Category Archives: USA
May 20th, 2016
My mother was born on May 5th, 1917, in Rochester, New York. Her parents both emigrated from Eastern Europe lured by the promise of a better life. Her father, Abraham Kay (born Kosovsky), came from Minsk, Bylorussia in 1911, and her mother, Edith Garelick, from Poland in 1913. They were married in New York City on December 22, 1913, when Abe was 19 and Edith was 17. Read the rest of this entry »
April 16th, 2015
My mom was born Allison Jean Swift in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, on November 28, 1914. Her father, Arthur Swift, worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and mother Ethel worked in the home. They lived not too far from the station, in a small house with a porch and yard. Mom was an only child. Just before it was torn down, Mom and her dad went to the old railway station and liberated a beautiful carved table that was going to go for scrap. It was her pride and joy, with a hand carved pedestal and four large curved and carved feet on wheels. I have it in my dining room today, and it always evokes memories in me of her clandestine adventure. Arthur Swift died on November 27, 1930, and Ethel died on May 17, 1937. Read the rest of this entry »
April 16th, 2015
Momma, Carey Margaret, was born in 1914 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her mother was married to a man who, at 65, was 30 years older than she. There was already a sister, five, and a brother, nine. When she was two, her mother died of tuberculosis. Her father, feeling he could not care properly for the children, put them into an orphanage and visited them regularly. The institution served both as a foster home and an orphanage. Momma thinks she may have one memory of her mother – of someone with red hair (like her own) leaning over into her crib.
After three years her father moved the children to a different orphanage. He told them he did so because he realized, when he visited the original one, that he had not heard children laughing. In fact, one of the ways children who wet the bed were punished there was to be plunged in a large tub of freezing water the next morning. Read the rest of this entry »
November 28th, 2014
My mother died on a Tuesday in September of a massive pulmonary embolism. She collapsed to her knees and took her last breath at the age of fifty-three. She had been born with a particular set of challenges and had augmented those challenges with poor choices. Read the rest of this entry »
October 11th, 2011
The year was 1898 in the town of Great Falls Montana U.S.A. A baby girl was born to Hugh and Julia Jackson. This wee baby weighing 3lbs 10 oz was baptized Elsie Harlow, a sister to Pearl. After bringing Elsie home from hospital her devoted parents kept her warm and cozy in their little kitchen beside the coal and wood stove. She began to gain a little weight and would one day reach the height of 5 feet and weigh 98 pounds. Elsie and Pearls parents were Salvation Army officers. When Elsie and Pearl were three and five years old they were ready to join their parents on the carriers of their bicycles to ride from village to village to feed the hungry and save a few souls; “Remember the little drum and the tambourine called Dad” .We had fun riding on the bikes and playing the drums and the tambourine at each stop we made”. After three years of biking from town to town the family moved to Vancouver B.C. Read the rest of this entry »
June 8th, 2008
My mother was born in 1911 in a tiny rural town settled on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina. When she was eight her parents and their four children moved to Windsor, Ontario, and later to Detroit across the river, where two more children were born.
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April 28th, 2008
I never met my mother until I was 45 years old and only knew her for thirteen years. I was adopted as a child and spent a life long search for her. I found out I was adopted when I was 12 years old and made a vow that I would find my mother if it was the last thing that I ever did. After years of searching and a lot of dead ends, my vow to myself finally came true.
January 19th, 2008
In another culture, she’d have been called ‘chippy’ or ‘cheeky’. Her family thought of her as vibrant, energetic, and fun. Brooklyn born in 1920, Ruth Berlin thrived on her East European Jewish families’ love. Her father, born Saul Gorodoevski, became Gordievsky, then Gordon, via Ellis Island’s name editing tradition. Saul (or Chaim, or Jamie), was brilliant and scholarly. A fashion designer, he overcame immigrant barriers, later taking the professional name James Gordon. Ruth’s beautiful mother Henrietta was rumoured to descend from gypsy queens. Read the rest of this entry »
July 12th, 2005
I am writing to you and about you on my birthday. My first birthday with my daughter. I am surely blessed. Where do I start?
I just want to tell you I miss you. You would like Sapphire Mignon. When she smiles at me my heart explodes and all is perfect. All is as it should be. How did you feel when I was born? Read the rest of this entry »