Where would you travel back in time to… who would you want to visit… and why? Sounds like one of those Back to the Future movies! I’d be right there with pen and paper in hand! I had originally planned to feature the past post of “The Mistakes Found”… but instead… writing a new post “The Mistakes Made”… the mistakes made in never asking my parents, and grandparents so many questions… so now I’m Time Traveling back to ask… come on along!
YooHoo… I’m super excited to be back with everyone in the “7th” April A to Z Challenge… and my theme is “Time-Traveling” through my blog – “Everyone Has a Family Story to Tell“. If you have stumbled upon this post and wondering about the challenge… The Blogging A to Z April Challenge is one month of every-day blogging through the alphabet. 26 days, 26 letters, 26 posts! Daily blogging is Monday through Saturday… leaving Sunday to rest, read other blogs, and prepare for the following week! From the first day in 2016 when I happened upon this challenge… I”m still just as excited… and always eager to begin! Who doesn’t love a good time travel of events… so where would you travel to?
Grab a coffee… as you follow me down the rabbit hole… Hippity Hop!
Time Traveling back in Time… The Mistakes Made, in Not Asking…if only I had!
If I was sitting in that “time machine”… it would be such a dilemma in where to pull the handle… do I stop in the years my grandparents were young… or further back… or head into the future! Anyone that knows me, knows to never give me choices… but if I had a time limit, I’d begin in 1930, the year my mother was born, and the year in which the first Nancy Drew book was published. Even though I wouldn’t be able to have a sleuthing conversation with her or ride in her blue roadster… I could buy a box of first editions, such as “The Secret of the Old Clock” to bring back! My dream is to one day discover a first edition… or my second favorite, “The Secret in the Old Attic”… but I’d have to travel ahead to 1944 for that one! And if anyone in my immediate family is reading… now you know what to save up for, and buy for my birthday… and as you’ve missed that, well… Christmas is coming!
In order to talk to grandmama McKinley, I’d need to visit after mama was born (1930)… before my grandmother’s life fell apart, when her son was killed in Metz, Germany in 1945. I’d like to sit and watch as she pieced quilts by lamplight. I’d like to ask her who taught her to crochet, sew, embroider… I’d like to watch her make biscuits and cook on the wood stove… I’d like to watch all the canning she did from the family garden… and the day the county woman came to teach her how to can… when she already knew how! That woman exploded the pressure cooker in showing her… and granddaddy sent her on her way, with just a look! I’d definetly be packing a jar or two of her blackberry jam and pear preserves to bring back… I can taste them already!
One of my questions for grandmamma would be… how did you meet granddaddy? Funny how often no one knows exactly how their grandparents met from back in the day, or even where they married… and no one honeymooned in those days? I heard all about the dress that grandmama supposedly married in. Mama described it as Nancy Drewish… a long flapper type polka dot dress with a 1920ish type clochure style hat. Mama often sneaked in the back hallway and pulled it out to play dress up in… if only it had been saved! Mama took so many photos of herself in various poses… why oh why didn’t she take one in that dress!!!
And if I was stopping in 1944 to pick up a Nancy Drew book… I might as well swing over to see granddaddy McKinley’s farm… in all its glory. His farm would be in its glory with fields of corn, cows, pigs and Pat the horse…and just maybe I’d catch him plowing in the field.I ‘d like one more chance to sit out on the back stoop with him, where he taught me to whistle to the Bob White birds in the field. But this time I’d be asking questions… what did you do as a boy… how did you meet grandmama… and what other stories did Grandpa Sharp tell you… and was there really Confederate money stuffed in his old chair?
Just maybe I could tag along on one of grandaddy’s Friday night fox hunting trips… as he never let me go when I was young… always saying, “no place for girls.” Well now, I could follow along with no questions asked, and see what really went on. Mama always said it was a lot of talk… not much hunting!
If it was summer, mama might be outside sunbathing… she cringed when he’d make her go to the field and pick cotton or help hang barb-wire fence! She would be 14 years old now… and saying goodbye to her brother Leroy, as he was drafted in the Army. I never had the chance to meet her only brother… maybe he could show me granddaddy’s old Model T under the car shed… it was told he often took it completely apart and laid all the parts out on the ground… making his father Oh So Mad!
In 1944, Mama and Daddy hadn’t met… he was now 16 and headed to boot camp for the Navy. Somehow he managed to have enlisted at age 15 with a fake ID… but soon he was soon discovered after being there for a few months; later after turning 16, his father signed for him to join. To actually see my father, I’d need to head to San Francisco… well that’s one way to see the Golden Gate Bridge! I’d love to see daddy in his Navy uniform… in those blues and whites! He was a looker… looking similar to Elvis in the face!
