Saturday, October 13, 2007

History as it unfolds (Part I)

My mom and dad had my three brothers and me in 5 years. Four children in five years. We grew up pretty poor. I never felt that way though. My mother was very frugal and knew how to save money and stretch what she had and she also knew how to pray. She grew up during the depression years and World War II years and had went through times when food and gasoline were rationed. Her family was poor too, but better off than a lot of people. Her dad had a government job as a supervisor of the coal mines, so they had a car and a telephone when a lot of people did not. They also had very big gardens. She lived in southern Illinois and I guess you could say she was a coal miner's daughter. He got paid a pension for black lung later in life. He was a very strict man. Grandpa would doctor all nine of his children, gave them cod liver oil and swabbed their throats with iodine every winter whether they needed it or not. Mom's memories of this are not too happy, but she knew that he meant well. Grandpa ruled with an iron fist you might say, and she got some of that whether she needed it or not too. She says she got in trouble if the neighbor kids walked in his garden, she would get whipped. Life was pretty hard back then. Grandpa's mother's family was from Germany, the Kimmels. We are fifth cousins to Admiral Kimmel of Pearl Harbor fame. His great-great-grandpa and my (four) greats-grandpa were the same person.
I truly always thought my dad and mom had movie star good looks, like Paul Newman and Audrey Hepburn. My mom's name is Audrey. I thought my dad could do anything. I remember thinking that he could drive two cars at once, I think he gave me this idea. (he he) He spent several years in the army overseas in Germany during the Korean conflict and when he came home, he told my mom that he didn't want anyone bossing him around ever again.

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