Sunday, November 20, 2016

Roots, We want to hear about your family

To really understand a person, it helps to know where they came from.  Some people grow into their family history, some grow away from it, in both cases the past shapes who we are and what we do.  To truly know a person, you need to know a little about their family. Hence my Sunday Five questions this week. 

1: Where are you from? 
2: Where was your mother born and describe her parents?  
3: Where was your father born and describe his parents? 
4: What did you parents do for a living? 
5: Describe your siblings? 

My Answers:
1: Where I am from is a complicated answer, I was born in Michigan, went to part of the first grade in Phoenix, I split high school between Michigan and Florida.  I have lived in five states. I spent most of childhood on an 80 acre funny farm, about 70 miles north of Detroit.   

2: My mother was born in very rural Michigan, north of Lansing.  Her parents were subsistence farmers,  her father supplemented his income as a shovel or drag-line operator. My mother was a teenager when they had electricity in the house for the first time. Neither of her parents went to school beyond the 8th grade.  

3: My father was born in the suburbs of Detroit. His mother was born in London, his father in rural Illinois near St Louis.  His father's family moved to Detroit to work in the factories, his mother's father was in Detroit working on a tunnel project when they met.  My grandmother worked in an office during WW-II (and liked it) my grandfather worked for Ford for 30 years and then let his hobby of beekeeping become a his life's work as a farmer. 

4: My mother liked to work outside the home, she moved the city after high school and worked in a bank and later in the payroll department at Chrysler until my brothers were born,  she went back to work in an office when I was about 10, worked on the farm with my father and worked in retail after "retirement."  My father started out as a machinist, and followed his father onto the honey farm / funny farm. We had livestock, millions of bees - nothing else on the farm.  After he "retired" he worked as a parts buyer in a cruise-missile factory for a few years.  My father quit school during World War II and went to work, and into the Army near the end of the War, he passed the GED after I finished high school.  

5: I am the youngest of four children.  My oldest brother, who turns 65 this month, was in the Navy, worked in ship yards, and then in IT, he has a BA and an MBA.  My middle brother drives a truck for Disney, he has worked for the rat for about 40 years.  He had some developmental issues and has done really well with his life.  My sister, is about 2 years older than I am.  She finished high school and stayed in Michigan, she has two adult sons, she has worked hard doing everything from farm labor, to factories, to care giving, to office manager in car dealerships, she earned her BA about the time she quit working.  She married her high school sweetheart a couple of years ago, her second marriage, his fourth I think.  


  1. 1. I was born in Pasadena, CA and lived there (San Marino) until I was 17, when my father was transferred to San Diego. I changed schools for my senior year - hated it at the time but it turned out to be a very good experience in the end.

    2. My mom was also born in Pasadena and grew up in San Marino. Mom got a degree in botany from Colorado College, and studied anthropology in Arizona, where she met my dad. Her mother was born on a farm in Illinois, near the Wisconsin border, and moved to SoCal in her early 20s. She was a professional whistler for a while! My grandfather was born in a sod house in Nebraska in 1887, but moved to SoCal when he was a boy. He had polio at age 11 and had to walk with crutches for the rest of his life, but put himself through USC, and opened his own successful insurance business. He was an amazing man, very inspirational.

    2. My father was born on a farm in Westfield, IN, the 4th of 8 children. His father headed the DMV in Indianapolis, which probably saved the family during the depression, although they still struggled. My grandmother was born and lived in the Westfield area her whole life. She was one of three sisters who were considered the most beautiful in the county. She was also an outstanding cook, and was famous for her yeast biscuits.

    4. My father served as an officer in the navy in the Pacific during WWII, and then stayed in the reserves afterwards for 24 years, retiring as a commander. With his GI bill benefits he earned a degree in business at the University of Arizona, and worked in accounting the rest of his life. He started out at GMAC, and was responsible for approving credit for car loans and ordering repossessions. We heard of several famous people over the years that had cars repossessed! My mom also served in the navy during WWII, as an aerographer's mate (weather forecaster). After graduating from college, she pursued a degree in anthropology focusing on SW Native American tribes, but met my dad and got married instead of finishing her degree. She taught biology and math for many years in San Marino (I had her for a teacher one term!), and then she went into accounting, working for a real estate firm that managed several large apartment complexes.