After time spent at granddaddy McKinley’s farm… I’m heading over to the small farm of Granddaddy Bryan in Union Point; I loved spending time there also. Granddaddy Bryan was more on the quiet side… not nearly as talkative or voicsterous as granddaddy McKinley. I often kept to myself there… looking for doodlebugs under the car-shed or walking through the fields, and over the field bridge to visit the mule up at the barn. When I was young, crossing that bridge scared me silly, as I just knew some troll would jump out and grab me by my ankles… dragging me underneath. I ran very fast over it! Granddaddy built the small bridge as a sideshoot stream of the Ogeechee River ran directly through his field. Once I grew over my fear of trolls, I’d lay on my belly to look down in the water… watching whatever caught my eye swimming by. I don’t think I ever fished off it… probably no fish there.
I’m sure I could somehow prod granddaddy into talking more on this visit… as I know he had stories to tell about his life growing up. I’m told he worked for the man who began the Coca Cola company… he must have stories! I’d like to hear more about his work in the mill and all the shenanigans my father got into as a boy. Granddaddy often had to return my father, over and over, to school… as he’d skip to play poker with the men at the mill. He must have been a very good pokerplayer as a young boy!
While I didn’t often hang under Mama Bryan (name I called my grandmother) too much, I would try and spend more time with her and learn her secret in making sweet potato cobbler and the famous Brunswick stew and BBQ sauce. This time I’d definetly ask more family questions about her life as a young girl and where she lived… and how she met granddaddy. Everyone assumed they met at church, which was usually the case back then; often the only place they were able to go for outings and even dates.
I’d like to revisit my father at a later date… and hoping I don’t forget my camera, as I desperately need more photos of daddy and I. In as I’ve never heard him talk about his years in the Navy… I have plenty of questions! I always heard my mother talk about how he jumped off the ships bow into the ocean, where it was radioactive… now there must be more to that tale! How did he not spend time in the brig for ignoring Captain’s orders! Why did I never ask him to explain himself in not following directions… as I had plenty of chances! If you’d like to read about daddy in the Navy, and just how the water came to be radioactive…. skip over HERE. That story is posted on my first blog when I began writing in 2014 in the 52 week, 52 ancestor challenge.
Another thing I’d ask my father is… just where did you find my first car… the 1965 yellow Mustang… and why did it take so long to find? I still remember the day he walked in announcing that my car was waiting for me in the driveway. Granddaddy McKinley gave him the money for my car, but it took daddy like over three months to find that car… a painful three month wait?
If I could have just one more afternoon… I could possibly piece daddy’s life together and hear his stories… the stories he never told. Why did he never mention his Navy days… or his life as a young boy? I only learned stories here and there from my mother, his uncles, and cousins… and while I’m thankful for them… I still have questions! He was often a bad boy… especially the time he nailed all the chicken’s feet to the ground! I bet grandmama gave him a whooping!
I most definetly now wouldn’t let daddy sneak out early on my last morning before leaving for Connecticut… dodging me in not saying goodby. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that he was having a hard time in saying goodbye to his little girl. I was so caught up in being a newly married bride, that I wasn’t seeing it.
Let’s side-step here a moment in remembering when the classic Back to the Future movie first arrived in 1985. I was already into family research at that time, and after watching that movie… all I could think about was… where would I first go… and ask! What was your thoughts on these movies… did they make you want to jump in the DeLorean with Marty and Doc Brown? I sure did!
That Delorean wouldn’t have been big enough for all I’d want to bring back! I definitely would have smuggled grandma McKinley’s Nancy Drewish flapper dress and hat for the ride back! If only there had been a photo of her wearing it!
Those movies put such ideas in everyone’s head, such as… what if this is really possible one day… possibly in our lifetime! Imagine going back to see your parents as teenagers… meeting them face to face! There were so many funny scenes in that movie… like when they thought his name was Calvin Klein because of the name on his underwear… a great pun in the movie! Did you have favorite scenes?
My biggest want in time traveleling… would be to go back to the very first day I met my husband on Oct. 31, 1970… and knowing what I know now! So how would that have changed things? Well, he wouldn’t have left me in Georgia when the base transferred him to Loring AFB in Maine. We probably would have gotten married before he left… and taking me with him to a cold, snowy Maine. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to have been an Air Force wife. He laughs saying, “you would have never left our house in Maine with all the snow there“… it was more snow than he was even used to in snowy Connecticut.
If I had a do-over, hubby and I would enjoy our almost 51 years of blissful marriage… all over again! Those years went by way too fast… as most were spent raising kids. I’d definitely like more young years again! Heck, if I could time-travel, I would have enjoyed a vacation in CT. and met my future husband as a young boy, but with him being 4 years older than me, he probably wouldn’t have given me a look… but who knows! Even so, I could have seen his favorite “Savin Rock” amusement area and actually see the area in the time frame of when he grew up. I’m sure I would have loved his hometown as a kid!
Oh well… we haven’t evolved into a “time travel” society yet… so for now, a girl must dream!
Previous Years A to Z April Challenges…
2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
2021: A to Z of Mama in Photos... blogging on my mother through photos and memories.
To read more 2022: A to Z April Challenge… click HERE.
Click for more … Family Stories
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