Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Kentucky Grandfather

OK, first allow me to emphasize, I have nothing against folks from Kentucky. Heck my Mom's Dad, this man, was from KY.

And here he is in World War One. Or is that WWl? At any rate, here he is in uniform in the Philippines. Dashing fellow.

But let me tell you what kind of guy he was lol.

He marries my city-raised Grandmother, I believe she was born in Virginia.

Ahh they look so happy here. This is around the time they got married. All sweetness and light. They do look happy. This is them on the right.

So they start having babies. A happy family.

Then the Great Depression hits, so he takes her and the babies to the woods of Wisconsin so he can go off to the logging camps to make money, leaving my city-raised little Grandma to fend for herself and her young brood, including my Mom.

OK, times were tough, understandable.

Well it turns out Grandpa was the town drunk. And what little money he made, he'd spend drinking.

Mom's family was so poor, her brothers and she used to go out in the woods and hunt for small game, and forage for food. The winters there were pretty brutal.

Because they had no money, they were forced to move from shack to shack, one worse than the last, in order to survive.

But I will say this, Mom had mostly fond memories of her childhood. She said she loved the woods of Wisconsin. She grew up near Crandon, by the way. Anyone from that town?


Shocking excerpt to follow!! Not for the faint of heart!

One story goes, that when my Grandpa came back to town, he went to the local bar and got so drunk, he went out front and slit a horses' throat from ear to ear. Yikes!


The other story goes, he met another woman, a trollop, and he took what little money he had selfishly saved, and ran off with the tramp.

Guess what happens?

The tramp waits until he gets drunk and passes out, and she steals all his money and takes off herself Ha!!

About the time Mom turned 8 years old, Her Mom, Grandma, sort of gave up, and Mom had to raise her little brother and cook for the rest of the family from then on. She did love her little brother though, and did not resent it. Except for her lazy, good for nothing sister, 8 years her elder, who didn't help at all. More about her later.

So if I don't have a real close fondness for my Kentucky kin, I hope you'll understand. *grin*

Colorful and interesting stuff. Please tell me I am not the only one to have bad blood in the family lolol...