Friday, September 17, 2010

Loraine Chase: Grandfather Morse

Grandfather Morse.

The Hale Street writers' childhood memories are filled with grandparents, who were an integral part of family life before World War II. Grandfather Morse was no exception. He was Loraine's only surviving grandparent, her grandmother Morse having died shortly after the birth of Loraine's mother, and she spent a lot of time with him. The exquisite photograph above was taken in the 1920s (Loraine was born in 1926). I love the way it overflows with gentleness and affection, despite the formal setting. Loraine's memories of "helping" her grandfather around the farm remind me of Charles's memories of Grampa Small (click here). Loraine writes:

My only surviving grandparent lived with his oldest daughter and her husband on a farm in Moretown, Vermont. It was a beautiful white farmhouse with wraparound porch and surrounded by nasturtiums. I had a swing and a beautiful wicker doll carriage which I wheeled my around. I recall the milking cows and the garden attended by my grandpa. I guess I thought I did something to help him, but it was mostly about keeping company. I also recall the ice house with sawdust packing.

Grandpa hitched up Dot and took me riding in a horse cart similar to Amish. We purchased items at Ward store and after returning home I was treated to a juicy cherry chocolate.

I remember the hot haying task, piles of hay pitched onto the hay wagon by pitchfork. Aunt Etta made a special spice tea for the workers.

Close by I had two much older girl cousins and I became very close to them. One of them came to live in Barre with us to attend Spaulding High School, as there was no high school in Moretown. The other girl attended Waitsfield.

I got passed around in the family and at my uncle’s farm I enjoyed floating a little boat in a watering trough. I played a lot of croquet games. My cousin and I cooled off in the river.

One of my cousins was a telephone operator in Waterbury where I had another aunt. I spent time with Aunt Minnie and my cousin, and we attended some Gene Autry movies when her time allowed. I remember “Don Fields and His Pony Boys” country music. He was heard from radio WDEV Waterbury. I enjoyed the music and enjoyed dancing by myself when listening.

No comments: