Sunday, September 29, 2013
1915 — a different time
My mother-in-law Alice was born in 1915.
Times were different then. The Ford Model T was a popular car on the road. Women didn't have the right to vote. Jim Crow ruled in Virginia, her home state. Although the trenches of World War I were full of soldiers, the United States had not yet sent men to Europe. The Panama Canal had just been completed, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Neither Prohibition nor the Depression had even started.
Alice had a happy childhood, one of five children. She grew up on a college campus where her father was a professor, and she had many fond tales of traipsing around the grounds, swimming in the lake, and generally gadding about. She went away to camp, rode in a horse and buggy to her grandparent's home, and as a young woman, taught in a small, rural school.
I've recently been thinking a lot about Alice and the many stories I remember her telling because we will soon go to North Carolina for her memorial service. It's amazing to me to think what a far cry her growing up years were from what children experience today, and yet how effortlessly she seemed to adapt to the many changes the modern era brought. Although she had no interest in computers or the internet, she drove until she was 96, taught English to immigrants at her church, and was a volunteer for NAMI.
All in all, a remarkable woman.