Friday, February 17, 2017
My great-grandpa was a leprechaun. At least that is what I thought for years and years.
Great-grandpa was from Bohemia. He still had a bit of an accent even after all the years he had been in the United States. He had a fringe of hair around his head the way you might think a monk would look. And his voice was high pitched probably because of age.
Great-grandpa seemed small to me because he was slightly bent with age. But actually he was a big man. He had a barrel chest and from what I heard he was strong as could be.
Great-grandpa's parents died when he was young. His mother died from burns she received in a fire. Great-grandpa and his brother were brought to the United States by his uncle who raised them as his own. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for two young boys to make that trip across the ocean to a new land and a family they barely knew.
He grew up and held various jobs until he married. Then he became a farmer. Farming was a good living back then. You could raise most of your own food and hopefully enough extra to sell to supplement your income. That would pay for anything you could not grow.
I am not sure how many children there were. I know that there was at least one son, named after Great-grandpa. He died in a trucking accident after he was grown and had a family. I do know there were two daughters, my grandmother and her older sister.
My great-grandmother died when my grandma was very young. Great-grandpa had farmhands but he needed all the help he could get. So my great-aunt was chosen to help in the fields and to do other chores around the farm.
Grandma was too small to be any help so she stayed in and kept house. Even at that young age she was responsible for seeing to it that all the men and her sister were properly and completely fed. Needless to say she was not a fancy cook, but boy oh boy, what she did cook was the absolute best.
Grandma begged to be able to help with milking the cows but her hands were too small. By the time her hands were big enough she saw what being out in the sun and weather every day had done to her sister's skin. Grandma decided the kitchen was good enough for her.
Great-grandpa came to live with Grandma and Grandpa when he got older. I used to love to sit and listen to him talk with his accent. The strange thing is that I do not remember one thing he ever said. I listened to the grown-ups talking because that was how I learned a lot of the family stories.
As I said, I thought Great-grandpa was a leprechaun. One year for Mother's Day he gave Grandma a shamrock plant. That clinched it! He was a leprechaun! I am ashamed to admit I was a teenager before I discovered the truth.
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Love those family stories you are keeping alive for your family, Emma.ReplyDelete
I kind of like them too.Delete
I had so many farmers in my family. I can relate so to your grandma staying in the kitchen. I remember my Uncle Ray and Aunt Marie's farm. All the morning chores were done before the men came in for breakfast. I never dreamed there could be such breakfasts: bacon, eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, pie. A three year old could hardly believe pie for breakfast.ReplyDelete
One thing about farm living is that there is plenty of work for everyone.Delete
am amazed with your family stories, I love fresh harvest from farm and simply made foods, nothing fancy, maybe just like how your grandma would make foods.ReplyDelete
Lots of meat and potatoes. Salads and sliced tomatoes in season. Mulberries straight from the tree. It was heaven to me.Delete
Your great-grandpa was a leprechaun!ReplyDelete
I do not know whether my great-grandpa was too.
I hope I am when my great-children recall.
I thought you would either be a mushroom or Absolom from Alice in Wonderland.Delete
Funny the ideas that we get as children! Because we had so many black and white photos, I thought the world was in black and white until the 1950's! I felt so lucky to have born when the world came in color. I was a bit of a nutcase. Still am.ReplyDelete
You were simply doing what all children do. You took things as you saw them. I'm more than a bit of a nutcase myself.Delete
You don't remember the things he said but you remember the essence of the man. I wish someone had told you that leprechauns are from Ireland - not Bohemia but perhaps that truth would have blown away some of the magic.ReplyDelete
Actually I knew that leprechauns came from Ireland and that Great-Grandpa was from Bohemia. I also thought there was some kind of magic involved that allowed him to be both.Delete
Sweet memories! I never met my great grandparents and barely knew my grandparents. Your memories are precious.ReplyDelete
I know that my memories are precious to me. My paternal grandfather died long before my father even knew my mother so I did not know him. I had a bonus that Great-Grandpa (on my mother's side)was around.Delete
Very sweet that you believed he was a leprechaun! I am glad you believed in magic.ReplyDelete
I am too. It made him all the more special in my eyes.Delete