Questions I Asked My Grandmother

1929 was a big year. Herbert Hoover was president. The stock market plummeted and U.S. securities lost $26 billion becoming the first financial disaster of the Great Depression. Trotsky was expelled from the U.S.S.R. The Cubs lost the world series to the Philadelphia A’s and the Boston Bruins defeated the NY Rangers for the Stanley Cup. A stamp cost .02¢ and a gallon of gas was .20¢. It was also the year my grandmother was born. Without her (and my grandfather), my dad wouldn’t be here. Without him (and my mom), I wouldn’t be here. Without me, you wouldn’t be here reading this. We can all thank my grandmother.

A few weeks ago I sent a letter off to my grandmother, my Dad’s Mom. It was done the 1929 way, written in ink on paper, sealed in an envelope and sent via postal service. Though, the way the postal service moves I could have sworn I sent it by pony express. Actually, I know it wasn’t by pony express. It would have gotten there faster if it was.

Today is “Questions I Asked” day a day early. As you’ve already read up there in the title, I didn’t ask my kids the questions this time. She graciously responded in her very unique penmanship. I can easily pick her handwriting out of a police line-up.

So what did I ask her? How did she answer?

1. When and where were you born? How many siblings do you have?

I was born on a farm at home near Longwoods, Maryland in 1929. I had 3 sister and 3 brothers.

2. What was school like for you?

Small classes, know everyone. What I liked best was being in school plays and history classes.

3. How did you meet Pop Pop?

We were introduced at a barn dance by a friend.

4. What was it like raising kids on “the farm”? 

We ate good food, played together, and worked in the chicken houses together.

5. Which trip/vacation was your favorite?

Probably going with Kathy (her daughter, my aunt) to Ireland, Scotland, and England.

6. What do you miss most about the “good old days”?

Memories of WWII when we had an Army Observation Post at our house. We had company every night and met interesting people in our neighborhood.

7. What did you do for fun as a kid?

My sister and I played with dolls and kittens.

8. Did you ever get into trouble as a kid? What did you do?

Once only, my sister was a trouble maker. One day I fastened her in the hen house. There was a black snake there.

9. What is a memory of my dad as a kid that makes you laugh?

He only saw me cry once. He asked if I had something in my eye.

10. How far back have you traced our family heritage? Who was it and where were they from?

Back to the 1600’s for some ancestors. They were from England. Nicholas Goldsborough is my ancestor six times – family marriages.

After note she included with her letter…

Once my children (she had seven of them) were out of school and on their own, I may have neglected them. I knew they had their own interests far removed from mine.

So I pursued my own interests- civic activities- historical and genealogical research. It was always easy sandwiching family and others.

Now, in recent years, I’ve been writing about my childhood and parents as I remember them. I have many loose leaf notebooks. 

The research I did for others broadened my interests and many friends have I acquired.

My research included murders, suicides, law suits, a few scandals and some boring. 

Only one long time effort researching Leo’s (my grandfather) Mother’s family. It cost a lot of money. There is a copy of it in the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Crash and Bang with their great-grandmother


27 thoughts on “Questions I Asked My Grandmother

  1. Your grandmother is wonderful! She’s a writer? You must be a chip off the old block, huh? A copy of her memoirs should be submitted to your State Archives. They will probably accept it for retention as such family memoirs are invaluable to people doing historic research or genealogy. It is great that she is writing it down. So many people mean to do that, but never get around to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so wonderful to ask these questions! Your children will thank you one day. I hope you are compiling these all somehow…. Besides on the internet, I mean!

    This makes me want to ask such questions of my grandmothers (the only grandparents surviving); thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far the only place they are compiled is the internet. I’ve asked questions to my kids, my parents, and just recently, my grandmother. I’m going to extend this to my wife’s parents soon. I suppose I should get it written/printed in a safer place than the internet.


    • While I’ve never directly asked my grandmother about her life until just now, she has told us some stories about it and I’ve always been fascinated by them. I’m so jealous that yours lives so close. Mine is 1100 miles away!


  3. What a wonderful lady! I am also from a large family. Love it that she keep pursuing her passion on her own. I can’t imagine what it would be like living during WWII. Incredible! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story with us on #FabFridayPost x

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s been into local history and genealogy for as long as I can remember. She’s always shared what she has found out about our familiy. I’m so happy she’s continued it this long! My grandmother has only ever talked about the positives from WWII. Her favorite being the Outlook post set up at her house. Thanks for stopping by. Love the link up! #FabFridayParty

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Meet & Greet – Christmas Edition | A Texan's View of Upstate New York

  5. This is great, I have recently been doing allot of research on my grandmother’s lifetime as well. She was born 1928 and full of exciting stories of affairs, parenting, mistakes, happiness, and success. It’s so important to remember the legacy’s that led to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Questions I Ask My Grandmother | All In A Dad's Work

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