    5. I am the second of four children. I have an older brother, 66, who earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island; he's lived and worked as an oceanographer in Australia for nearly 40 years. He and his wife have two adult daughters, both professionals. My younger sister, 62, speaks fluent Spanish and has taught at the University level for nearly 20 years; she is semi-retired now. She has four children - 3 girls and one boy, and 3 grandchildren. My younger brother died 11 years ago at age 47, from ALS; he lived with the disease for nearly 8 years before he passed away. He was an exceptional athlete, a professional golfer, and worked for many years as a teaching pro at clubs in the Denver area. He has two boys, both in their 30s now. I am estranged from my brother and sister - long story, but my choice, and life is easier for me this way. We only communicate when there's news about my mom, who lives in memory care near my sister in Colorado.

  2. 1: born and bred philadelphian and damn proud of it!

    2: mother - born in philadelphia in 1932. her parents were the best! grandmom taught me to cook and knit, grandpop taught me about baseball. and they loved all 6 of their grandkids.

    3: father - born in philadelphia in 1926. I never knew grandpop, since he died when I was 4; I have no memories of him at all. grandmom was a bitch, hated us, never wanted to be around us. the best day was when she died.

    4: mother graduated high school and got married; she never worked. father was an electrical engineer; he built mainframe computers for honeywell (the kind that took up entire rooms back then). he retired in 1985.

    5: I have one younger sister, born in 1959. she is a bitch and I want nothing to do with her.

  3. 1. NJ
    2. My mother was born in NJ and so was her mother. Her father was born in Sicily and came here when he was 3. My grandmother was crazy in a fun way. I never knew my grandfather.
    3. My father was born in NJ and so was his father. His mother was born in Germany and came here when she was young, but I'm not sure how old. Maybe 10. Maybe younger. My grandmother was probably the best all-around person I've ever known. I never knew my grandfather.
    4. My mother worked as a receptionist in a doctor's office and then for a periodontist. My father was a homicide detective.
    5. My sister is 6 years older. We are friendly but quite different from each other in many ways.

  4. 1 where am I from? Why mu mother of course!

    My mother was born in Harrisburg. Her parents were both born in Czechoslovakia and immigrated here when they were both yonger. They were like second parents to me.

    My father was born in NYC. His fathers aide of the family was from Holland and his mothers side was from Ireland. They were both born here, both in upstate New York. They were both passed before I was born. My grandmother died first. I'm told my grandfather died months later from a broken heart. Many of my dads sdie say they were inseparable.

    my mother firsted worked at a luxury department store in Harrisburg named Mary Sachs as the elevator girl, then ended up working as a Executive Secretary for a head honcho for the Federal Government the rest of her time till she retired. She still works three days a week as a receptionist at a health rehabilitation hospital to keep busy. She's says it keeps me young and alert. My father went to work for his uncle's Wall Street firm, then sent to run a branch of it on Carlisle PA. He later became the company treasurer for another company that was into major road construction equipment till he retired.

    I'm one of those only children!!!!! My parents only hatched me! I do however have a half brother and sister as my dad was married once before. Them being much older, we never did much together. But we were as close as could be I suppose. Currently I see my half sis who lives in dc a couple times a year. But my half brother haven't seen for years now since he had a nervous breakdown.

  5. 1) I was born and raised in Roanoke Virginia. Left there for love at 26 years of age and haven't ever thought of going back now that I know better.
    2) My mother was born and raised in SE Missouri, they call it the boot heel, smack between the Mississippi and Arkansas. Her father was a poor cotton farmer who never owned the land he farmed and I don't remember him as he died when I was very young, her mother died the year I was born. Both were aooarently uneducated and as my father put it were "backward" which is saying a lot since he was raised in hillbilly country.
    3) My father was from Troutville VA in Botetourt County right outside of Roanoke VA. His mother was a Martin from West Virginia. His father from Troutville. His father's family were immigrants that worked picking apples on other people's farms, his father became an Oliver tractor dealer in the region eventually owning his own dealership. His parents divorced the year I was born and his father retired to Orlando FL with his secretary. I grew up visiting them and loved them both. They used to drop me and whatever friend I brought with me off at the gate to The newly opened Disney World all by ourselves and let us entertain ourselves all day without adult supervision (this was circa 1973). Dad's mother lived in the house he grew up in all by herself, she was a bitter old woman who always hard hard candy in a dish in the dining room. I got that dish when she died.
    4) Dad was in the Air Force in the early 1950s and was stationed as a cadet near my mother's home in Missouri. They married after discovering she was pregnant and my oldest brother was born while they lived in Las Vegas when dad was at Nellis becoming a flight instructor along side Buzz Aldron (man did I hear that story a lot) in the F-86 Sabre. Buzz answered the call for NASA, dad got out of the service to help his father's business. Dad didn't last long working with his father and spent most of his working years either as a salesman or a handyman. My mother started working for the Roanoke department of Parks and Recreation in 1960 as a baton teacher and still works for the Dept Of Parks and Rec at a senior center to this day serving lunch to seniors some of whom are younger than she. She's 84 and has no plans to quit even though she can afford to. She's the oldest and longest working eployee of The City of Roanoke working there 56 years far. Dad passed away September 2015, mom is young at heart and inspiring everyone she meets. I can't take her anywhere in that town that someone doesn't come up and tell her hello and thank her for something she did for them. Neither parent had education past high school.
    5) I am the youngest of three boys, the oldest passed away just a couple months ago from liver disease secondary to alcoholism. He went to work for the City of Roanoke straight outta high school at age 18, retired at the earliest year he could and drank himself to death. He has one son out of wedlock that he never had anything to do with who now lives here in San Diego near me. His son is the spitting image of his dad, I love my nephew but his dad was never really close to me. My middle brother is the classic family son and we were always close. He always wanted a younger brother before I was born. It showed in how he cared for me as we grew up. He was never close to our older brother either. He had three kids in the classic suburban ranch with his high school sweetheart he married after dating for 10 years. He has always been a salesman and still is today selling fuel to independent gas stations from North Carolina into Maryland. If you ever buy fuel at an independent in the Washington DC area you very likely are buying his gasoline. His kids all have bachelors degrees and all three have kids of their own. He and I both have associate degrees, we were the first ones to have any education past high school.

