That’s the BlogHer Find Your Roots prompt for today. Family stories! Hmm. My Dad doesn’t have any actual stories, mostly details and explanations of growing up on a little farm around Chicago chasing loose cows and breathing in the dust from baling hay. My mom was the storyteller in the family. Her stories are all in her memoir, Cherry Blossoms in Twilight. I don’t remember all that much from when I was little, so I can’t believe how good her memory was.
One of my favorite stories of Mom’s was how she and a friend, as teen girls tired of pigtails and wearing drab colored clothing to camouflage themselves from warplanes, decided to ride their bikes out to the hairdresser to get permanents. Mom’s mother warned them it was dangerous, but off they went pedaling down the path between tea fields, carrying charcoal to make the fire to heat the curlers. They heard the whine of a warplane behind them in the distance and pedaled faster. But the whine got louder and louder until the plane was so close they threw their bikes down on the dirt road and jumped into the tea bushes. Rat-a-tat-tat, the plane dove in and shot up their bikes, leaving the girls to walk their bikes the rest of the way to the hairdresser and all the way back. When they finally returned, my grandmother shook her head, saying, “You girls are foolish! Your lives are more important than curly hair.”
Girls will be girls, I guess, war or no war.
Chasing cows is a story in itself – it sure is something that I’ve never had the experience of doing – think harder about the things dad told you.
Linda, What strikes me here is it doesn’t take very many words to share a wealth of information about the people and times. Your mom’s and her friend’s feisty teen spirits as well as your grandmother’s wisdom shine through. Suffice it to say, teenage girls care about their hair! I’m thinking your dad probably has his own share of stories too.
Yes, I need to push my dad for stories vs tidbit sentences, as I know there’s more about those cows than he’s written so far. I only have a beginning draft of what he’s written for me, and I need to arrange a visit to do nothing but the 50-questions bit with him.
gpcox, your blog posts about the Nisei in WWII are fascinating! I thought they were kept away from the Pacific front (being such dangerous spies, they had to be interned first), outside of the few translators. I only knew of the impressive 442nd Nisei regiment in the European theatre. Thanks so much for stopping by!