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Entry date: 3-15-2023 - Beware the Ides of March - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

March 15 is a day that makes me think of my grandmother, Val. She was my dad's mom and she's was pretty darn awesome. Gramma Val was a backseat driver with no equal. I remember hearing my dad complain about this as I grew up and then got to experience it as an adult. Gramma knew the way she wanted to go and if you deviated from that route, she would tell you.

Aside from that, though, Gramma was special to me because with her, you always knew you were loved. There were no games or drama with Gramma. She just loved you and that was that. I'm sure my dad and my aunt and uncles could probably tell some stories about her being upset with them or situations, but I never knew Gramma to be too mad about anything.

I know it bummed her out that my dad and I were estranged for a long time, but she never gave me a hard time about it or said too much when I would go visit her and my grandfather. I wish I would have done a better job of that, but there is not much I can do about that now. It was awesome to see her be such a wonderful great grandmother to our kids, too. They all just loved her.

In a few months, it will be ten years since she died. It's hard to believe so much time has passed. I think of her often, though, and those thoughts are nothing but pleasant and kind and full of gratitude. Growing up, I certainly enjoyed my time with Gramma and Grandpa. They were involved in my life but also had a life of their own and I have a lot of respect for that.

Gramma liked to travel. They were often going back to Cleveland to see the family there. She went to California a lot, too, with various parts of the family. I know we did at least one California trip when I was a kid, too. I would go fishing sometimes and camping with my grandpa and dad, too.

Gramma came over from the UK and settled in the Cleveland area when she was a young'un. Teens, I think, but I could be wrong on that. There were Morgan's on her side of the family and she enjoyed telling me about how we were relatives of the actual Captain Morgan. Henry Morgan would have been an uncle of hers (and mine). Not sure how many grands would be in front of that, but probably about 10 or so.

She and Grandpa followed Gramma's parents out here to Phoenix sometime around 1960 or so, I think. I need to learn more about how all that came about as I am curious. I remember hearing bits and pieces of things about all those days and family history. I would like to write it all down so the kids will know if they are ever wondering.

Rhondi is really wonderful about keeping track of the genealogy, too, but I'd like to know some stories. I bet there are some good ones. Gramma worked for JC Penney for a long time, but I'm not exactly sure what she did. I know she worked downtown and then, before she retired, worked at Park Central, but it wasn't in the store, I don't think. More questions for me to ask.

I have a really wonderful memory of my grandparents celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. My dad worked for Gannett Outdoor (and it could have been Eller at that point, too, but I don't think so) and he and my aunts and uncles got a billboard put up near their house that wished them a happy 40th. I remember going down there as one big family to take pictures. Gramma was so proud of it, if I remember correctly.

So I sit here and think of Gramma today.

Much love to her and all of those who miss her.


Mary will be back tomorrow.

See you then.

There she is.

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