Honoring My Grandparents ~ Ida and Marie Bowers

7 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Here’s a funny thing. Ira and Marie Bowers were married on September 6, 1914 which means this month marks the 100th anniversary of their union. Bill and I were married on September 6, 1957 and will be celebrating our 57th. Grandmother and Granddad were married for over sixty years and it looks as if Bill and I will make that milestone as well – we’re close now, anyway.

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I got to spend quite a lot of time with our grandparents. Throughout my childhood every summer I visited with them for a week. Grandmother wanted my brother and I to come separately because we fought too much when we were together. Sometimes I missed my family and our dog Brownie, but I wouldn’t trade the time with Marie and Ira for anything.

My first real memory of them was when I was somewhere between three and five years old and decided to take a walk. I’m sure I’d been taken around the block many times, but now that I was a “big girl” I could go on my own. At one point, I did feel a bit unsure of where I was, but I hadn’t crossed any streets so I kept going and ended up back at their big apartment house from where I had begun.

When I arrived back at the house there was a lot of agitation in the air. Apparently they thought I’d either been lost or kidnapped. It was a prison town, no one was really afraid, but there were certain things you adhered to in case someone escaped. Keeping an eye on your children was one of them. After grandmother discovered that I was all right, she told me to find granddad and tell him. Granddad was a man’s man, but he had a gentle side, and I knew it all my life. He was always gentle and quiet with me, never got angry or yelled or criticized, helped me stay out of trouble whenever he could AND when I found him standing in the big front bedroom where I usually slept, he was crying because he thought I was lost. That’s a pretty powerful message for a tot. I can see him now, tall and gray with his face in his hands.

Grandmother taught me so much. She let me vacuum, taught me how to wash windows and how to clean an oven with newspapers and ammonia. She let me walk to town with her, in and out of the bank, Penny’s, Rexall, and Red’s grocery. In Penney’s she taught me the names of all the beautiful fabrics. She was a hairdresser and she kept my hair nicely groomed, and made lovely clothes for me. She talked to me a lot and that was edifying too. When I was twelve she gave me her cowboys boots. They’d been members of the saddle-club and gone on long rides, but now they were giving it up and I got the boots. I loved them dearly and insisted on wearing them with everything.

Grandmother came from farming stock. She was the eldest of eleven children and always worked, even though later in life she was diagnosed with a congenital heart murmur. When her mother died she took in her youngest siblings who were close in age to her own boys, my dad and his brother.

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She had her own beauty salon, and she and granddad also invested in a Victorian house on a shaded street which they turned into a lovely apartment house.

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Granddad’s father was a horseman and also owned a general store. Granddad did all the repairs to his and grandmother’s house, took good care of the yard, and kept the car running. He was a guard at the penitentiary for many years. The camera swept over him in the movie, “Canon City,” which was about a prison break—part of his experiences too.

They were just my grandparents and I kind of lost touch with them in later years. I did try to write every week until the last of them was gone. Now, however hardly a day passes that I don’t remember something they taught me. I thank God for the love and the good influences they put into my life. I’d love to sit down with them now and have a wonderful visit. Someday that will happen.

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This picture doesn’t look too happy, but honestly I think she just didn’t have the energy for everything she did and a toddler was hard. She loved me as passionately as any grandmother loves her grandchildren which was with all her heart.

2 Responses to “Honoring My Grandparents ~ Ida and Marie Bowers”

  1. Old Things R New September 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    I loved this piece!! The pictures are wonderful.

    Like

  2. Louise Gibson September 7, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    How nostalgic, DiVoran. Mermories of our grandprents are so heartwarming, aren’t thy? I cherish the warm thoughts I have of my maternal grandparents.

    Like

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