Thursday, December 10, 2015

TBT: My Paternal Grandmother

My paternal Nana was a formidable woman. She was the child of Irish immigrants married to an Irish immigrant.  Over 6' tall, she ruled the house and also the bar she ran. As a child, I heard of it as Bubbie's Tavern. While she ran it when her husband was a coal miner, it was my other grandfather, also a coal miner but a Lithuanian immigrant,  who drank in it.  Not surprisingly back in the 1920s and 30s, this caused a lot of animosity between the two women who would become in laws when my parents married.  There was no love lost between my mother and her mother in law.

I imagine this photo was taken during or after WWII. It looks like a ship in the background but my father and his two brothers were all in the US Army and fortunately all survived. My Nana is the woman in the center, tall and with arms that could hoist beer barrels according to my late father. She was a lousy cook in my experience because when we would come up from MD to visit, I recall only soft boiled eggs with runny whites and a dismal rice pudding that you could drink rather than eat. She and an ever-present woman in the house, Annie Mac, who may have been a relative, sat in the kitchen always drinking endless cups of tea. This Nana also loved a 'rummage sale' and would usually have a supply of broken crayons for me. My mother considered this junk but it got me aways from the miserable food and happily drawing for the rest of our visit.

I only found this photo recently and have no living relatives who would know anything about it. But from this photo I can see that I'm glad I never crossed her. She was certainly a woman to be reckoned with.

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