Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 1954

Before my parents bought their first house on Reiners Road in Little Falls, New Jersey, they lived in an apartment in Clifton. The apartment was on the 2nd floor of a house at 75 Gourley Avenue, and I think my father had been living there for several years prior to his marriage to my mom in 1952.

This is my brother in the photo and he was around 11 months old here. It was his first Christmas. By the next Christmas, my parents had moved into the Reiners Road house.

I recognize many of the ornaments on that tree - they were ones that we had throughout my childhood. And when we split up my parents' possessions after they died, I ended up with some of those ornaments. They are hanging on my tree now and I treasure them and the memories of many Christmases past.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Great-Aunt, Marion Grant Wood


I was setting out Christmas decorations yesterday and found these in the bottom of one of my boxes. Both are quite small lacquer metal trays, about 6" on the longest side. They have sepia-toned drawings (cut-outs from Christmas cards?) glued to the tray and painted on decoration. The trays are shellacked. I'm not really sure that they can be used for anything other than decoration. They were made by my great Aunt Marion years ago and were given to my parents at some time in the past.
My great aunt, Marion Mellor Grant,  was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island on the 27th of January 1898 to William Sprague Grant and his wife, Mary Helen Mellor. Marion and her twin brother, Howard Mellor Grant, were the younger siblings of my grandfather, Ralph Westcott Grant.

Aunt Marion was the wife of  George Henry Wood, Jr. They were married in 1920 in Central Falls and lived in the Grant home there until around 1939 when they moved to East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

When I was a kid, we would stop by Uncle George and Aunt Marion's house on our way to Cape Cod. It was from Aunt Marion that I learned alot of our family history but unfortunately I never took notes and was unable to recall much of what she had told me when I started doing genealogy years later. As a kid, it was just a jumble of names of people who I never knew and were no longer living. I remember her showing me many old family photographs, but to me at the time, they all looked the same - lots of  black and white photographs of stiff looking people dressed in what to me were formal and funny-looking clothes. Now I have all those photographs and wished I knew who was who in them. Aunt Marion did mark the names on some of them, but not all. I would give anything now to have ten minutes with her - I bet she could give me the answer to many of my brick walls! And I think she would be very pleased to know that even though alot of the family history didn't soak into me back when I was a kid, she did plant a seed in me. It just took many years to take hold.