Thursday, February 22, 2007

Life back in the day

I was talking to my dad today about some slides that he had. I was able to acquire some carousels off of Ebay for him and he started digging out old pictures as well as slides. I won't go into many details, but he started talking about my grandma Gennie's life. Gennie is my grandpa Vern's wife. She was seeing an Italian coal miner and got pregnant with my aunt. Well, two months before my aunt was born they got married. Her first husband died the day that my aunt was born. I could not believe that, but it was true. I am glad that things did work out. Vern was 11 years older than Gennie, and also a coal miner at the time. They got married within a year of her first husband's death.

My dad talked a bit more about my grandmother and the subject of her older brother's death came up. He died in the great flu epidemic in 1907, I think it was. My grandmother wasn't even born yet, but the story of this young man (he was only fourteen) is heartbreaking. The family wasn't able to have a funeral for him. The way things were with the epidemic, the family had to place his body on their porch and someone hauled off the body in a wheel barrow. I can't imagine what that would be like to see your loved one handled in this manner.

That picture above and to the right is my grandma and her baby--my pops. As you can see their life was rather "Grapes of Wrath" like. What you see in the background is their home, something that now would most likely be the size of someone's tool shed. My father remembers seeing Vern come out and take a pig that my dad just was playing with and sit on it, put his fingers up its snout. Vern would hold this pig's head back that way and then slit its throat. It was just how it was and my dad was used to it as a kid. As much fun as that pig would make as a pet, it was better as food on the table. If you want to know how my father's family made it out of the mining camps, click on the link "Vern" that is at the top of this post.

On a side note: Do you guys go back and read my replies to your comments? I think they are just as good as my posts. If you don't read them, then I probably should be spending my time focusing on posts. I'm just putting that out there.


Karyn said...

Oh Grunt. It would be most sad if you did not respond to the comments! I have a Comment Check portion of the day, devoted to that purpose only; neither blogging nor commenting as I go. You'll throw me off kilter.

You know. More so.

Scary Monster said...

As usual me got beat to the punch once again. Grunt me post for today were to be on a parallel theme Posts / commentary/ replies.Now me must decide to go through with it and look like a complete duffer or go with something else on the list.

Scott said...

Wicked photo. So very cool to here about how your family sort of developed over the years. Thanks for sharing.

On a side note... slides... I have not checked out slides in a long long time.

Barbarian02003 said...

My grandparents were cotton farmers. My grandfather is full blood Black Foot and my grandmother pure white. He wanted to marry her but the tribe told him no, so he denounced his tribe, married my grandmother, bought a farm in Missouri, and had lots of babies.

Unfortunately, my grandparents both died when I was young. I didn't get a chance to hear any of their stories. Just what my Dad tells me. It's nice, though, to know I have strong roots.

Pokey said...

I personally always read your responses to the comments...your responses are always so damn entertaining.

Logophile said...

I ALWAYS check your answers to comments, at check for one to my own comment (if Im rushing) but usually to all, I love them. Doncha dare diss us :P
Thanks for sharing the pics and info about the fam.
Love it.
Btw, would a capacitor be better for picking my teeth?

Queue_t said...

love to read comments from you as much as posts- don't let your lurker girl down.

love these old photos and memories- thanks for taking us with you on your remenices.

Jules said...

My dad has that exact same photo of him as a kid!! LOL!

Grunty - your comments make me feel special!!! I always read your comments!! I'd be heartbroken if you stopped commenting back.

Melliferous Pants said...

I find old photos fascinating, especially when coupled with stories from relatives. I can look through old slides and photographs for hours. Thank you for sharing Grunty!

Sun Follower said...

GREAT picture! I love old pictures, but only if I know who the people are in them. If I go a flea market and see boxes of old pictures... it makes me sad and sometimes a little creeped out somehow.

You comments on comments on comments are good.

Outdoorsy Girl said...

I love this post. I love history and the history of our families is the best of all. Thanks for sharing.

Of course, I go back and read the comments you write back to me. So hurry up and write a response comment to this one so I can come back and read it. :)

Keshi said...

I like that foto...I love old fotos of loved-ones who r no more...something so special abt such pics.

I always read ur comment-replies. Its a must btw :)


The Grunt said...

Karyn~ Throwing you a little more off kilter makes me feel good inside.

SM~ Parallel posts are allowed. I'm sure that whatever you come up with will be stompasetic.

Scott~ Thanks! Yeah, slides are totally old school. I think the kids only know about them via Patty and Selma's vacation slide shows from the Simpsons.

Barbarian~ Wow, that is a great legacy your family has. I do have some Native American blood in me. I can't claim a whole lot, but we do have the odd person on my mom's side get hit with those genes. You should see my brother. He looks totally different from the rest of us.

Pokey~ Thanks! I try to comment and visit, but sometimes it just doesn't happen for me since I am not around a computer when I am at work.

Logo~ Thanks to you as well! Capacitors would be easier to handle, just make sure that you discharge any electrolytic capacitors before you floss with them or you'll get an unpleasant shock. Flux capacitors might send you through a inter-dimensional time warp thingamajig, so be careful.

QT~ I never want to let you down, even if you are lurking in the shadows.

Jules~ Don't tell me I'm your long lost brother. That'd be weird.

Pants~ Hey, good to see you back around again. I miss having you around.

Sun~ I love commenting, but I was wondering if I was just amusing myself with them. I just want to make sure that people read what I say to them. I don't have the quasi "IM" blog where you basically chat with your online pals via your blog during office hours. So, I may not get back to my beloved readers in a timely fashion. I really wish I could have the amount of social banter that some of the other blogs that I like to visit have. However, it just is not possible with my schedule and not being around a computer for most of the day. Really, I like not having to be sitting down in front of a computer for a long time. I love old photos as well. Some of the old ones are creepy as hell, especially when they are photographs of the deceased.

O-Girl~ Well, family history is something that I have taken for granted. I am lucky to have parents and grand parents who kept great records and passed down our ancestral history to the next generations. I feel badly that I haven't paid more attention. How was that for a response?

Keshi~ I like reading your responses too, but the amount of comments you get is mind boggling! I have to search and search for my name to pop up and then scroll down from there to see your response. You don't know how happy it makes me feel to see your replies to my comments on your blog. I am just sorry that I have been limited lately with my ability to visit. If you ever want to chastise me for being a bad blogger buddy you are allowed to email me using the address on my profile.

somewhere joe said...

Grunt we sit on the shoulders of heros.

Jules said...

That WOULD be wierd and creepy, wouldn't it!!! ;OP Next time I'm at Dad's I'll see if he can find it and scan it in for me to share with you.

Bugs said...

Of course I read your comments - you're my male half on the other side of the world.
Love the pics and Vern's story,thanks for sharing it.Life was so much harder in those days than any of us realise,it was sheer stubborness against giving in that got people through it all.

goldennib said...

The stories of our forebears are amazing. We all think we have problems, but we are all a bunch of babies compared to them.

I read your comments.