Monday, May 9, 2011


Here are a few quick stories about the matriarchs in my family.

My mother Rose:  During WWII she worked at the Navy Yard in Washington DC, growing crystals for the sonars in submarines. One day President Truman visited and came into her shop. He was fascinated and put his hand out to touch the machine that formed the crystals. My mother shouted, "No, Mr. President", and shoved him back. "You could have killed yourself." The machine was electrified and if he had touched it, Truman would have gotten a shock that would have knocked him to the ground.

My grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Robertson: One day, during the Great Depression, my grandmother had a knock on her door. A ragged 'forgotten man' stood outside it and asked her if she could spare a little food. Kind-hearted Bess offered him to join her family for the evening meal of bread and cabbage. He refused and took his cabbage sandwich to the curb. After the Depression, a black limo pulled up in front of her house and the man she had helped that day had returned with a roll of cash. He wanted to give it to her, thanking her for what she had done. She suggested he place it in the 'Poor Box' at her church on the corner, and that is what he did.

My grandmother in law, Mary Sullivan: Mary was a Red Cross nurse for over 40 years. She filled in for a nurse one night at Walter Reed Hospital during WWII. While at the nurses' station, the elevator doors opened and attendants brought an unconscious soldier on a gurney onto the floor. He had lost his dogtag and no one knew who he was. Mary stepped over to him, looked down into his face and said, "I know exactly who he is. This is my nephew from Massachusetts.

Nana loved gardens. Since I do not have an uploaded photo of her, my photo of a butterfly in my garden is in honor of her.


Kissed by the Creator said...

WOW! What neat legacies you have and how appropriate for a Mother's Day tribute! Love it!

Rita Gerlach said...

Thank you, Kissed by the Creator. I love family history.

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