It was October 1st, 1932–a Saturday and Rosh Hashana. She did not often bake latkes, but it felt important to do so today, on the first of the High Holy Days. She was not Jewish, but her husband had been, and a couple of their children still kept their father’s faith. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that– John had turned out to be a drunk who left her to raise their children alone, Continue reading “This New Land, These Old Hands”
My maternal grandmother, Laura Jane Waldrop Gregg, did not coin the idiom “Waste not, want not,” but she lived it every day in the way she managed her house. Born in 1899 and married in 1921, she had her third of four children—my mother–in October 1929, just at the cusp of the Great Depression, and her fourth child—my aunt Dot–in 1933, in the heart of it. Continue reading “Waste Not, Want Not: Feed, Seed, and Flour Sacks”
Every May in the Philippines is an exciting month for her citizens. The streets of Pulilan in Bulacan Province, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija Province, and Angono in Rizal Province are filled with vibrant-colored decorations, fresh Filipino dishes and desserts, and an audience prepared for the parade which begins the Kneeling Carabao Festival.
The joke I’m about to tell would be more suited for a story told in person, as the accent here is the key to the story. To be frank, though, in a story about a man like my great-grandfather, he’d tell me “as long as you laugh, then who cares.” Everyone always laughed when he said that, mostly because it was usually
The year was 1921. Leo Wahl had just invented the electric hand-held hair clipper after experimenting with vibrating motors. Most hair clippers at the time were either manual or had a separate motor attached to a cord to help them vibrate. (Trainor) However, these new hair clippers had the motor inside
Every truck drove at the mercy of the road. The bumps lifted passengers and packages into the air like kids sitting at the back of a modern school bus. The need for a high-quality suspension in a mail truck did not exist.
“John Hurston, in his late twenties, had left Macon County, Alabama, because the ordeal of share-cropping on a southern Alabama cotton plantation was crushing to his ambition. There was no rise to the thing.”
(Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road)
Zora Neale Hurston is most known for being an influential author of African American literature, with her most iconic work being Their Eyes Were Watching God. However, she was also an anthropologist and ventured
Growing up, the most tangible part of my mom’s family was a collection of crochet blankets acquired from funerals and my mom’s childhood home. My grandmother Joan Frances died before I was born, and my great grandmother Frances Jane lived in Pennsylvania in a nursing home before she died in 2008, so the blankets were how I connected with the two women who were my namesakes. My mom kept the blankets in her closet, some wrapped carefully in plastic comforter bags. In the winter they would come down from their perch and be distributed throughout the house. Continue reading “Crochet Comforts”
Katie Elizabeth woke early on August 21, 1934, before even the chickens had time to yell them all out of their dreams. The only one to beat her outside of the cabin and onto the porch was her husband who had left a small pile of cigarette ash on the porch before he went to tend to their pigs. One had just died, Continue reading “Big Things in the Small”
Every child knows the thrill of seeing a great red firetruck flying to its next urgent destination. The flashing lights, the glistening red exterior, and the piercing sound that comes in waves is enough to draw attention. Burly “BB” Bascum Norris was one of the many children in the world who were fascinated by fire trucks and the life of a fireman. Continue reading “A History of Hometown Heroes”