Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Paternal Grandmother

Styles have changed and I am so grateful for that fact. The gigantic bow on my grandmother's head is really wild. Then there's the long gloves and the dropped waist with a gigantic flower arrangement attached.

I have no idea what the occasion is for this formal portrait. My grandmother was not Catholic. Dad says she was Protestant. Since her family was German, I have assumed she might have been Lutheran, but I don't know. I was told that when my grandfather married her, the ceremony was conducted in the vestibule of the Catholic church. They were not allowed at the altar.

She was a quiet woman. Her parents had a chicken farm in Pennington and when my father was young, he spent his summers there on the farm. I've never seen the farm--only photos of it.

My grandmother died at the age of sixty-three. I did not get to attend the funeral because I was babysitting my younger sisters and my cousins. My brother did not attend the funeral either. He was overseeing the construction work being done on our house as two more rooms were added.

I wish I knew more about her. I know she made dumplings, which my father loved. I know her cousin, Pearl, lived upstairs in the two-family house in Jersey City. But that's about it. I wish she hadn't been so quiet.


kimbacaffeinate said...

Love the bow, have you tried doing research about her online? My Dad found documents and such through online searches for his grandmother.

Debra Maher said...

What a wonderful picture. I wonder if it was taken to honor her confirmation. You might be able to find more info online, or by communicating with other relatives. I found a family picture of my grandfather as a child through a second cousin I found online. She also provided me with his obituary. Obits give a lot of info. Such a treasure for you, to have this picture!

Penelope Marzec said...

kimbacaffeinate and Debra:

Thanks for the search ideas!

Carl Brighton said...

For me, that bow on her head looks lovely. It would’ve been nice if you were able to get to know her more. I’m sure you’d be fascinated by all her stories of the past and the way they lived, and you’d always enjoy having an endearing grandma.

Carl Brighton

Demetrius Flenaugh said...

My, that’s quite a nostalgic photo of your grandmother. It does stir up some loving and fond memories doesn’t it? I’m sure your grandmother must have looked lovely when she was young. As gaudy as that bow might be, I think it suits her.
Demetrius Flenaugh