When I Grow Up

Every Family Has a Character

Nov 2 – your ancestor is a character in a novel



Gertrude was a character. She had the most beautiful piercing blue eyes that twinkled when she smiled and flashed on the rare occasion she was angry. She regularly insisted she was an ugly duckling, but her inner beauty radiated. Her signature red hair ensured she would not get lost in a crowd and she kept it perfectly coiffed.

Her style was typical for that of a mature professional woman in the 1970s. When she performed, her clothes sparkled like her smile. She dressed to impress; not in a cheap, tawdry way, but in a way that exuded class. She had an impressive collection of long gowns and costume jewelry that she wore when singing in clubs and was careful, fussy even, about how they were maintained.

Her voice was musical, even when she wasn’t singing, yet her laugh can only be described as a cackle. Once she got going, one couldn’t help but join in, and once started, it was difficult to stop. She loved to laugh and it was evident in her face. Even though she was well into middle age, her face was pleasant, without a hint of the difficulties she had endured in life. Babies would stare at her, fascinated, as she cooed over them, grabbing their hands and tickling their toes. Her fine wrinkles only enhanced her features and showed a woman who had lived and loved well.