As I have been scrapbooking mine and Mac's family histories I realized how few pictures I had of my Mother. She was always very camera shy, maybe that's where I got it from. But there was one studio portrait of her as a young woman and my younger sister Sue has sent me a copy of it. And even better than that she sent me the only the picture I've ever seen of my Mom, her brother Bill and her sister Betty as children.
They grew up very poor in rural Oklahoma in the 1920's and moved on to California in the 1930's with other poor Okies. She and my Uncle Bill always said that "The Grapes of Wrath" could have been their story.
My Uncle Bill, who was an author, wrote in his last unpublished book about their poverty, entitling one of the chapters, A Time of Dirt. They had been left so destitute that they had actually eaten dirt.
My Mom only went as far as the 8th grade in school, dropping out because she had no shoes to wear and needing to work. Though unschooled I wouldn't have called her uneducated, she always had a book in hand and our house was always filled with books, magazines and newspapers.
My Mother was a shy person, not very outgoing, with an edge of sadness about her. I remember her singing a lot when I was young , a favorite must have been Mersy Doats a nonsense song from the 1940's because it's the song I remember her singing the most.
She liked people but made few friends, my Dad was the outgoing friend maker. People interested her and she always said that her ideal job would be at a busy airport or train station where she could watch people from around the world hurrying on their way.
In her lifetime she was an Avon lady, Dairy Queen worker, a restaurant cook and then restaurant owner and finally had her own convenience store and gas station.
She was born in 1922 in Marble, Oklahoma, moved to California where she married my Father in 1944 and died in Vian, Oklahoma in 1993.