My aunt emailed me last night:
“Mom’s five minutes of fame: Thought you would enjoy seeing this.”
76 years later, my grandmother reunited with an old friend. They both worked at the Solar Embroidery Finishing Company in Guttenberg, New Jersey as teenagers. My grandmother’s step-father owned the company and her friend, Clara, was married to the manager. (I can fill out a little more of my family tree.) A little later, my grandmother joined the W.A.V.E.S. and after WWII, moved to San Diego with her sister, Alice. Now, Clara lives in the same assisted living home with my grandmother.
Many people feel that the men and women of WWII were the greatest generation. If you have a grandparent that is still living and doesn’t suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, talk to them. Listen to their stories. Write down their stories. Tell their stories. It makes me proud that my grandmother was one of the many women who served in the military during that time.
While I did not get to visit my grandma that often throughout my life, anytime I did she was never short of stories. As a kid, she would send me newspaper clippings of things she found interesting. She would hand-write me letters that went on for pages, talking about the San Diego Zoo and how she wished she could see my brother and I more often. I last visited her a year or two ago, and she still wasn’t short on stories. I got to see pictures of her as a child, and many family photos from the early 1920’s and 1930’s. (Her parents immigrated from Czechoslovakia to New Jersey.) She’s a quirky lady, too. She handed me a pamphlet on the importance of flossing your teeth — with floss — and then handed me a bag of M&M’s.
The article and video can be found here.