Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Family History Writing Challenge

I have signed up for the Family History Writing Challenge.  I have not committed to a word count, because I will be writing what I can when I can, as a busy college student with an honors thesis to get finished within the next five weeks!

Today I am going to talk about my grandma.  She was not genealogically or biologically my grandmother, but my great-aunt.  However, my mother was ain intra-family adoption.  Her father, Benjamin Franklin Reed, died in a railroad accident in 1917, not long before my mother's first birthday.  The Reed family ended up pretty much taking my mother and my aunt away from their mother and adopting them into the family.  My aunt went to one great-uncle and his wife, and my mother to another.

But my grandma was my grandma.  I never knew any of my grandparents, as three of them died before I was born, and the last one died when I was just four years old.  My grandma, Mary LeSourd Reed, was a baseball fan.  She loved to watch baseball on television on a lovely spring day or a warm summer day, and I would go over to her house, just around the block from ours, to visit.  I got into the habit of watching baseball with her.

I formed an attachment to the Brooklyn Dodgers, possibly because of the superb pitching of Sandy Koufax and the great catching of Roy Campanella.  The Yankees could have Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris (both of whom I did admire for the superior athletes they were); the Dodgers were my guys.

My grandma had a "curse" that we would chant when the opposing batter came up to bat.  We would make clockwise circles with one haind, fingers extended, and chant, "Cat fuzz around that bat!"  That was great fun, and a bit of "witchery" that we shared with no one else.

When my mom gave my grandma a Dachshund for Christmas one year, the dog, Peanuts, became part of the baseball audience with us.  He would curl up beside the ottoman on which my grandma rested her feet, and remain, ever faithful and vigilant.  He was not bothered by our occasional shouts at the game, or our practice of our "dark art."  Talk of "cat fuzz" disturbed the dog not.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for baseball and the Dodgers, in spite of revelations about the economics of the game that make my blood boil, and other shortcomings which have come to light in recent years.  But there's nothing like a good game on a spring day to cheer me up.

No comments: