This would have been my Grandma Williams’ 110th birthday, I think. I mean the day is right, it’s the year that’s a little fuzzy. She had always told us – my mother (her daughter), my father, my sisters, me, even her siblings (she was the oldest of five) – that she born in 1898. But when we took her to finally register to vote, in the early 1960s, she told the voter registar that she was born in 1897. What? I suspect that she was OK fibbing to thee rest of us, but didn’t want to swear to a lie.
I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house. Because both my parents worked outside of the home -my mother at an office in McLean’s department store in Binghamton – my sisters and I went to her house, which she shared with her youngest sibling, my Aunt Deana, every day at lunchtime, and early on, after school. In fact, it was their availability that determined that I would go to elementary school at Daniel S. Dickinson rather than Oak Street, which was the school where people living at my address were supposed to go. This means, if it weren’t for her willingness to do this, I wouldn’t have know Carol, Karen, Lois, Bill, Bernie, Irene, and Diane from K-12, the first five of whom I saw at my HS reunion last year, and the first of which I’ll see this weekend.
On the other hand, my grandma tended to tell stories of boogeymen, and bad people lurking everywhere. My sister Leslie and I were susceptible to her tales, though baby sister Marcia, to her credit, saw right through them.
Anyway, Bill Walsh, the coach of the San Francisco 49ers died last month, and I remembered my grandma. See, I got a call that she had died in Charlotte, NC during the third period of Super Bowl XVI, when Walsh and the team won their first championship against Cincinnati. They’re somehow forever linked in my mind.
Today is also the seventh anniversary of the death of my father. I don’t know what more I can say that I haven’t already said here and here and here and especially here. He was gregarious and moody, forthright and secretive, talented and limited. I was talking with my sister Leslie about him this week. He had wanted me to find a way for him to make money on the Internet, but he had so many ideas, many of them unfocused, that I didn’t quite know how to do that. And I felt that he was a bit disappointed in me for that. Whatcha gonna do?