My grandmother passed away this past Friday. She was a great woman who had an amazing life. During WWII she served as a transport truck driver as Chatham Air Base in Georgia. I can remember her telling me stories about how she used to drive crews of B-24 bombers to and from their aircraft.
Apparently, while driving across the runway to get the crews to their planes, there was some system of traffic control to keep planes and ground vehicles from occupying the same space. Well, one day apparently both my grandmother and the pilot of a landing B-24 thought they got a green light to proceed. The plane got close enough to my grandmother’s truck that the crew she was transporting all leaped out the back and over the sides. My grandmother, unfazed, thought it amusing that these guys were so jumpy. After all, she had everything under control and it wasn’t like the plane landed on the truck or anything.
After the war, she moved up north (the only vestiges of Southern culture that have been passed on to me are a tendency to say ‘y’all’ and an enduring love of grits), and opened up a business by herself which she ran for 30 years.
Growing up on a farm down South with five brothers guaranteed she wouldn’t be delicate. I can remember her shoveling gravel, stacking firewood and cutting down trees well into her seventies as well as getting so angry at a black bear destroying her bird feeders that she chased the thing away armed with nothing except a pot and a wooden spoon.
And, of course, she spoiled me mercilessly. I could do no wrong in her eyes and she indulged my every whim and wish. She had the patience of Job, taking me to the “Pocono Snake Farm” (the very name was like crack to a little boy) and doing her best to stuff me to the gills with Nilla Banana Pudding.
Well, here’s to you mom-mom…Truly a life well lived.