A line of independent women

A lot of my writing will center around the women who have mentored me through life.  I  may have admired men, but the women in my life let me know anything was possible because they made me possible in their choices and decisions.  For me – the real beginning starts with Bridget Spellman (I will need to confirm that on ancestry, but I believe it was Spellman).  A girl, in Ireland, who came to the United States for some reason.  There was a young man named Eugene Wasserman. A nice jewish boy in Paris.  He decided to journey to the United States for some reason.  Some how, some where, those two people met and fell in love, produced 9 children (or was it 11) … and my father’s family started.

That *coincidental* journey of two people just awes me.

My mother’s family emigrated to the United States in the very early 1800’s.  I would ask for more information, like what happened to make them decide to leave their native country… it’s not like they were sitting around the dinner table on Thursday night and said, “oh hey, you busy next week.  Let’s sail to that new country…”

However PBS had a fabulous documentary on the various groups of people who emigrated … and the number of young, single, irish, women was incredible – I believe 2:1 (2 irish women to every 1 irish man).  They also were the fewest to return to their native country.  Pretty amazing.

I jokingly said to my mother one night, after her reminiscing about my grandmother and great aunts, “and anyone should wonder why I am the way I am and my  life is my life… look at the stock I came from…”


Written January 23, 2010

Mother’s influence their children – hopefully in a positive way.  My mother and I had an interesting relationship – very often combative, and some times, even estranged.  My mother was a strong presence, both positive and negative, and always interesting.  I came from a line of independent women dating back to the last century.  I was regaled with stories about my grandmother, who was born in 1888, the year of the Great Blizzard.  My grandmother, when of age, worked as a “board operator”.  She was one of those on skates you see pictures of.  The big board … and she started with The New York Telephone in or about 1907.  She was quite social and, to my knowledge, a flirt.  She used to give her name and, yes, telephone number, to guys … and eventually became engaged to a person named Frank.  My grandmother’s best friend was Jewish.  Molly.  Molly and Mae hung out all the time together and Frank, at some point during the relationship, made the mistake of telling my grandmother that once they got married, he would like it if she would stop associating with Molly.  My grandmother, according to the records, told Frank “The day you tell me who my friends are, there will be pink bluebirds.” and broke her engagement.  That same year, my grandfather (to be) became a New York City Policeman.  Over the next two years, engaged to someone else, was assigned a beat (in those days they walked or rode a horse) – and my grandfather’s put him in line to meet my grandmother on her way out of the telephone company every night.  It didn’t take long for my grandfather to fall in love with my very independent grandmother, and he broke his engagement.  So that’s were my story begins… because that led to my mother, and then me.  My grandfather nicknamed her “The Yankee Clipper” after the ship because of her gracefulness.  Her hair was mahogany colored and she wore it Gibson style. My grandmother kept her hair long until her death… and I have pictures of it laying on the pillow as she slept, shortly before she died.

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