Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Smile for the Camera, Give Their Face a Place

Lucille Mae Hanaway Guinee
ca. 1927-1929
My grandmother
Original photo owned by D. Witkus
Lucille Hanaway, my beloved grandmother was the sixth of eight children. Born in DeMotte, Indiana to Marion Albert "Burt" and Eva Hanaway, Lucille had four brothers and three sisters. Her family farmed their land and by all accounts they were dirt poor but a very happy and close family. My grandmother married in 1930 to Bert Guinee and that union produced four children. My grandparents raised their children in Chicago, IL. She remained close to her siblings after her parents died in 1955 and 1956. Sometimes after mass on Sundays, my mother, sisters, and I would join Lucy for a little "drive" out to Indiana where we visited several of her sisters and/or brothers. My grandmother was very much loved and cherished by her children and her twenty four grandchildren. In the 70's, her children grown with families of their own, she decided to relocate to Arkansas where she lived in a retirement community. Being a very social woman, she had many friends and was very involved in her community and church, especially the choir! There were lots of visits from family and friends too!
There was no one who could grow a garden and flower bed like Lucy! I credit my own love of flowers and gardening to her. My favorite flower is a violet and no one could grow them like Lucy. Violets...I think all she needed to do was simply pinch a petal off, stick it in dirt and wallah....within a short period of time she has a beautiful plant. (I have written before about my many attempts to keep a violet plant alive, let alone grow one from a leaf!). The basement in her house in Chicago had two shelves full of violet plants in small clay pots! I wouldn't want to admit to how many died in my care. Her yard and garden were full of blooming flowers, especially roses. And trust me, when Lucy went on a vacation, she always took photographs of the many flowers she saw! She had lots and lots of photographs with flowers in them, many with no people, just flowers!
Lucy died shortly before her 87th birthday and is buried in Wheatfield Cemetery in Wheatfield, Indiana. Her parents and grandfather are buried in the same cemetery. DeMotte, Indiana, her birthplace is not far away. She will forever be remembered for her laugh, her giving nature, love of dogs (no wonder my family has always had at least one poochie!), her "green thumb" and most of all her love of her family and church. She was a really terrific woman, daughter, mother and grandmother.


Lori said...

Your grandmother is absolutely beautiful! She must have had a "super" green thumb! Violets are very hard to grow. What a nice memory for you to have about her. Thanks for sharing!

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The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!