Friday, November 4, 2011
I got nothing today, I just worked. Let’s send it to my Grandma Joan for her latest. This is my grandma writing about her great grandma. To find other pieces she has written, click here.
She lived to be 98, even though she was never able to prove she was born. There was no birth certificate in those days, only a hand-written name in the family Bible to prove her existence. However, that Bible disappeared in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Flood of l889.
She had stories to tell: Once when she was a school teacher, she helped a young couple to elope. This involved carrying, on the sly, a message to the girl and helping the young couple get away on the night of a spelling bee. Afterwards, the girl’s father was out with a shotgun looking for the person who had helped them elope. She never confessed.
Another time while doing practice teaching in the hills of Pennsylvania, she stayed with some folks who quarreled. They carried on terribly, screaming and yelling; finally threatening to kill each other. She left their home within the next day or two. Years later, she was at a railroad station and recognized the man who had been head of the household. He spoke to her, but she pretended not to know him. Later, after she learned the wife had died , there came a letter of proposal from the husband. Obviously, it was not accepted.
Grandma was a large, smiling, jolly lady and such fun to be around. A favorite memory is when she and a young junior college girl, Aluia, stayed with my brother (age 8) and me (age 11) as our parents went to a newspaper convention.
We formed a “club” for the four of us which met each evening for the ten days. It was aptly named “The Club of Good Cheer”. We met in the evenings, elected officers, and had our own version of Roberts’ Rules of Order. The meetings consisted of roll call with the response of a verse. Sometimes, the name of a president or an author was required with an item about him.
Then followed readings, singing, devotions, jokes, pantomime, riddles, quizzes, and sometimes card games. We played games like “Authors” and “Blind Rook”.
One time I was reprimanded for chewing gum so loudly Grandma stated that she could not hear the minutes being read. The problem was resolved by my “agreeing to defer chewing until the minutes were read and approved”.
Questions were brought up as to whether we should adopt a motto, a color, a monogram, a password, or dues. Often a motion would be made, seconded and tabled. Once we had a visitor, an 8-year-old neighbor, Dean, who expressed great pleasure in being there.
The minutes were typed by Secretary Aluia, including an elaborate typed work of art for the cover. I still have this packet (written in 1935), and it brings several chuckles per page upon reading.
Several quotes from the minutes: “Grandma suggested that we not play this last game for she was afraid that in the morning she might put her shoes on her hands and brush her toes with her toothbrush.” There were several interruptions during the song “America”. The President asked that in the future , there be no interruptions during the singing. “An old-fashioned clap session was held.”
It was sad when it was time for Grandma to leave for home and our Club was adjourned.
It is also sad that I do not even know her first name ; she was just Great Grandmother Overholser.
How I wished that I had asked her many questions about her life.
There are no records.
What a marvelous memory of a very special wonderful time back when life was much simpler!