In helping to clean out Grandma and Grandpa Montgomery’s house in 1998, one of many family history items uncovered was a “family heirloom book” titled Grandma Was Quite a Girl. It consists of questions on a variety of subjects with blanks for the subject to fill in. I suspect someone may have given this to Grandma as a gift. Much of the book is still incomplete, but even the brief notations in Grandma’s handwriting make for a treasured keepsake:
Today is July 5, 1986 and I am 77 years old. I have lived a full, rich life and now I want to tell my family all about it. To begin at the beginning, I was born in Bradish, Nebraska, on December 17 in the year 1908. My parents officially named me Agnetta Blanche.
I Remember My Mother: Mother was then 27 years old and My Father was 23. As a child I remember the house we lived in: In So. Dak. It was a Two room shack with an attic. And I remember a few of the nicknames the family and friends gave me as I grew up: My brother Clarence called me Nancy as he couldn’t say Blanche. And the first chores I had to do: Was milk a cow. I would have loved to work outside but I had to baby sit and do housework.
My Own First Memories: My Dear Grandmother. My Father & Mother & brothers & sisters. My First Day in School: I sure do. I had to walk 2 miles & there were dogs along the way. The teacher pulled my hair. The Games We Played: Baseball, Hide & go seek, Pump pump pull away. My Favorite Teacher: Mildred Irene Kemp she was the best teacher I ever had. My First “Club”: The “Rose Bud Valley Club” for adults & children too.
Favorites in My Memory: My Favorite Color: green & blue. My Favorite Time of the Day: Evening. My Favorite Musical Instrument: Piano & guitar.
My Own Opinions: Peace will never come until: People learn to get along. How to solve the world’s overpopulation problems: Be more kind to everyone & share everything you have.
Babies! Babies! Babies! I keep thinking of the names I would have named the “more babies” if I had had all I ever wanted. Now, for girls, I’d liked to have been “Mother” to such sweet names as: Genevieve, Joleen, Nancy, Jessica, Jenifer, Tosha. And, for boys, I guess I would have changed diapers and put up with their foolishness if I’d given them names like: Robert, Tommy, Lynn.
I Wish, I Wish, I Wish – I Wish I Had: Studied other languages, especially Norwegian, Spanish & French.
X Kept my Indian penny collection
X Kept my first doll
X Kept a real diary, all the years of my life
X Kept more pictures of the people and places I knew
X Asked my Mother and Father more questions about their lives
And I wish I could talk to one particular person my Mother…just one more time
My Favorite Games & Sports (Marked “1-2-3” as I like ’em)
1 Horseback Riding
3 Walking. I like to walk now, but my legs aren’t very good.
It was a great century to live in. Depression Years – the Thirties – The crops dried up. The grasshoppers ate all the crops. And my parents lost everything. The Worst Year, I Guess, Was When I: lost my best friend. My Favorite Years Were: 1926