Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Writing Prompted by.... Someone Else? or Not...

Yes.
This is yet another post that was prompted by...


You guessed it... The Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin It


I have a ton of topics that I want to write about... 
That I thought up on my own, but...


I just can't seem to get motivated...
to do anything...
at. all.


So... here is a little something based on prompt number...3? for this week...
Enjoy!


3.) Tell us something you learned about a grandparent that surprised you.


So, this is the part where you would expect me to say that I was surprised to learn that my grandmother was a flapper in a speakeasy...
But she wasn't.


Or that my grand dad was a fighter pilot in the war... 
But he wasn't.


I cannot recall when I learned this little tidbit about Grams, but I do remember thinking...
Wowsers!


Apparently, Grams and Granpa got married when Grams was very young. I think I always knew this, but I didn't really KNOW it...
Know what I mean?


Just like I knew that growing up in the hills of Ohio in the 1920's was hard... 
no, it was REALLY hard.


But just how hard I didn't understand.


The story goes that Grams met Granpa at a barn dance. 
They liked one another.
They dated? ( or stepped out or courted, whatever they called it back then...)


Grams and Granpa were married on August 23rd. 
It was Granpa's birthday... his 21st to precise.
Grams' birthday was August 16th.
She was a young girl... he was an older man... guy... boy... 
whatever...



But this is where the story gets ...
let's just say odd, or fuzzy.

Grams was one of many children... My mom would be able to say how many and name them in correct order in a hearbeat... I, alas, am not that good... I have to cheat and look at the family genealogy she wrote to get it right.


So, there were a bunch of kids and Grams was one of the younger ones. Her dad was off working somewhere else... like in another state or a different town because, well, that's where the work was. 
Probably a coal mine or steel mill.


Anyway...and here is the fuzzy part....
the kids were farmed out to families in the area... relatives or not it seems...
because there were too many mouths to feed? 


Apparently this was not an uncommon occurrence back in the day...


And then there was a flood.
And some of the little ones got washed away?
And then there was a fire. 
And some of the little ones perished?


And somehow, someway, someone got Grams mixed up with one of her older sisters?


She grew up believing her birth year was 1920... 
so she got married in 1937... when she was 17... right?


Wrong... evidently when she applied for a Social Security number...
as an adult... 
Mom of 3...
because she needed one for a job...


She was informed that she was born on August 16, 1923...


And if you do the math correctly...
and Granpa REALLY was celebrating his 21st birthday the day they got married...
and Grams REALLY was born in 1923... instead of 1920...


Then they got married 7 days after she turned 14...
Yeah... 
The reason, I was told when I questioned that no one knew she was 3 YEARS YOUNGER!!!, 
is this...


She was always big for her age so she easily passed for one of the older kids who had drowned or perished in the fire or whatever...

although how anyone could have mistaken a 3 year old for a 6 year old...
I don't care how big for her age she was...seriously?


It seems that there is yet another twist to this story...
and again it is, we'll say, fuzzy...


She knew her name was Kathryn Nancy... 
I mean you know your name, right?



But she was wrong! 


Yep, her name was REALLY Nancy Kathryn... 


you know, the one born 3 years later...


but they lost the family bible with the kid's names and birth dates in it...
I don't know, in the fire or the flood or ... whatever... so anyone could have been anyone at that point... 


Is it any wonder that tracking down the family tree is so time consuming???
confusing?
convoluted?


And don't even get me started on the side of the family whose family tree is really a wreath!


I know, right?

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