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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Madloch

Marci Wenn

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

Freda was originally English and Welsh, but she was born in the US and spent her life in Southwestern Pennsylvania. She was born in 1895 and married my future grandfather when she was in her mid-twenties, which was late in those times. Marrying him was probably the only thing she did in her life against the will of her parents.

The reason why they were against this marriage was that my grandfather came from money and they were working class. Freda’s father was a milkman while my grandfather’s family were coal bosses who run numerous mines in the region. One of the grandfather’s aunts owed the famous Linden Hall, many family members travelled extensively, and one of the uncles died on the Titanic.

My grandfather was probably spoilt by his careless childhood and wealthy upbringing, which affected his behavior for life. Even if they obviously married for love, and had two kids, my mother and her younger brother, my grandmother was not happy in this marriage. What my grandfather loved the most, was spending time with his friends in a bar. He called these escapades “going to the bank.” Because sometimes he took his friends for long and fancy trips, nobody ever knew when he was coming back “from the bank.” In this way he spent his entire family fortune and eventually, when my mother married, my grandparent came to live with us.

My parents owed a drugstore and worked long hours. In this situation, it was mostly Freda who took care of both me and my sister. There was a lot of work around the house, and different tasks were divided between different days of the week. For example, Monday was a laundry day, Tuesday – ironing, and so on. Sunday was always a big family dinner day, which I Freda she enjoyed a lot. Besides this, my grandmother found comfort in music, played piano, and sang well. She was also a devoted church-goer and had many friends. One of them, Felicia, sometimes came with her husband Clyde to take us all to a local Tea Room in their large winged car.

She died when I was only 16-years old. She and my mother were really closed and when she passed my mother was heartbroken. I was also crashed. Freda was not only my beloved grandmother, also my confidant. I could tell her anything and she would not judge me. The last time I saw her, I sunk a letter which I wrote to her into her casket.

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