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A Genealogist In The Archives: My Grandmothers Taught Me to Have Fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

My Grandmothers Taught Me to Have Fun!

This past Sunday, September 13th, was National Grandparent's Day!

It got me to thinking about both of my Grandmothers and remembering something fun they both taught me. 

Grandma Agnes (left) and Grandma Ida (right), ca. 1968

My Grandmother on my Mom's side of the family, Ida Kathryn (Drummond) Bartram (1922-2012) was the Grandma that I didn't live near until about 5 years before she died. My Dad was in the Air Force, so we lived away from my Grandma and Grandpa Bartram.

Grandma Ida, as I called her, taught me how to "bird dog". To her, "bird dog" meant to scan the area where you are walking for coins, buttons, or just anything that you might find. My Grandma loved to walk for exercise and she would find and pick-up all kinds of things when she would walk and "bird dog". Grandma Ida taught me how to "bird dog" when I went to stay with her and Grandpa Bart one Summer. She and I would walk to the coffee shop every day that was located a few blocks away from her home in Mogadore, Ohio. As we walked, we would scan the sidewalk to see what we could find. 

From that Summer until now, I "bird dog" everywhere I go and I remember my Grandma Ida when I do it.

Grandma Ida with Me, ca. 1969

My other Grandmother on my Dad's side was Agnes Marie (Curtis) LeMaster (1920-1988). She was very special to me because she came to live with my family when I was 3-years old in 1972 after the passing of her husband and my Grandfather Cody Lee LeMaster (1909-1972). She lived with our family until her death which was 2-months after I had married.

Grandma Agnes taught me how to play Bingo! She loved to play Bingo and never missed a chance to visit the Bingo hall. When I was old enough, she would take me with her to the local VFW to play. One time they even had "Kiddie Bingo" where the kids could play and instead of winning money, whoever won could choose from toys that were donated. My Grandma and I had so much fun playing Bingo but also spending time together. Not long after Grandma Agnes died, they stopped allowing Bingo to be played in Tennessee for money. When that happened, I remember thinking, "If Grandma Agnes was still alive, she would be so mad". Whenever I see something on TV about Bingo or hear it in other circles, I think of my Grandma Agnes and how much fun we had.

Grandpa Cody and Grandma Agnes, ca. 1967

I have learned so much from my Grandmothers over the years. But these two things that I learned from them were fun and I now have wonderful memories to share with my daughter and grandson.


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  1. I enjoyed reading about your grandmothers and seeing the old pictures. Very sweet stories, Melissa.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it. I think it's important to try to remember and document stories like this for our genealogy. Thank You for reading my blog!