Monday, September 12, 2016

Saturday Challenge: Time Travel

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has given us another challenge this week: Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) If you could go back into the time machine and re-attend one family event that you were present at as a child, and would love to return to interview your relatives, what event would that be?

I don’t know what event I would go back to. Maybe just a Sunday afternoon visit with my grandparents or my mother and I going over and having lunch with them. I know from a letter I saw that my grandmother wrote to one of her sisters that Mom and I visited for lunch on occasion, but I have no recollection of it.

Alice Jennings Wooster (1893-1970), “Grandma”, was the only grandmother that I knew. Unfortunately, I barely remember Grandma. She passed a few days before I turned 5 years old. I have vague recollections of visiting their house and Mom sitting on the couch with her talking while I was trying to get Mom to play “Slap Jack” with me. Probably on later visits, I remember Mom going into the next room and visiting with her as she lay in bed and I had a vague understanding that she had broken her hip.

This is the person I would want to interview. I don’t think I would have any specific questions to ask her. Rather, I’d want her to just talk with me. Tell me the stories that she told her other grandchildren. And to tell about her adventures she had as a young woman. We know the facts that she went to nursing school at Long Island Hospital in Boston and then entered the service as an Army Nurse during World War I. There she met my grandfather. The details, the little stories and how she felt about what she was doing and about what was happening around her, though, has been lost to the ages.

She never talked much about her growing up in Ireland. Perhaps if I asked, though, she would tell stories about that to. If she were willing to talk, they would be a great thing to be able to record, and fill in more about her childhood than just the vague generalities that we know.

Overall, I would just like to have a chance to sit and talk with Grandma. As I was so young, I didn’t really get to know her or ever have a real conversation with her. In actuality, I would love to be able to travel back in time and talk with any one of my grandparents even just for an afternoon. Grandpa left us when I was just 10, so he too I really didn’t get to know, although I remember much more. My paternal grandparents were gone before I was born, so I have just the stories that I am fortunate enough to hear from older members of the family. Perhaps, in a way, hearing these stories is a way of going back in time and “meeting” these people. 

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