  6. 1: I was born in Mississippi, but grew up in California; I lived a while in Hawaii--aloha Maui--and then lived in Florida and now live in South Carolina.

    2: My mother was born in Vernon Texas; her mother was not a nice woman, very much a hypocrite who preached one thing and did another; I didn't meet my mother's father until i was eighteen and he appeared at our house for a visit and then I never saw him again. My mother's father murdered a man after coming home from work and finding his wife, and the man, in a "compromising" position. My mother's mother remarried and that's the grandfather I knew.

    3: My father was born in San Francisco; I never knew his father, though I am named after him and my dad, because he died before I was born. My dad's mother was born in San Francisco a month after the 1906 earthquake--yes, my great-grandmother was eight month's pregnant during The Big One--and my Dad's mother was tiny, about five feet tall, but quite a pistol. I loved her immensely.

    4: My father was an aircraft technician in the Air Force and then became a high school science/chemistry teacher; then he owned a small deli high in the Sierras in California; my mother was a stay-at-home wife until my dad retired from the AF and while he was getting his degree she worked as a nurse.

    5: My sister, who passed away nearly three years ago, was the exact opposite of me which is probably why I loved her to pieces; she worked for many years in the admissions department of a hospital. She was feisty and opinionated and outgoing. My brother and I have a more tenuous relationship though it's better now than in the past. He taught school for a while and is now a pot farmer in California.


  7. 1: Where are you from?
    Born 5 miles from Trelawnyd St Asaph
    2: Where was your mother born and describe her parents?
    My mother was born in liverpool ofworking class parents
    3: Where was your father born and describe his parents?
    He was born in wales of lover middle class parents
    4: What did you parents do for a living?
    Housewife and company director
    5: Describe your siblings?
    Elder sister ( the entrepreneur) brother ( died) twin sister

    My Answers:

  8. Anonymous11/20/2016

    I grew up on Bromley. It's in the county of Kent. It's on the outskirts of London but when I was growing up it might as well have been on Pluto.
    My mother is from a well to do family in North London, my father is from a salt of the earth family from South London.
    My parent got divorced when I was 10. My mother still calls it the happiest day of her life. She has never remarried but she dates very young men. I am hoping for a hot step Dad.
    My father has had 4 marriages, including my mother, and I have loved all of my step mothers. In fact I see more or them than I do of him. They have been perfectly well rounded women and I am not talking about their weight. My father is currently single but God loves a trier.
    My mother never worked but my Dad had his own business.
    I have no siblings but if Anne Marie would like to be my sister I'll have her by proxy.

    1. I will take you up on that offer, luv! I never had a brother!

  9. 1: I hail from MI, land of perpetual snow and ice.
    2: Where was your mother born and describe her parents? She was born in Newaygo County MI. Her parents were small town folks who ran their own insurance agency.
    3: Where was your father born and describe his parents? Birmingham MI, grandfather was a judge.
    4: What did you parents do for a living? Attorney and housewife
    5: Describe your siblings? four brothers, well over four feet.

  10. I was going to comment on this post but it turned into a book so I'll spare everyone. lolz