Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2 of My Favorite Books That You Won’t Find at Your Library

When I was organizing the basement this past month, I found 2 books that I had been wanting to re-read, but I didn’t know which box of books they were in. So now I’ve read them both again. The first is A Grandparent’s Book that my Grandpa William Hamilton (my mom’s father) filled out and gave me years back. Did he give it to me of all his grandchildren because I’m the oldest? No, I have one cousin who is older. Because I was his favorite? No. I didn’t ever notice any favoritism with my grandparents. It is because I had been bugging them for some stories about when they were younger for a family history book I wanted to put together (and never got enough info to do). I was so thrilled to get the book! And as I read it this week (just a few months after my grandpa passed away), I was again so glad that he took the time to fill it out for me. Even though I wish I would have even more information (and some photos), this is a treasure for me. Now I need to make copies of the information for my brothers and sisters (and cousins if they’re interested).

So many things were interesting to me. When he was 15, he got out of school an hour early so he could go to work as a gas station attendant, working 63 hours a week for $50 a month. He paid $7 a month to his parents for room and board. He also noted that a car cost $195, and you could make payments of $11 a month.

Besides being interesting, it was funny. Toward the beginning, my grandpa wrote “Many of my answers seem flippant, but so do I.” Yep, I could definitely hear him answering as I read the book. Silly and joking, just like always. Like what?

“What was my parent’s favorite food when she/he was a teenager? Wedding cake—well, she married early.” She was 17 when she was married.

“Have you ever been very wealthy? Yes. I once owned 2 watches.”

“What are your thoughts and memories of the ‘Sputnik’ launch by the Soviet Union? Wow! They showed us how the skunk ate the cabbage, didn’t they?”

And here’s the beginning of a poem he wrote about his travels:
“From coast to coast
And border to border
The restroom’s always
Out of order.
I fill’er up and
Go on again
Looking in vain for
A door marked ‘men’.”

There were also parts that made me cry, remembering him, and especially reading the “Religion” section. My mother always told me that when she was young, her parents had church services in their home, but as I was growing up, my grandparents never talked about religion or went to any church. My parents are both converts (before I was born) and no one in either one of their families has joined the church. So for all baptisms, etc. we had no extended family attending. But I enjoyed reading his answers and knowing his favorite scriptures especially.
The other book was one I wrote when I was 12 years old. I interviewed my Grandma Boots. Well, we always called her Grandma Boots, but her name was Coredith Booso. A few short years after this interview, my grandma passed away so I’m happy I had the opportunity to do this. I also interviewed my parents for a chapter on each of them. Unfortunately, none of the chapters are very long or have much information.

My grandmother’s chapter talks about how she and many other young women wore leg make-up to make their legs look tan and that she had a crush on one of her substitute teachers so she stayed after school for “help”.

I am so glad that I have these, but I’ve decided that I don’t have enough. I still have a grandmother and a grandfather who I can learn things from. And I have decided (surprise, Mom & Dad!) that on Thanksgiving, my children are going to interview my parents with their own questions on video so I can make copies of it on DVD for all their grandchildren.

Just before I end, I thought this would be funny for my parents to read---in the book I wrote, at the beginning of Dad’s chapter I wrote, “In my opinion, my dad’s childhood was pretty good.” (Without going into detail, many parts of his childhood were not ideal. I didn’t learn that until later.)


  1. What a character he was! I sure miss him...and G'ma Boots. Looking forward to getting a copy of his "book".

  2. Oh this is priceless. I wish I had something like this from my grandparents...although I do have both their life stories that my mom wrote about them. What a great idea to make a video your parents tomorrow!!

  3. So I guess this means I have to make sure I have my hair done and have makeup on, right? Well, I wouldn't want me on a videotape without those being taken care of anyway.

    Seriously, I am looking forward to seeing this too. Would you mind making me a copy too? I am so glad you did that. I ought to have done that too, and as you said, you still have two grandparents living.

    Thanks, Valerie! I love you!


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