My mom sent me some random emails and text messages this week to pass on some stories recounted by my Grandparents in a spontaneous fit of remembering. I was going to spin a Friday Flashback around them somehow, but it’s taking too long to concoct that and I want to get them archived on here before I forget/lose them in the mayhem that is iOS 7 on my phone. So, here goes…
[WITH DEEP, HEARTFELT, MUNGA-ESQUE EMOTION…]
When Grandpa Sam was little, he rode his bike all the way from his house on Labelle Street and Livernois to Mt. Olivet Cemetery because he wanted to see his dad’s grave, which was 5.5 miles! He doesn’t remember how long it took him to get there or what he did when he got there. Or how he got home.
I’m not sure what “when he was little” qualifies as, but my grandfather was only five when his father died, so he might have indeed been really little! Having lost my own father young – but at least old enough to be in driver’s ed at the time – I fully respect his epic journey.
By the way, here’s a map of the neighborhood in Detroit on Labelle nearest Livernois, to Mt. Olivet Cemetery…
Which is actually a little over 6 miles away, according to Google. AND ON THE EAST SIDE. Those of you not from Detroit have no idea what that means, but Grandpa Sam basically rode his bike to the other side of the world. And let’s not forget, this is the Motor City. Even in 1934, there were no bike lanes, people.
[RESUME DEEP, HEARTFELT, MUNGA-ESQUE EMOTION…]
I think Angel hair is this stuff (found it for sale at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan, of all places)? Seems like something that would be all the rage amongst the immigrant poor in America.
But anyway, I love this story because it reinforces the image I have of my grandmother as a strong-willed little girl who I like to think I took after… My sister and I cherish another story she told us years ago about demanding a real American birthday cake for her eighth birthday in Sicily, and her family (having never seen a birthday cake) obliged by baking her a loaf of bread and sticking a candle in it. She cried.
So thank you, Munga, for sharing your afternoon of remembrance with me.
Now – here’s why Munga rocks…
After reminiscing with the grandparents, she decided to then put them in the car (eek! the car…) and take them for a drive (you mean, out of the house? yes… OUT OF THE HOUSE), to see some of the places in their memories.
Now, I don’t know if they’ll remember how long it took them to get there or what they did when they got there. Or how they got home. But I know Munga is glad they went.