Grandma’s memories (Gretchen Lois Ream Hess) 1925-2006

Gretchen’s Memories:

What are some things you’d like your grandchildren to know about you and your life?

One of the first things that I remember is being ill with diphtheria and watching for the doctor, who made a daily visit.  I was about four. I’d watch for him out the window.

We were staying in a rented house while my dad was building a new house for us. This was in Ann Arbor. I was scared about the doctor because he gave me big shots in the back.

I remember when we were in the tenant house, watching the fire engines go by and I would hide under the bed because the noise scared me. Red trucks, like today.

Before I recovered from diphtheria, I was playing bogeyman and had a dishtowel over my head. I was going to scare my Dad and Mother and I ran into a rather hot wood burning stove and burned my hand rather badly. That put an end to playing bogeyman.

I remember going to Bethlehem church for Sunday school, which was just 1/2 a block from my house. My brother would walk me to Sunday school. My brother would call me a “circus pony,” because my mother insisted that I wear a big hair bow. And he insisted I looked like a circus horse. He was eight years older than me.

He would tease me a lot. But if my mother went to punish me, and I made a wailing noise (fake crying), then he’d say “Please, don’t punish her, punish me!” He was confirmed at Bethlehem Church on the day of our father’s funeral. I was just five when my father died.

After my father passed away, we later stayed at my grandmother’s house. And I remember being afraid to be put to bed before the others, because the bedroom was on the 2nd floor and I was used to one on the main floor. But my brother had his own room, and I thought he was very brave to go to bed himself. I shared a room with my grandmother and my mother.

My grandmother was the mother of seven!/eight? children, Herman, Ernest, Minnie, Hulda, Adelaide, Amelia (my mother) and Helen and _____ ?

 

Dr. Hess asked me to find out from Mrs. Hess about her ancestor who was the first to come from Germany to the US. Was it Granmother Greyer (sp?), or her mother? The story that Dr. Hess has heard is that a man came over first, and then his wife or betrothed came over afterwards. This was was, as a child, the chosen companion of some member of a royal family, perhaps a duke. (The royal family chose a child to be a companion to their child. Not an adoption, bu the companion child received the same education, played with the royal child, etc. Hence, Dr. Hess notes, the ancestors who came

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