Thursday, February 4, 2010

I am...

I found out yesterday that I am my grandfather's granddaughter.

I am not my father's daughter. I am not my mother's daughter. Okay, I am still my brother's little sister - he isn't getting rid of me that quickly.

But I am my grandfather's granddaughter.
And here is the proof.

In the 1930s, my grandfather's family started migrating to California from northeast Ohio. First to go was my great-great Uncle Allen Saint. That makes Uncle Allen Saint my grandfather's uncle.

Uncle Allen settled in Pasadena. After WWII, more family migrated, and everyone moved into Uncle Allen's big house on Garfield. My grandfather (and Grandma) moved in to the house in 1949 or 1950. They pretty much took over Uncle Allen's household. Grandma ran the kitchen, Grandfather did the household repairs, fixed the cars and maintained the garden, and Uncle Allen paid the bills.

Grandfather got a job at a factory called M&M. They manufactured stuff. I don't know what, since I wasn't around back then to ask. It wasn't the candy factory, I do know that.

My uncles and their friends all spent time living at Uncle Allen's (big) house. Lots of the Saint family members spent a month or two or three until settling in Monrovia, Hollywood, Altadena, and even Whittier. Uncle Allen's niece, Eva Marie Saint, is said to have stopped by for a hello and a meal.

But Grandfather, his heart never left his little town in northeast Ohio. As soon as he would spot a car with Ohio license plate, he had to stop and talk. It was nothing for Grandfather to cut off someone in traffic on E. Orange Grove Blvd. just to pull up next to an Ohio car. "Hi there, friend. Where 'bouts in Ohio are you from?"

If the 'friend's' answer was Toledo or Dayton,  Grandfather would thank them and drive off. If the answer was Cleveland... well, traffic could just 'darn hold their horses' till last names exchanged, street addresses were discussed, acquaintances made. Grandfather was a friendly sort, if you were from northeast Ohio.

SO, this past Tuesday I was out walking Shado, one of our dogs. I come up to a BIG pickup truck - the kind with four doors and plenty of room for four adults inside. The truck is stopped so that it has blocked the sidewalk that Shado and I are walking on. I seethe... 'idiot driver'. Why can't he just park parallel to the curb like anyone else would?

Then I see the big truck's license plate is Wisconsin. I'm not from there, but E. is. E. has taken me back to Wisconsin several times, and everyone there seems the friendly sort. Anymore, I kinda view Wisconsin as my future home.

The driver of the big truck lowers his window and says "Let me pull forward, out of your way." All I can say is "What part of Wisconsin are you from, friend?"

Turns out 'they' are from Waupaca. "We" are from Wautoma. But they know E's best friend, Alex. Of Nimphius Boat fame. "Oh yea, the Chris Craft" guy!"

Grandfather would be proud of me.


tom sullivan said...

I find it fascinating how we go from judging to welcoming.

altadenahiker said...

Hey, if you have grandfather's address on Garfield, I'll take a picture and send it on. All the old houses are still there.

Dog Trot Farm said...

It's a small world after all!

Brenda's Arizona said...

Wow, Karin, it was something like 10XX N. Garfield. I don't know for sure, and I don't think we have any photos around from then with people in the front yard and the house # showing... By the time I was born, Uncle Allen sold the Garfield house and moved to 754 N Mentor. I think that was the street number. Then Uncle Allen died and my grandparents were alone, so they downsized and moved to a cute small house on Ladera, just off of Lake.

allhorsestuff said...

Too= too cool!

Tash said...

I do love coming along for a "walk" with you...I am going to remember this one and next time, I'll even add 'friend' to my same question.

BANJO52 said...

Cleveland itself or a small town up around there? Some very nice looking small towns in hill country, Amish country, not too far south of Cleveland.

The thing is with those conversations, you never know how much you're getting into. But they can be great if you're in the right mood.

Brenda's Arizona said...

About 60 miles south/south east of Cleveland. One of those places that if you heard of it, you're from it. Haha.

BANJO52 said...

Good line.

East Liverpool (where there's a good blogger, by the way)? Salem? Lisbon?

BANJO52 said...

In case you're wondering, by the way, I'm a minor U.S. maps nerd.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I will have to look up the East Liverpool blogger! My cousin lives there. Gramps was from Columbiana. But my dad went to Mount Union - in Alliance! Fun to find someone else who reads maps!!! Thanks!

BANJO52 said...

Hang on now. My father went to Mt. Union. (He had to transfer after 2 years so he could tend to his father with TB in Albuquerque).

The East Liverpool blog is called Ohio River Life ( It tends toward local and national politics, along with local history.

BANJO52 said...

Are you aware / do you care that Mt. Union is now a small college football powerhouse? Several national championships.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Thanks for the EL blog. I am gonna look RIGHT NOW!
Wonder if your dad knew mine? My dad attended in the early '50s.

Yes, know all abut the football glory - every year, we join about 40 other Mount alumni at a local brew pub to watch the Stagg Bowl. OK, this past one was rotten. Have met Coach Larry K. several times, including once when he introduced me & my dad to the current basketball team - and he gave me a championship ballcap for being the most fun fan in the crowd. What does that mean? More about you now!

FA said...

There's nobody like good 'ole midwest folk! And it sounds like you, Brenda, have the "spirit". You'll fit right in when you get to Wisconsin.