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.


An explanatory note:

To those who followed the blog (and thank you muchly!), this space is going to be dedicated to another project that I’ve worked at for many years: This family’s history and the characters in the photo stashes and photo albums of my grandmothers.

This will be a place to record and share the information that I’ve gathered for more than eight years — much longer if my fifth grade genealogy project counts as the true start. And prior to that, the two portraits hanging in my grandmother’s hallway were heavy influences – with one of those countenances yet to be fully explored.

Thank you for your indulgence as I write this out for a few interested parties.


Portrait of Frances Lorine Sumner
Frances Lorine Sumner, 1882 to 1920.