Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Counting the Stars: The Book of June

Today is my Mother June's birthday. She is 86 years old. In 2007 I made this book for her (I actually made 4 of them at one time). I interviewed her via email and took excerpts from a scrapbook my cousin Toni made for my Grandmother's 90th birthday.
I visited on Sundays and drove my parents around the various places they lived over the years (so I could get pictures). Since they were born just a block or so apart, the book became a book about them and their extended families.

"When I was almost 4 years old, Daddy bought the grocery store and we moved there." Memories of the store by Mom and her 3 siblings.
Mom says "we didn't go to the doctor. We were the great generation. There was not much money. Lots of moonshine, smoking and booze were the thing in the thirties." Her Dad Vista was a hard worker. He passed away at age 42. Mom was only 12 years old and was told he had a nervous breakdown.
Mom's Mother took over the store. There wasn't any Social Security at that time. "We had the store but everyone was hurting with the Depression. Our neighbors needed help with food and we were there." A prayer said at the table:
"A little head, a little heart
Bowed down in simple prayer
Thank the Lord for food and drink
And loving daily care."

Mom trained her graduating year of high school (in 1943) to run the lathe and drill press and even learned welding. After graduation, she went to Akron, Ohio and made pieces for fighter planes.
After the war, Mom married James William Reeves on September 5, 1946.
Mom and Dad's first house together was next door to Pop Pop Harry & Grandma Maries'. This was the house I lived in until age 5. When my parents built a new home 1 mile down the road, my Grandparents built a new house next door.
The 4 children.
Dad's brothers.

(Inside back cover) These are the kinds of candy sold at Vista Mullan's Grocery in the 1930s. (Penny Candy) Mom remembers eating spearmint leaves, orange slices, red dollars, peppermint sticks and tar babies. The favorite spot in the store for the kids was the candy case. Grandma Marie was sometimes forced to slap their fingers when they took too much.
(Cover) "Counting the Stars" is the title written by Grandma Marie under the photo of June taken in Akron, Ohio, at age 19. Mom said she didn't open her mouth as her teeth were crooked, but she couldn't hide the smile. June had fun as a child despite the hardships of the Great Depression and loosing her Dad at a young age. She wasn't sure what lay ahead, but looked forward to it with that sparkle in her eye.


nkaigle said...

Cindy, this is just so wonderful!!! I loved reading this, and it is really remarkable the similarities I saw in your book to some of the similarities in the book I am making about my Mom! Such an amazing generation! I am glad you still have your Mother!! My Mom passed away in 2008, she was 87, and unfortunately had Alzheimers. It was very difficult, but I did have much information that I had asked about when she was well, and I did find many notes after her death. I am a very slow scrapper, but things are starting to come together, and I have decided that her book will be named "The Remembering Garden". She was such a gardener, this is where I got my green thumb, as well as many other things! However, back to your book! Amazing, love every bit of it, you are an amazing talent!!I love your title, and that cover picture is just so charming!!! Thanks for the much needed boost of inspiration, and I hope you will have your Mom for many more years to come!!! Natalie

Margo said...

Wow Cindy,
this is way beyond cool !
I'm even a liitle quiet now !
Thanks for sharing !

MARILYN said...

This is Amazing!!!! loved to read it
and the photos are fantastic!! You inspired me to made a familiar book.
Beautiful work my friend!!!! :)

Amy said... everyone else has said...this is amazing! And you surely do inspire me to get back at the heritage album!

misty said...

This is amazing! Thank you for sharing!

The Scrappy Cottage said...

OH...WOW... How amazing is this. What work and the stories are wonderful. You so have inspired me. Great job.....