I spent a day of spring break at my grandparents house. I grew up dumping flour and sugar into mixing bowls to make cookies, spreading frosting on cakes, and dropping dough into grease to make donuts. My grandma and I have baking days where we get together and bake lots of goodies. We have 70 fruit trees on our farm that my brother planted as an FFA project. One year we made 13 pies from scratch. It’s become a usual thing. This time over I baked a cream cheese pumpkin roll and a banana cream pie with my grandma.
When I got to my grandma’s she was cutting out obituaries from photo copies of newspapers from 1915 and 1930. We went down to her basement and spread out on the pool table was newspaper clippings, photos, letters, and family trees. She was sorting through tons of stuff my great grandma had and organizing it. Looking at the pictures was really cool, as was reading some of the handwritten letters. My great grandma’s cousin had written her from New York where he was a plastic surgeon. He had sent her some before and after pictures of some of his work. Some of it was nose jobs, removing eye puffiness or wrinkles, a boob lift, and separating the skin of a burn victim that had melted his skin on his chin to his neck, pulling his face downward. That was rather interesting. It made me think of how handwritten letters are a thing of the past. I used to love getting mail, whether it was my pen pal at school or a birthday card from aunts and uncles. Looking back at the letters to and from my great grandma or even the love notes my parents had written each other in high school, they are treasures. Will my kids or grandchildren enjoy looking back at my tweets and Facebook postings? Is it the same as a handwritten letter? Is it even comparable?
Another thing I enjoyed about seeing my grandma’s genealogy project was reading the old newspapers. The Fairfield Auxiliary paper on Thursday, January 30, 1930 had me laughing. The town’s jeweler/optometrist wrote a column called Ticker’s Tips and that week it was about a man who was in to pick out an engagement ring. “… From the look on his face as he went out, I guess he’s going ahead and do it. Anyway Mr. Jones showed him some mighty nice blue-white diamonds and he didn’t faint at the price.” In my county’s paper there is a section where each town can write about who had coffee with who, where people traveled, who their overnight guests were, etc. And I think it’s funny. Nothing like a small town and knowing everyone’s business, but then publishing it in the paper too. Well the papers from 1915 and 1930 had that too!