Thursday, January 8, 2009
A Tribute to Grama on her 90th Birthday
Happy 90th Birthday !
To Leona, Mom, Grama, Mom-Mom, Lone, Aunt Noel, Loney and most recently part of the "Lunch Bunch"
Born in Baltimore , Md on January 8, 1919 to John and Emma Trader.
John was a Tugboat Captain for Arundel Corp and Emma was a housewife.
Grama had 2 sisters Florence (still born), Mae and her baby brother Buzzie who has been promoted to heaven.
They grew up in Baltimore and were often called "The Laughing Traders" by the neighbors.
They enjoyed going on picnics, taking rides to North East to visit Dad, and going to hear the band play at the park on Mondays.
One Christmas Eve, Emma brought Mae to church and left Grama and her Dad to decorate the living room and Christmas tree. They soon grew tired of putting the icicles on the tree and began throwing them on ~ delightfully amusing themselves!
When Emma and Mae came home, there were gasps and tears.
Grama and her Dad had to go into the other room to finish their fit of laughter, feeling somewhat guilty.
One of the things Grama did to amuse herself at age 6 was to bring a nickle to the store and exchange it for 5 pennies, then go to the next store and exchange it for a nickle and so on until she ran out of stores!
A nickle would buy a candy bar, admission to the movies and the latest sheet music.
Grama also enjoyed playing jacks and jumping rope.
Emma made lots of her children's clothes, taught them songs as she baked and went all out for the holidays.
Two songs that remind Grama of her Mom are "Away in the Manger" and " Little Town of Bethlehem"
As a child,Grama went to Randell St. Christian Church. The children would recite little verses to say before the congregation. One time she held a handful of Pansy's and recited " Little pansy faces, looking up at me and happy as can be."
Grama's first full time job was at Montgomery Ward. Most every payday she would go get a new pair of shoes at a store on Lexington Street. When a new shipment came in,they would hold a pair if they thought she would like it, usually she did!
She bought real Paris perfume for $1.00, she was always well shoed and smelled good!
Grama was on the Duck Pin bowling team for Montgomery Ward and won many prizes!
Grama's favorite things to eat were Canned Heinz Beans, Pork Chops, Show Peg Corn, Crab Cakes , Aunt Betts Coconut Pie and snow cream ice cream.
Also Hog Head Cheese and purple grapes,enjoyed mostly when she was with her Dad.
Gramas first date was Charles Gasnell. He liked Grama alot and was fun to boss around.
Poor Charles has a wrist bone that stuck out from a former injury.When Grama started to find him just to boring, she told him she had to break up with him because his wrist bone stuck out!
On March 29, 1941 ~ Grama married Ben Hiss.
They had 2 beautiful children ~ Emme born in 1942 and John (Jack) born in 1947.
They paid $4000. for there first home and drove a 1941 Ford.
The popular music at the time was Blue Moon , Deep Purple, The Glenn Miller Band, Benny Goodman, The Dorsey Brothers, Bing Crosby.
Woman wore skirts and blouses, moccasins, platform shoes and Page -Boy haircuts.
They got dressed up to go shopping ,wearing hats, gloves and dresses.
At home the outfit of choice was the "house dress."
Gramas advice on marriage and I quote,
" Don't Do IT! Naw, just kidding. Do remember ~ What you see it what you get.
You can't change anyone to be what you want them to be. He will be the father of your children, your bed partner, your friend and all things you want and need for a partner for the rest of your life. Can you Stand It?
Think Loooooong and hard!"
Grama is an excellent cook and even as a young house wife,made everything from scratch.
She often had her Mom and Buzz for dinner. Aunt Bett and Uncle Flem and Mae and family would often come by to visit.
Grama made a special meal and cake for every holiday ~ including St Patricks Day, Valentines, Fourth of July etc.
Emme's birthday was a cook out with all the family turning out.
Jacks birthday was usually at Fort Smallwood with Grama's homemade ice cream.
Summertime often found them going to Martinsburg, West Virginia for a family day. As they were driving one time ~ Grama looked back at Emme fast asleep, with Jack asleep on Emme's shoulder and the dog asleep on Jack. Grama thought how cute they looked.
When she looked back again ~ the dog had "up chucked " all over Jack! Funny now but stinky then!
Grama held many jobs she enjoyed ,one being her time at the Flight Detachment at Fort Meade, Maryland.
She saw first hand the men coming from and moving out to Vietnam. She often had them over for Spaghetti or Lasagna Dinners. They all called her Mom and continue to be a treasured memories to her and important part of her life. One of them, Frank James Gannon, married my Mom and is a treasure to our whole family!!!
I lived with Grama until I was 11 and again during my junior high years. It blows me away when I think of all she was able to accomplish.
She worked full time, kept a clean house (I awoke to the smell of Pledge every Sat morning), kept a beautiful garden and lawn, made time for friends and family always and we never missed a Sunday at church.
She also made alot of her clothing and some of mine.
She supported our household financially and was like a fighting bull dog if anyone tried to hurt us.
She changed the curtains, rugs and nick knack for every season.
To this day ~ you can call Grama at 3am and she will wake right up and talk as long as you need to!
I have often made those late night calls to her, as has my Uncle Jack and brother James.
She is filled with fight and tenacity ~ as well as a tender heart Filled to the brim with love for her family.
She is now a grandmother of 4,Terri (me), Steve, Stacy and James.
She is a great - grand mother of 9 ~ Jaci, Cheri, Franky, Ashley, Scotty, Brian, Destiny, Sidney and Perkins.
And I can't forget to mention her love of politics! She is Republican through and through and is not shy to tell you her views.
Most important of all is her love of Jesus Christ.
He has been the one sure thing in her life, when all else have fallen apart.He has never left her or forsaken her.
Beside always voting Republican, the one thing I know is all my Grama hopes for is this, for her family and loved ones to know and love the Lord.
Here is an excerpt from a letter Grama gave me 12 years ago, I quote....
" I thank you Lord for this dear wonderful family you have given me and I pray your best blessings on each one ~
That you will call each one by name and that each one will respond to your call.
Also I hope that each one will love this great nation of ours.
That all will take great pride in our history and our flag.
Keep up to date on the candidates running for office and vote for and work to get elected the best choice.
This must be done in order to keep people like the Clinton's from running the country.
As John Kennedy said " Think not what your country can do for you , but what you can do for your country."
If you do these things, your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will have a good place to live.
That is the reason I involve myself.
Read your Bible, Pray and Thank God for your blessing.
He is the provider and we are the recipient.
I Love You All,
I love you Grama! You have impacted my life like no other.
Wishing you the most wonderful birthday EVER!
So many, many people love you ~ I am proud to be in your inner circle!
Love Forever and Always,
Grama in one of the many beautiful dresses she made. This is from the early 1970's.