Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning about the past.

Dots with her grandmothers, Mimi and Biba, on her birthday in 2004

For a school assignment Dots had to interview her grandmothers about their childhoods. I loved reading their answers probably even more than she did. How I wish I had had such a conversation with my grandparents!


Dots: Okay, so I need to interview you and if you could reply back to this before tomorrow (Friday) that would be great because this is for homework and it is due tomorrow. {sigh from Eloise - nothing like planning ahead} Think back to when you were 11 (like me!).

From her Mimi (Robert's mom), also named Dorothy:

Interview Questions:


What did you eat for a snack?
fruit, water melon, ice cream/sherbet

What were your favorite foods? Hamburgers, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, green beans

How often did you go out to eat? nearly every Sunday after church

What was the grocery store like? The store was not a chain grocer but privately owned & its name was "Sissell's Grocery." It wasn't nearly as large as the grocery stores are today, but did carry most everything we needed, as far as food was concerned.


How did you listen to music?
On the radio and record players

What was your favorite song? "Abba Dabba Honeymoon" "Rag Mop"

Who was your favorite artist/band? Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey

What type of music? Big Band Music

Did you play an instrument? Piano


What did you wear to school?

How did you get clothes? We had a live-in seamstress or at the store

How many pairs of shoes did you own? 8-10 (I loved shoes!)

What did you wear to church? "dress up" church dresses

What clothing trends were popular? neon lime green & pinkish orange colors were the fad colors


What was your favorite movie, movie star, or TV star?
Elizabeth Taylor; Debbie Reynolds, Ingrid Bergman, Margaret O'Brien, Roy Rogers, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, etc.

How much did it cost to see a movie? $.25 ($.10/Pop Corn)

How much did a TV cost? (We didn't know what our parents paid for things.)

What were things you did for entertainment? Played paper dolls; made clothes; played with my big Madame Alexander doll; played by myself a lot & not always had friends around to play with

What books were popular? Secret Garden; Black Beauty; Nancy Drew; Hardy Boys

What games did you play? jigsaw puzzles; jacks; Monopoly


What sports were popular?
Baseball; football; basketball

Did you play an organized sport? no

Were there girls teams at school? no

What was your favorite sport? Baseball

Family & Housing

What type of house did you live in?
A two story house in the country with a big yard

Who did you live with? My parents and three sisters and a brother

What kind of community? Small town

Any pets? How many? What kind? What names? Dogs (Usually 2 mutts)


How often did you go out of town?
3-4 times a year

Where would you go? San Antonio or Monterrey, Mexico

How did you travel? by car

Did you have a car? yes, we had 2 cars

How old were you when you got your first car? 20

Did you have a bike? yes


Describe school.
I attended Lamar Public School.

How many kids were in your class? 25-30

Did it have A/C? No; fans only

What happened when you got in trouble? If anyone got in trouble they had to write on the blackboard over & over again what they did wrong. ("I will not talk in class "etc.)

Where did you go to college? Trinity University in San Antonio, TX

What was lunch like at school? We either ate in the cafeteria or took our lunch

What were your favorite & least favorite subjects? I didn't dislike any of them

News, Current Events, & Politics

Important political people?
Pres. Harry Truman; Gen. Dwight Eisenhower

What were people concerned about? Agricultural crops in the Rio Grande Valley where we lived


From my mom (Biba):

Dear Dorothy -

Your questions make me feel very old - I realized, as I answered your questions, that my answers sound very antiquated!! However, here we go !!!!

My favorite after school snack was a bowl of Cheerios.

We never went out to eat - there were very few places to "eat out" in my small town.

I listened to music on the radio or on my record player. Rock and Roll music and Elvis Presley were popular. I played the piano and organ and also the clarinet.

I wore skirts and sweaters or dresses. Blue jeans became popular in the late 50's. I owned 2 pairs of shoes for each season. I wore a dress to church.

I played on a girls basketball team - tennis was somewhat popular.

Until I was 16, I lived in a 3 bedroom house with 1 bathroom - I shared the bathroom with my parents and 3 sisters! We had a car and a TV but no cable and reception was very iffy.

I got my first car when I was 16 and I always had a bike.

I was in a small school - the entire 12 grades were in 1 building - no air conditioning and I lived in south Georgia! I graduated from high school in a class of 38 people. I went to Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia (near Atlanta). Eisenhower was president.

Love, Biba


JoAnn said...

ooooh, I loved this. Do you have someone in your family who is the repository of family information?

I am slowly filling this out for my children/grandchildren.....perhaps a good gift for yours and Robert's mothers and for you to do also:

It really is a great compendium of questions...and actually makes me remember things I had long ago forgotten.

Maggie said...

When I was a kid I loved asking my parents and grandparents what it was like when they were growing up. What a treasure that Dots has these things written down and will be able to share them with her kids and grandkids.

KK said...

I loved this--thanks so much for sharing. History is so fascinating, isn't it?!

Amber M. said...

This is absolutely priceless. What a treasure!

And thanks for your sweet comment about our move and always say the kindest things. I'm so glad we found each other in blogland!!

Ally said...

I just found your blog by visiting Kim at 3peanuts. Thinking of you and Vivian. I saw Grandma Dorthey went to Trinity University in San Antonio - SO DID I!