Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gotta Love Her

How can you love someone whom you've never met? Not only never met, but died 14 years before you were born.

For the past few months, I've been working on letters my grandparents wrote to each other. Actually there are dozens that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother before they were married, he destroyed her letters written to him during World War I, but there are five surviving letters that she wrote to him in May and June of 1927. At this point in time, my grandfather took a job with the city of Detroit in the water department and went on ahead to start his job and find a place for his young family to live. John and Mary had been married seven years by this time and they had two sons, John Jr., aged 6 and Frank who was not quite two, but in that "terrible twos" stage. Honestly from talks with my dad, I think he didn't grow out of his "terribles" until he was in his teens.

The reason I comment on her letters, is that figuring them out has been quite a chore. Grandma, bless her heart, at least took the trouble to number her pages. That's a good thing because on the back of page 1 is page 6; page 2 has page 5 written on the back; pages 3 and 4 are normal; then pages 7-12 are written on different paper, which is smaller, and which has been folded in half. On the front half is page 7 and page 8 is to the left of it. On the opposite side of the paper is page 9. Pages 10-12 are done the same as 7-9. But they are numbered and that makes it easier.

Grandpa, didn't always number the pages on his letters. So that with paper folded the same way as Grandma's, page 1 would be on the right side of the fold, page 2 on the left side of the fold; on the opposite side of  the paper page 3 would be on the right side of the fold, but written from the bottom up and turned and page 4 would be written in a normal manner on the left side of the fold.

Normally this wouldn't matter, but as I am scanning and transcribing they are going in sheet protectors in binders and there is no way they can be placed in there in order. Not grandma's anyways.

I am really sorry I never got to meet her, because I am curious how her mind worked. I think we may have had something in common.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

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