Thursday, October 14, 2010

Susie's Big Move

For the first three years of her life, Susie lived on the farm with her parents, near to family and close friends, and so Susie grew up surrounded by cousins.  As evidenced by the plethora of her baby pictures in an era where a family camera was not a common household item, she had plenty of attention from her family.

This picture says Baby Sue with Johnny (who was a cousin)
When Susie was three years old, her family moved north, to the bright lights and hustle and bustle of the big city:  Cincinnati, Ohio.  As was common in the post-WWII era where men returned from war with new skills and experiences, Susie's daddy had gotten a job working for General Electric in the city. He was quick at learning how things worked, and how to fix things.  Cities were booming at this point in America, offering G.I.s better opportunities for advancement and careers than a rural life did. So when Daddy went off to work in the city, Susie settled into a new life in a new house with Mother and her new baby sister Kay.  

Crosley Field in the early 1950's
Mother liked to listen to baseball games on the radio as she did housework, since this was before television sets invaded every household.  Several times a season, Crosley Field would have a "Ladies Day", where female fans could be admitted for a lower ticket price. Mother would dress in a nice dress, gloves and hat, and take the bus with a friend down to the ballpark to watch the game.  She always referred to the ballpark as "Crosley Fiel' ".  It is funny to note that while Mother loved sports, Daddy never took an interest.  In fact, even after they had a television in their home, Mother would still listen to the games on the radio in the kitchen because Daddy was not interested in watching them on T.V.  Susie inherited her mother's love for baseball (and football, and other sports), as well as her zesty cheering for the home team. 

Having a little sister no doubt changed Susie's world more than moving from the farm to the city.  Suddenly there was a new person to share Mother and Daddy with.  But also, there was a new sister to play with and have for a friend!  Sue cherished her relationship with her sister Katie her whole life long.  They shared a bedroom, sat up many nights talking late after dates, and one day they married guys who were good friends.
Katie and Susie with their grandparents whom they called "Papa and Mama"

Amazing that God gave Sue lots of daughters when she grew up.  Some people "get girls" and she was one of those people!  She was always someone to notice your stylish pair of shoes, or your cute new hairstyle. She taught her children how important being friends was, that no matter where you lived, or what new situation you walked into, you would have your siblings to be your friends.  
A fun late '60's picture of Sue and her sisters -- she is in the middle in the blue skirt and wild top


Rachel said...

I love the WILD top!

Rachel said...

Gretchen, I love that you're writing your mom's story. What a special labor of love for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I love this one too! I really love the chair that Susie and Johnny are sitting in.. Not comfy probably, but SO 40's! :) It's great!!!!! And I also love that Gram loves sports--makes me realize I come by it honestly--for a girl that is! ;)


Karen said...

I really enjoyed reading this. My mom loved listening to baseball on the radio, too! I was glad to think about how life after WWII changed for so many families. I'll look forward to more of Susie's story.

Beth (Elizabeth) LaMie said...

The detail in Susie's story is great & the pictures are lovely. My mother also liked to listen to baseball games, even though they had a TV. I always thought she appreciated hearing the details, as opposed to the TV announcers showing replays over and over.

Emma said...

This was a great post too. I'm glad mom had lots of girls, because if she didn't, I wouldn't have had all of my precious sisters!

Dusti said...

nice how you drew a picture or what life was like post world war 2 before the invasion of the telivision :)
i can't imagine wearing a dress and heals for an outing with a friend.

Erika said...

I love how you tie a characteristic or trait from her early years with that same or similar trait as an adult.

Thanks for sharing your Mom's memories! I am so enjoying reading them!

denise said...

i'm enjoying this journey of learning about your mom...such a blessing for you and your family to do together...

i liked some of the historical details as well as the personal experiences.

i think your mom was right on with her advice about being friends with your siblings.

i look forward to learning more about her and learning from her!

Maple Leaf Mommy said...

I love the pic of Susie sitting int he grass. It's nice to see informal baby pics from "back them". The only ones my parents have are formal group shots. You're right, your mum must have been a beloved favourite to be in so many pictures.