Grief over my mom's death has not grabbed me in a few weeks. At it's worst, I found myself vowing I would never love anyone again, because it hurts too much to lose them. And then of course I found myself thinking that would make an interesting premise for a book. Although I'm sure it's been done many times before.
2. Family ties
After my mom died, I took this little chest that was in her bathroom. There was a note taped inside that said "Great Grandpa Chapman's chest. The problem was I had no idea who he was and no one I could ask. I knew it had to be my great grandma Myrl's dad. But who was he? Far too many hours on Ancestry.com later, I figured out it was Thomas Chapman, 1838-1913.
I had fantasies my great-great grandfather handmade this chest, but I've found one just like it on ebay. Still curious how old it is.
This is my great grandmother, Myrl, in 1957. She was 73, and lived until 1971. She "took to her bed" sometime before this picture was taken. I was recently given recollections written by her daughter, and it turns out she homesteaded and lived in a sod house. It all sounded very Little House on the ...-ish, except it it turns out it happened around 1920. Didn't realize people were still burning buffalo chips and such that recently.
Her dad, Thomas Chapman, 1938-1913.
3. Life of crime
My great-grandmother, Nora Kennedy Clowers, in 1900. She met her husband to be, Barney, when she was a cook at a logging camp where he worked. He was about 20 years older than her.
They had four children, including my grandmother Dorothy. Things were tough. Plus Barney kept getting in trouble with the law.
The dolls belonged to the photographer.
At one point the kids were split up. The 1920 census lists my grandmother as a 10-year-old boarder, living with people who did not share her last name.
Finally, great-grandma filed for divorce.
Not sure if they got divorced, but a few years later, Barney was sentenced to prison, named part of an arson gang.
Barney died in 1924 at Ft. Stillacoom. I had thought it was a prison, even though my mom always said he died of alcoholism in some kind of asylum. It looks like it was really a place where they kept the insane.
Great-grandma Nora went on to marry twice more.