Meet my maternal grandparents, Rainey and Myrtle Hamilton. Rainey was born in 1887, Myrtle in 1890 in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. They were married in 1907 when Grandma was only 17 and Grandpa a very young 21 years old. They had five children in quick succession--two boys, three girls. In 1922 Grandpa Rainey died at 35 years old of appendicitis. I have heard stories of him being put on a horse drawn sled and carried to the doctor, but that did not save him.
Grandma Myrtle must have been devastated by his untimely death for, by all accounts, my grandpa was much respected in their mountain community. He was an itinerant teacher and magistrate even at such a young age. And, even in this poor photo, a proud and handsome Scotsman. Looking closely at my grandma you would probably guess that she was made of stern stuff. For sure, that's how I remember her from my childhood. I never knew my grandpa except by others' accounts. When Grandpa Rainey died, the four older children were sent to orphanages in Ohio and my grandma only kept the youngest boy at home with her. I've always thought that was hard of her to do, but perhaps that was the only choice. Grandma Myrtle never remarried, even though she was widowed at such an early age. She must have loved her young husband very much.
I call my grandpa "grandma's Mr. Thornton" because he reminds me so much of John Thornton, the proud cotton manufacturer and magistrate in Elizabeth Gaskell's novel, North and South, set in industrial England of the mid-1800s. Richard Armitage plays him in the dramatic adaptation. Here he is with his love Margaret Hale. According to the novel, Margaret was as stern as my grandma!
I have only two photos of my Grandpa Rainey. I look at them and regret that I never knew him. I hope that it was from him that I got my love for learning. Wouldn't have minded inheriting his looks as well--he, like John Thornton, was "remarkably handsome"!
Here are the players for Fun Monday. If you missed the earlier signup, just let me know and I'll quickly add your name to the list so you can get visitors.
1. Sayre - Sayre Smiles
2. Church Lady - Living Life in PA
3. Janis - Life According to Jan and Jer
4. Julie - Another Chance Ranch
5. Molly Return of the White Robin
6. Ari - Beyond My Slab
7. Grace - Mama Rehema
8. Joangee - musings n waffle
9. Pamela - The Dust Will Wait
10. Jan - Prytz Family
11. Sandy - Myanderings
12. Jill - Life is Not Bubble Wrapped
We have volunteers! Julie at Another Chance Ranch will host for November and Jill at Life is Not Bubble Wrapped will do December. Thanks.
Topic for October 11: Fridge Blogs - in most homes the refrigerator door is not only decorated, it's also the family communication center with calendars, photos, announcements, reminders, art work, etc. Share a photo of your refrigerator door. What do you have posted on it? Why? Come back on Thursday to sign up if you want to play. Lets keep Fun Monday going by keeping the "fun" in it.