Boating Grandparents

Photo of my husband’s grand- parents.
A beautiful couple in a romantic setting.

Row boating – in a full suit and pearls…I’d like to know more about that, but it was another era. From the picture, you might think their lives were full of picnics and ease. But I doubt it.

This grandfather worked at the Celanese, a manufacturing plant set up during World War I to produce cheaper fabric for airplane manufacturing. On a historical note: they located the plant inland to protect against Zeppelin attacks! From 1924 it employed thousands of workers and produced a fabric intended as an alternative to silk. We now call that alternative acetate (which I associate with linings that melt easily if the iron is even a bit too hot).

It probably wasn’t the healthiest environment and when my mother-in-law was 15, he died of a blood disease. Now I don’t believe you can ever really know your parents, even if they live long. But if one of them dies when you’re young, you don’t have the chance for them to become a person removed from their parental role, a removal that makes them more your friend. I see it as a separation of sorts, different from leaving home and good. In any case, my mother-in-law has a gap in her heart from this death that I can feel even today.

The grandmother in the picture is the one whose cat we now own and who took my husband bowling. I knew her and she was as lively as she appears in this picture. I can only assume she chose a wonderful man to match her personality. From this distance and given the old photo, I note he is handsome and I think my husband inherited his nose.

So…sending father’s day greetings to those living and dead. We love and, in the latter case, miss you.

(to those who got this twice – the page seemed to have gone belly up. My apologies..)

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