Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Susie's Early Childhood Days

 Marching off to her kindergarten class, Susie wore a button pinned to her sweater that said "I Like Ike".  She must have gotten the button from her mother, since her daddy voted Democrat, and probably did not like Ike.  Nonetheless, it is a pretty funny thing for a little girl to wear a campaign button to school!  She attended Hartwell school in Cincinnati, which was built in 1923, and was partially destroyed by a tornado in 1969.

When Susie was a little girl, her mother sang her this song in the bathtub.  This song is about your pruney fingers and toes, and how the water makes them all wrinkled:

"No matter how young a prune may be, he's always full of wrinkles!
A baby prune is like his dad, but he's not wrinkled quite so bad.
We have wrinkles on our face; a prune has wrinkles everyplace!
No matter how young a prune may be, he's always full of wrinkles!"

When she was very young, her mother used to bounce her on her knee and chant this little song:

"This is the way a lady rides, hobble-dee-hoy, hobble-dee-hoy." 
faster: "This is the way the gentlemen ride, hobble-dee-hoy, hobble-dee-hoy!"
very fast: "This is the way the Indians ride, hobble-dee-hoy, hobble-dee-hoy!!"

And you almost fell off the knee by the time you got to the Indians riding.
Susie probably learned the words to all of Mother's songs so well because they were sung over and over to several children.  When Susie was 5, she got a new baby sister, Donna!  Now there were three girlies in Susie's family.  And she was the biggest sister, which of course, is very important.
Susie, Katie, and Mother holding Donna

When Susie grew up and became Sue, she was just like the little girl in the "I Like Ike" button.  She never missed an opportunity to vote, and made election night a big party for her family.  The night she had her stroke, that eventually took her life, the doctors asked her several questions to see what she could remember.  They asked her who the president was, and she couldn't remember his name.  "I can't remember," she said, "But I know I didn't vote for him.  He's too liberal."  Even in that condition, she could remember exactly where she stood politically, which was pretty amusing to her family.

For several years, Sue worked at the polls for several elections -- long, sometimes dull days of handing out ballots, and then collecting and protecting the counted ballots to ensure the voting was done without mistakes.  I am sure that she did not think her task was boring, because it was important.  She was dedicated to her community and her country.  She really was "All American Sue".


Rachel said...

Mom used to sing the bathtub song to us to! I sing it to Trent. Funny how things get passed down from generation to generation. I don't remember the other song though.

Gretchen said...


That's why I put them on here! I sing the bathtub song to Sus. And I do the Hobbledy Hoy as well. Josh does "Pony Girl" which is what his family did when bouncing on the knee. :)

Gretchen said...

Oh, BTW -- Gram did "Hobble-dee-hoy" to Abby and Emily. That's why I remember it so well.

Emma said...

Mom did both songs for us, I remember them. That is a great picture! Mom looks identical to Abby!

Karen said...

What a great post that brought back memories for me and also made me think of my own mother as well. Loved the patriotic theme! This will be such a wonderful tribute to All American Sue.

Beth (Elizabeth) LaMie said...

The details in your story are wonderful, especially all the words to the songs her mother sang. I remember the Hobbledy Hoy song, too, with the tendency to fall off laughing at the end. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I like Ike button!? HAHA!! Cute! I would FREAK over the cute Kindergarten child with a political button--of course unless it was a Democrat! HEE HEE!!!!!!
Emily's right...Mom looks identical to little child Abby. !!!!! :)


denise said...

this is such a wonderful tribute to your mom! i love the "i like ike" and how that theme carried through to her adulthood...especially enjoyed the detail of her not knowing the president but knowing she didn't vote for him!

it was also nice the way you included specific songs...i could imagine them as a child or singing them to my own children..nice connection from the past carried over...

finally, i thought the photo of your mom with her sisters and mom was so timeless...

i'm enjoying taking this journey with you!

sincerely, denise from group 3

Janna said...

Really, Really cool Gretchen. I don't think I've heard of anyone so politically active at 5:)

Those songs are adorable.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gret, I love your stories about Sue, it makes me want to give her a big old hug.