For My Mamma, And Her Mamma

The other night I was trying to remember the date my Gramma passed away. Today’s date, 2005. I think. Every year I question it because it is so hard to fathom that she died so close to Christmas. Died on the 15th, service on the 20th (?), then Christmas. Her favourite time of year.
At any rate, I was questioning it again so googled her name hoping to find it online. Cuz can’t you just find anything you could ever want online?
Apparently not, because I did not find any notes online about a service or obituary or anything.
What I did find, takes us back even further. Circa 1951. When my gram was a teenager. That’s her there, Viv Walker.Hilarious profile of her and her basketball team. The first time I had any inkling that my Gramma had been athletic was at her funeral. Her lady friends, a couple on this list actually, came and told stories about her basketball prowess. I was dumbfounded. My Gramma? An athlete? Awesome! And here, a tiny note in a tiny newspaper, archived digitally in just the past year, that just took my breath away. In a cool way.

And that was not all. I found this, a note of her contributing to the tiny little paper.And this, more feats of athletic prowess:Then a bit of scandal. Because who doesn’t love a bit of scandal?My Gramma, Vivian Walker, having Christmas with one Elwood Smith. This would eventually lead to a marriage (I think), the birth of my mother, and a divorce. The Grampa that I knew, was not this guy. Ah, I love me a good family scandal and if my Gramma was here now I would so totally be drilling her on all the details. To which she would change the subject and feed me her famous chocolate cake to shut me up. And it would work too dammit.

Time to fast forward 20 years shall we.That’s my mom, Lynn Smith though I never knew her as that since she used my Grampa’s surname, Kingelin which my Gramma Vivian is now under. Perhaps too scandalous (or complex) to fill a small space in the paper.

Still, I just love the insinuations and passive-aggressive tone to some of the goings on about town in the paper at this time. Just what is Mrs Scott up to then? You can bet the whole town knew.Do you think somebody is jealous here? Another holiday you say?This just made me laugh. Twins marrying brothers. How convenient. One wedding. Done. So efficient!Oh the days when you could get away with Whoopee Queens and report on their appendicitis tragedies… Sigh.And pay these prices:A time when becoming a Career Girl is headlined in bold.Just looking at these old ads make me smile. Because some things never change,while others really, really do.This story rings true to today’s hospital overcrowding. Yet the use of laundry hampers as bassinets and having to put the babies with their mothers takes us back to another time.But back to my gramma. She may have left that town, but she was never forgotten.A simple note on a woman with a not so simple life, reminding us of the beauty in friendships. BFF’s indeed.


5 thoughts on “For My Mamma, And Her Mamma

  1. Made me laugh, made me cry, made me remember! I knew(know) most of those names in the paper clippings. Hilarious! Hard to believe it is 6 years since sheGramma left.
    Never considered we had a family scandal but I guess we did!!! lol! I’ll give you more details sometime. It was definitely a different time.
    Thanks for the memories!

  2. Loved reading this Kari – I didn’t know your Grandma lived in Wells! Love how they reported on everything from a weekend visit to your health woes. And thankfully we all need a driver’s license now to drive! Nice research – might have to try some of that to see what I can dig up on my family. 🙂

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