Because my parents were very young when I was born, I was blessed to grow up with a great-grandma. Her name was Minnie Eudora Bottoms King. Isn't that some name? She told me a story of meeting a man whose last name was Butz and she said "I know how you feel." Said she was teased in school by other students for having the last name Bottoms. I called her Grandma Minnie. My mother's mother was Rosie the Riveter , working in a factory in downtown Indianapolis while her dad served in the navy. Her Grandma raised her part-time. My mother called her "Granny." My Grandma Minnie was known for her home-made chicken and noodles. Wherever she went, people asked her to make them. I'm proud to say that this is true of me as well. I've made chicken and noodles in Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland.
Grandma was known as a great story teller. Again, I follow in her footsteps with this trait. I love a good story. Not all agree with me. Just as Grandma did, I already repeat myself and tell the same story over and over. Some tire of my stories. Oh well.
After a meal, Grandma Minnie would push her plate forward and bring her hands together, clasping them together before her. I grew to call this "assuming the position." This is when, through out my lifetime, I would sit up a little straighter and pay rapt attention. I knew Grandma was about to tell a story. Oh, the stories she told! Of setting up house-keeping in Illinois with a team of horses. She and Grandpa never drove- always took the bus. I said "you never had a car?" in an incredulous voice. She said "well, no child, first of all, what good is a car? What could it do for us? A team of horses could help us farm!" Years later, I would be the one to drive to Terre Haute to fetch Grandma back for Christmas. She lived at 1923 First Avenue. The house is still there. It looks very small to me, now. She told of being a cosmopolitan working woman and working at Sears Department Store in lingerie in downtown Indianapolis. She always had a twinkle in her eye and bragged that she had heard it all and nothing we could tell her would shock her. I don't think I ever saw her wear slacks. Maybe at the very end of her life when she became painfully thin. She always wore a dress and stockings and shoes with a little heel, beads and earrings. She had this crazy cackle (which I am guilty of as well). She always smiled and never complained. She was a strong influence on my mother and myself- who we both are today.
One day mother asked me if I would like to have her Granny's Christmas tablecloth. Without hesitation I accepted. A story found here tells some of the history behind such tablecloths. This particular cloth is seamed together. When I asked my mother about the seam, she said "it must have just came at the end of the material and they pieced it together- that is how it was done back then, nothing was wasted.