I didn’t know her all that well because she died when I was 11 or so. But I know she was the type of person who played favorites, which I am not. But I was the lucky recipient of that favoritism, so I guess I can’t complain. She was insanely stylish and I aspire to that, but have never really achieved it. I remember helping clean out her closet to come across suede slouch boots and zebra print pumps. She was about 70 when she died. Who wears zebra pumps at 70? My grandma, that’s who.
I think I’m more like her in terms of loving the spotlight. I got into acting as a kid and all through high school. We have pictures of her acting in school plays, costumed up and everything. She was also a really strong, stubborn woman and I definitely have that streak in me. She ran for the school board in the late 50s and, though she didn’t win, people in the area I met remembered her 50 years later for her tenacity. She came from a long line of college educated women, including her mother (and grandmother!). Being her favorite grandchild, I was lucky that she wanted to make sure I too got a solid college education and looked out for my education, financially.
She died of emphysema. She smoked since she was 16 years old. I remember sitting and watching her smoke while we played cards and I’d watch the smoke spiral and curl to the ceiling. This was before all that second hand smoke stuff… She wasn’t one of those grandmothers who baked, but she always had See’s candy and Chips Ahoy in the house for us as a treat.
February 10, 2011