Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Grandpa met Flo in California. She was a salesgirl of 35 in a fancy ladies ready-to-wear. She'd never been married, so never did have any children of her own. After all raising Daddy was a new experience and then there were always the times they had Ila. Life turned around for Grandpa with Flo. She made a real successful businessman out of him, from used cars to real estate he always did well. In their later years, they did a lot of fishing, especially in Arkansas where they loved to drive. They also loved baseball and having me come to visit when school let out for the summer. Mother would put me on a bus. The driver would take me to Los Angeles and drop me off with instructions to get on the streetcar. At the end of the streetcar ride waited by grandpa and PoPo. I somehow made Po out of Flo when I was little and she was forever my wonderful PoPo until the day she died from a broken hip back home again in Boise, Idaho. My summers at Grandpa and PoPo's were full of baseball games, shopping for me, fishing and Grandpa making popcorn in the evening. Popo loved to curl my very short hair with her curling iron and I loved sleeping in the big bed in the spare bedroom with the pink satin comforter.

I thank God Mom had PoPo in her life, someone who would treat her special and take her shopping when her own mother made her wear feed sacks to school and loved her beer more than she loved her children. Mom loved PoPo and went to visit her in Idaho many times when I was a girl.
When I was 12 years old Mom took my brother and I on a Greyhound bus to Boise and we spent a week with PoPo. That was quite an adventure. It was a 3 day trip. In the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere the bus hit and killed a horse. We had to wait for hours for another bus to arrive and take all the passengers on the Boise. The photo above was taken on that trip. From the left are PoPo, her sister Muriel, me and my brother Gary.

The last line of her entry brings tears to my eyes because mom always loved to brush my hair and curl it with a curling iron, even when I was well into my 30s. She gave me a permanent wave every few months when I was a little girl. One of my last memories with mom is brushing her hair in the hospital as she lay dying from cancer. As you can see in the photo above taken 3 weeks before her death with my stepdad Frank, she still had hair in spite of all the chemotherapy she had been given for 2 years, but as I brushed her hair in those last days, it came out in clumps in the brush. I cried.

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