Monday, June 28, 2010
Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Beatty
Today my cousin Dawn and I drove down to Walsenburg to visit our grandparents. Dawn and I reconnected at the 2010 Beatty reunion in Utah earlier this month - before that we'd only seen each other I think once since high school, even though for a fair chunk of that time we'd lived in the same city. I think we're both pretty excited about making that connection together.
This was one of the nicest visits I've had with grandma and grandpa (Gladys Marie Allison Beatty and Park Forsythe Beatty). We looked at photos and chatted for a good two hours. Dawn showed them pictures from the Utah trip and I brought a few of their photo albums from their Navy days and high school days (I'm holding onto their albums for them because they don't have room in their place) and they looked through the albums and talked about a few things they remembered. One story that comes to mind right now is that Grandma told us about how they got married - they'd met while stationed in San Diego in the Navy, but grandpa got out before grandma and was back in Cedar City, Utah. When grandma got out of the Navy, she stopped in Cedar City on her way home to Fairplay, Colorado. She stayed over at the Escalante for a few days and told grandpa, as she put it, "to either sh** or get off the pot", or rather, told him to marry her or she was going home to find someone else. Well, they just had their 64th anniversary earlier this month. They started out in a basement apartment in Cedar City, but Ernie, grandma's dad, thought no daughter of his should live in a basement, so he set them up at his house in the 500 block (513?) of E.Del Norte, near the Patty Jewett golf course in Colorado Springs. I want to go find that home.
Grandpa claims that he was such a fast runner in his high school days in track that he was actually faster than the current world record but they didn't keep records back then. :) Grandpa also got a kick out of pictures of grandma in her Hawaiian grass skirt and beachwear.
Another story grandma told that was new for me was about how her dad Ernie (Millard Ernest Allison) became a shoe cobbler. He was raised as a farmer/rancher, but his stepdad Ned Lenari trained him to be a shoe cobbler and that's how he made his living in later years. Grandma showed me a picture of her and a Navy girlfriend wearing cowboy boots that Ernie made for them.
I also learned Grandma had a few nicknames in the Navy - she was called "Al" - short for Allison, her last name. Even grandpa called her that. Grandpa said she was also known as Happy Butt because of her first name, Gladys - I'll see if you can figure that one out. :)
They both seemed to be in good spirits. Grandpa has some holes in his memory - he almost completely forgot that he lived in New Mexico for years and had occasional confusion about who we were, but it comes back to him with some time and some prompts to jog the memory now and then. Grandma has a few holes in her memory, too - I've never noticed it before - but she's still very sharp over all. They also seem to be getting more involved in activities available to them where they live. They've been playing Bingo and going to a weekly movie and Sunday church, etc.