Grandmother musings

Both Effie Sue and Mary Henrietta went from Georgia to Florida in the 1920s.

Mary picked and packed strawberries, took in sewing, and never learned to drive; she was born fourth of eight children in 1900.

Effie, born the youngest of five and the only girl, worked as a cigar roller, a cafeteria worker, and a newspaper carrier; she earned her GED in the 1960s.

They lived before ERA and at a time when finishing high school wasn’t essential. They weren’t romantic according to what our parents recalled, nor should they be romanticized. It was not in their characters.

Effie and Mary both bought houses in the 1950s.

One had been a one-room shack and was paid off with money from developers who wanted to install a road on the backside of the property. The countryside is long overtaken by city blocks.

The other was a 1914 bungalow in a planned development and was paid for by paper routes and odd jobs. The neighborhood was having a resurgence a decade ago.

Those houses represented Tampa to me.

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