October 14, 2012

Better Late Than Never Retro Post

 I'm coming down to the last few pictures that I have of myself when I was very young, so I'm tapering those off with a couple of shots of my paternal grandparents, and a little history about them. My grandmother's name is Hilda, and my grandfather's name is Tom. My brother and I were named after them. Yes, my first name is Hilda. I no longer go by that name, as I have always felt that it didn't fit me. No disrespect to my grandmother, because once she told me how she didn't particularly like the name either. My grandparents LOVED to camp. They would spend their whole summer in the woods, in a little trailer. They lived in Santa Monica, and would keep their trailer in our back yard for most of the year, and come up to northern California to go camping. We would get super excited for them to arrive and spend a bit of time with us before they headed to the mountains. My brother got to go up with them and camp for a few days, while I stayed home, because I was a girl :( This never made sense to me, and I always felt it very unfair. These photos remind me of how much they loved being outdoors. I think my dad took after my grandmother in her love of nature, by becoming a forester. My grandfather was a very quiet guy, and could come off as a bit gruff, but he was always pretty sweet to me. He was a wonderful wood worker, and made beautiful pieces of furniture.
 My dad was the apple of my grandmother's eye. I think it was that whole thing back then about the boy being favored and carrying on the name deal. I would occasionally talk to her in later years, and the whole conversation usually revolved around my dad, and how amazing he was. She loved her little boy that was for sure. I have no idea how old she is in this photo, but my best guess would have to be in her forties. She always had blond or very white hair, and my grandfather took forever to grey! Even at his 80th birthday party, most of his hair was still jet black.  My grandparents are Canadian with my grandmother being of English decent. My grandfather is half English and half native American. For years I really didn't think about him having an Indian heritage, until I visited my dad not too long ago, and came across a photo my great grandmother. She literally looked like she was straight off the reservation. In those days I suppose it was a scandal, and never spoken of. My dad never really talked about her much, but when we looked at the picture together, he told me that he and his cousins use to ask her if she was an Indian, and all she would do was smile and never answer them. How funny that it would be such a taboo thing back then.
 You can see my grandmother in the distance by the stream. She loved to fish as well, although I don't think she is in this picture. This trip was on a weekend, when we met them at their camp for the day, and to collect my brother from his fun adventures.
I have posted this photo of my grandmother before on here, but it is one of my favorite pictures of her. She was best friends with Doris Day. They met while she worked in a bakery in LA. She use to come in all the time and they really hit it off.  They wrote letters to each other all the time, and once while I was living in Monterey, she came to visit me and also visited Doris in Carmel, where she lived. I never met Doris,  and I could never figure out why she didn't want her family to mingle with her.  My grandmother was a real social butterfly and a snappy dresser too. She was always put together and cheerful, and this photo encompasses this memory I have of her.

So this is my dad's family. I wish I had more photos of them, and more history too. My husband has been looking on Ancestry.com to find out more on my Indian great grandmother, and we could only find a little bit.   Next Friday I will do a post on my mom's family in Panama, it is pretty interesting if you love history.


  1. So interesting!! I love it....I am afraid I haven't any stories to compare with yours! lol So glad that you are part "Canadian"...make must make us distant cousins somewhere along the line. xo

  2. Another great snippet! I actually like the name Hilda. It is too bad one can't time travel back & forth and ask all kinds of questions to those who are no longer with us. I am looking forward to hearing about your mother and her background.

  3. the photo of your grandmother with doris day is the best. that outfit doris is wearing is quite eye-catchy. such a nice friendship!