Thursday, April 15, 2010
Since I never knew any of my blood grandparents, we did the next best thing; we adopted one!! Her name was Helen Smith, and we moved next door to her soon after her husband had passed away. I was probably 4 or 5 years old. We were told to stay away from Mrs. Smith because she didn't like kids. Very soon after we moved in Helen had her handyman cut a hole in the hedge in her backyard that separated her yard from ours!
I remember sitting on her front porch drinking pop. Sometimes she would babysit me and my brothers, and we'd stay up late and watch roller derby and eat these small pizzas that you cooked in a toaster oven and cost a dime apiece!! She became a very important part of our family. She loved the occasional beer, Pepsi, Lawrence Welk and the song Tie a Yellow Ribbon by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Whenever she went out to a restaurant with us, inevitably someone she knew would come up and greet her! It seemed like everybody knew her. Even in her later years she'd get a hundred Christmas cards!!
She ended up living at the Widow's Home downtown, and lost a leg. It didn't diminish her humor or warmth. When they were taking her to the hospital where she would later pass away, she asked the driver to stop and get them both a beer!! She was one of a kind, and I feel extremely blessed to have known her.