew quickly and became the city center. In 1915, San Diego hosted the Panama-California Exposition.
    Jeanne Miller's Memories of her mother, Virginia,
    March 31, 1992, Santa Rosa, California

    Mom appreciated the simple things in life, such as a beautiful drive in the country or a game of cards.  She didn't need a lot of flashy things or people.   She told me that her memory of her own mother was dim.  The one thing she did recall was the feel of her hands, so tender and soft.  I remember the same thing about her.

    I admired her ability to see things for what they truly were.  She had a common sense wisdom and a true gift for helping others without pushing or judging.  She was clear, insightful, fun loving and eager to learn new things.  She was always willing to listen.  Mom had many friends who loved her dearly.  Many considered her to be their "best friend" including me.

    If Mom had any one fault, it would be that perhaps she cared too deeply and took other people's pain to heart.  She had deep connections with people and a particular soft spot for children.  She was by far the best grandma a child could have.  My greatest regret is that my son won't have the privilege of knowing her.  She knew how to play, have fun, and really enjoy life.

    I'm so thankful that Virginia Miller was my Mom.  I'm very fortunate to have such memories to hold on to.  I know that like any human being, she was not perfect or a "Saint."  She was, however an exceptional woman who we can continue to learn from today.

    Hannah Tuller's Memories of her Grandmother Virginia, Age 7, 1992

    This about my grandma.  I remember she used to play games with me and I always won all the time because she always took the middle card so I always put the Old Maid in the Middle. Before I could read, she read me lots of stories.  We used to pop popcorn and sit by the fire.



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