Friday, March 7, 2008

Grandma's Winning Poem

When we were sorting my Dad's things, we found this clipping in a box of old letters. The Scopes trial was in progress at the time of the contest (July 1925), and I find it intriguing that my grandmother was so interested in events at the time that she wrote the last line for this limerick and entered it in a radio show contest:

We're hearing of Darrow and Bryan
and what they're doin' and tryin'
there seems no escape
from talk of the ape
and the monkey is king o'er the lion.

Grandma was a well-read and educated woman and she wrote many, many letters. Perhaps it was the custom of the day to communicate daily with family and friends via short notes and letters. The boxes of letters we found covered topics domestic and national: recipes, dresses she was making, dinner parties, mixed drinks, trips they took, Grandpa's Supreme Court case, allusions to legal problems of the mob type that someone they knew was having, gardening, letters trying to straighten out business matters...every possible aspect of life.

My paternal grandmother, Bertha V. Becker Connelly. I don't know when this photo was taken, but probably before she was married (I think that was 1916)and certainly before her hair turned completely white. My father did not recall her ever having dark hair as she did in this photo. When he was young, her hair was always blond.

Grandma years later, hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I never knew this side of my grandmother, either. But in her photos and letters are many references to stays in national and state parks. Our family reunion is now held in one of her favorite parks, Lost River State Park in Hardy County, West Virginia.

By the time this photo was taken her hair was white, and that is how I remember her--tall, thin, wavy soft white hair, a deep voice, tiny hands and feet (size 4!). I wish I had known her when she was young and writing the letters that are so full of life and excitement at the world around her.

1 comment:

Sean said...

This was a warm, loving post. Thanks for sharing it.

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