This is my grandfather with some neighbor kids. This is the first time I've ever seen a picture of him. I think his name was John. Every man on my dad's side of the family seems to be named, Robert, John or William. My grandpa died when my dad was really young. I have no idea what killed him though.
Here is my grandmother and grandfather. My grandma was a six foot tall red head - that had to be kind of crazy at the beginning of the century. She was from Petaluma and was six months old during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Her dad had some money and owned a hotel on Lombard Street in San Francisco that he had to sell to the city so they could build the Golden Gate Bridge on that land.
Here they are again standing next to their really sweet ride. The story goes that my great grandfather didn't like my grandpa and never spoke to my grandmother again after she married him. There is a street in Petaluma named after us because my grandpa built all the houses on it.
Here is my grandma's wedding photo. During the Depression, my Grandpa lost his contracting business and moved the family to Chicago to learn how to be a mortician from his uncle. It was one of the few jobs with any kind of security in the 1930's. After my grandpa died, my grandmother took it over. She was one of the strongest women I've ever met.
By the time I was born, she had broken her hip and was on crutches for the rest of her life. When would act up, she would threaten to hit us with her crutch. Once when I was nineteen, I told my grandma how scared I was when she said that.
"You knew I was kidding, didn't you?" She asked.
"No. I thought you were serious. Why did you think I straightened up so fast?"
"Oh my. You must have thought I was a monster..." But I didn't. My siblings and I didn't have much structure or discipline when we were younger, so our grandmother's more stern and regal presence always seemed so novel.