Home > Uncategorized > Entry for April 27, 2007

Entry for April 27, 2007

This is a picture of my grandmother that was sitting under the sewing machine next to my mom’s ordinary sitting place. Mom had hidden it away there, I guess. I imagine she would look at it now and then.
Mom had many pictures of her mom, classic photos of her mother and father. I had never seen them but they suddenly began to appear in the 80’s.
Grandma died in ’74. My father was big on finding his own roots and mom found some of hers too. I learned that my grandmother’s maiden name was Haas. When I was growing up I was told grandma was born in Germany and grandpa, who I never knew, was born in Ireland. As I became a 30 or 40 year old living with my mom that truth changed.
I wonder about such things.
Grandma had severe handicap. One of her legs was enormous and, I think, paralyzed. She had to drag it around. It was a somewhat frightening experience to visit my mother’s mother because of this, the fact that she spoke almost entirely german and she lived in a less than prosperous part of the the Bronx.
Mom had a lot to say about her mom speaking german. She said she and the other kids used to tell her this was America and she should speak english. In her later years mom used to tell a story about her mother being embarrassed of her german heritage. Mom was talking about during World War II, of course, but it’s something I find hard to imagine. I was born after WWII, but I guess it would have been possible for my grandmother to call herself Polish at that time.
This picture looks like it was taken back then, in the 40’s or the 50’s, but I don’t know actually. I recall visiting grandma in the 60’s and she looked older than she looks in this picture.

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