Sunday, January 6, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1 - First

I've decided to join Amy Johnson Crow's 2019 challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  I haven't been successful in following through in the past, but some stories are better than none!  I hope you find these interesting, and if you think we might be related, let me know.

Week 1:  First

The first ancestor I met was my Grandma Verda.  She was my maternal Grandmother who lived in Dayton, Ohio when I met her at six years of age. We lived in San Diego County in a rural area with a mailing address of El Cajon.  I probably should say California, but most of you know that is where San Diego is located.  Mother (and I as a teenager and adult) exchanged letters and occasional phone calls with Grandma, but due to the distance, we didn't visit.  During the War years Grandma and my Aunt Dillie, Aunt Eleanor, and Uncle Ray came out to visit.  I have a photo of all of us on the beach, and I look like I'm about 1 year old so that would be 1944. As you might guess, I don't remember that meeting.

Dillie Weddle, Verda Strunk Weddle Jeffers, Eleanor Jeffers, Ray Jeffers standing, Gerry (me) and Ruth Patterson

The majority of people today are too young to remember when phone calls were expensive.  When families earned $200 - $300 per month, a $2 or $3 phone call was considered for special occasions or emergencies. In case anyone is interested, in the late 60's I worked for several months in the personnel office of our local Sears store.   I'll never forget seeing the wage history of one woman who had started working in 1948 and her starting pay was $.50 per hour.  Another First,   for me recognizing the changes over the years.

In 1948, Mother and I traveled to Dayton with some Sailors who were driving back east.  Ride Sharing was pretty common back then as well as picking up hitchhikers - especially Sailors in San Diego.  That was my first long Road Trip.  It was also the first time I visited my Grandmother and met my Step-Grandfather and my Mother's half brother and sister.

My Aunt was a petite little girl who was 11 years to my 5, and I was probably almost as tall as she was.  I definitely was the following summer when my family drove back to see them again.  My Uncle was a typical 13-year-old boy who didn't want to have much to do with his little niece.  I also probably embarrassed him by asking him to read to me.  That was my First experience with someone with learning difficulties.  Dyslexia wasn't a known condition at that time, and I'm sure it caused him a lot of problems.  I've never talked to him about it, but I've always believed that was his problem once I learned about dyslexia.


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