Great/Grandparents and What We Learn From Them

Ice Nine

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Your grandparents sounds so much like mine, in their strength of character and I never heard a disparaging word come out of my maternal grandma's mouth. and strangely enough my grandpa commited suicide too, but he was 88. Pictures I've seen of them in their youth, late teens early 1920s, and later, they look like depression era people. They had some tough times. My other grandparents were nice people, but more affluent.
My favorite grandparents where the salt of the earth, just like yours appear to be.

I often think of my one grandma and try to be nicer and kinder to people, even if some don't deserve it. :LOL:
 

whitewave

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Interesting about the language, Silvanus. You're not the first person I've heard with that similar story. I quit worrying about how I sounded to others (strong Okie accent, yall) when I was 20 and Carter was prez. Some reporter asked the president about his accent and he responded, "I'm the president of the united states-I don't have an accent; you do" which earned him a hearty round of applause and raucous laughter.

Other than grandparents, I've found an alternate source of information from that age: online google books which is transferring newspapers of the times from microfiche to pdf. Their newspapers were folksie with readers digest type stories, poems, news of travelers, stories of deceased that went with the obituaries, corny and possibly dangerous medical advertisements, wholesome jokes, etc. There's all kinds of little tidbits in those newspapers that relate to what we're researching here. In fact, I was reading through one of the papers today dated 1850 and there was reminiscing about THEIR grandparents generation (1700's!).

There were alerts in St. Louis that 20-90% of the population in certain towns in Missouri had died of cholera! Same news from New York. There are announcements of new inventions and stories of "important" people who've returned from their travels to Turkey and what they saw and experienced there. Doesn't sound anything like what we know of Turkey today, sadly. I heard no racism about the foreign brown people and nothing but fascination for their culture and admiration for their lifestyle in the article.

Really, those old newspapers are a wealth of information. You can see social reform starting in some of the editorial pieces. There was a 2 page article on what constitutes a virtuous woman and how she should behave and what constitutes a good wife and how she should behave. (Nothing on how a gentleman or man of honor should behave- don't get me started). In between the adverts and the moralizing was a small snippet of an article talking about "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" and said that men and women should be equal. What a concept! Hope the writer wasn't burned at the stake.

Lot of world politics and comments from "important" people who visited with foreign dignitaries. There was a blasting article about the Tsarina Anne and her famed cruelty with an example of said cruelty. I read those old papers for about 3 hours and never once encountered the word "slave". Heard about how a socialite was seen onboard a cruise vessel with her "2 colored attendants". Maybe the writers were just being polite? This was written 10 years before the Civil War and there are no stories of civil unrest/racial tensions/slavery/economic upheaval due to free labor of the South. The Odd Fellows organization seemed to be extremely wealthy taking up a lot of page space and discussing their extravagant buildings in every paper I read.

Anyway, if no grandparents left then check out the pdf of what was going on in your grandparents time. If you find the article about vampirism and lycanthropy verified by 3 medical Drs. and multiple witnesses, shoot me a PM with your opinion. I was floored!
 

Sawdy

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My Grandpa passed away more than 15 years ago. He was a big news junkie but never agreed with the spin on politics they spew out on the CBC. But he would watch it everyday.
I never talked with him much as a kid and into my early adulthood. And then he died. I would have enjoyed conversations with him now. He crossed over from East to West Germany, moving from town to town and getting though checkpoints by finding out the name of the mayor in the next town, all under the guise of bringing them a live chicken for their dinner. He helped a whole family make the illegal crossing at night, but that is all I know because the stories aren't shared.
My Grandma is still alive but has never really been able to talk about anything about WWII. Life was hard for her in Germany and she worked very hard to lose her German accent when she came to Canada. Her mother had Alzheimer's and reverted to speaking Yiddish. She passed this info off to me one day that she couldn't understand it but her older sister knew how to speak it. She then swept it under the rug by saying the neighbors spoke it and that is how they learned it.
My other Grandparents are gone. My Great-Grandpa lived to 103 but I was a teen and not interested in conversing with him. He was from Poland but spoke Ukrainian I believe. The other set of Greats on that side came from Ukraine. My one Grandpa was born in the Ukraine. My Dad's first language was Ukrainian until he started school.
So there is so much interesting that I would have loved to know or find out and now I can't. But it wasn't like the told their stories much. It hurts to talk about the past.

My husband's Grandfather wrote down his life story before he passed. But he whitewashed it in the process. The time spent serving in WWII has been shortened to only the highlights he wished to share with his daughters. According to his memoirs he wrote his wife every week and kept those letters until retirement when he destroyed them. I wonder if they would have not been as whitewashed. Or perhaps they were because he would have got in trouble to share anything that could be intercepted. I would've liked to meet him and discuss things if he was still alive today.

Nobody likes to talk about the past with Millennials like me. They think we all don't care. I wonder if that is how other generations felt about generations like the baby boomers or the generations preceding them. We all probably get arrogant when we take first year Arts degrees and get inundated with history classes.
 

Silvanus777

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I heard no racism about the foreign brown people and nothing but fascination for their culture and admiration for their lifestyle in the article.
I got several years worth of an old magazine in book form, years 1899 - 1907 or so, which my grampa secured when they tore down the old parochial house decades ago. This one was printed in Bohemia, while it was still part of Austro-Hungary, and aimed at catholicas in then Austria and Germany. I can report the same thing: Similar travel reports or reports by missionaries to Africa and elsewhere and no racism whatsoever, only fascination and respect for dark skinned people, their culture and lifestyle. Same thing with the moralizing and the well-meaning, practical living advice for children, women and even men! My God, everything in these magazines is so innocent, so benevolent, healthy and good-natured and un-corrupted. Two world wars / mass slaugther rituals and 70 years of toxic social engineering really tore us "Westerners" down to the gutter (mentally/morally/spiritually)...

:(
 

BStankman

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Great stories getting shared here.

Got some more details over the holidays.
Pittsburgh 1918, two deaths in the the family. One an infant, the other fourteen.
Taken away by carts and not buried in the family plot.

Influenza Ban The Pittsburgh Press, October 7, 1918.png

Other side, my grandfather was in the paramilitary Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression.

afd982acbb3e8b040831ca0551062501--corp-conservation.jpg
Later got thrown out of the Army and became a Hobo like Don Draper.
A lifestyle in the US that goes back to the civil war, possibly native American.

49a1b6e42a59f_52682b.jpg
Both odd periods of US history that need more research.

He was the first born in the US from immigrants.
The family name is most common in Macedonia, which is not the country they said they were from.
There is the possibility they were refugees from this. Balkan Wars - Wikipedia
I did meet my great grandmother when very young and can remember her speaking some kind of Slavic language.

Prilep_Battle_1912_Postcard.jpg
 

Silvanus777

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Oh one more interesting anecdote from my paternal family side:

During WW2 the Austrian countryside took in many ethnic German refugees from the east. During that time, my paternal grandparents took in a couple of so called "Volga Germans" that had come from the Volga region fleeing persecution by Stalin. Friedrich Weimer (name must derive from the city of Weimar in Germany I would think) and his Russian wife Anastasia. They lived with my father's family until the 1960 and stayed in close contact to us even after moving to a nearby city, always being like the closes of family to us until they died around the early 2000s. Both were the most kind and caring people you could wish for, although they had their whole families brutally murdered with all property seized back in Russia. The man's only son ended up in Kasachstan, curiously. He visited 12-15 years or so ago, never heard of the guy again. Curious how people got shuffled around within the Soviet Union, the son of the displaced "Volga German" ending up in Kasachstan...

I find the fact that so many ethnic Germans, speaking the language even, used to live not only in the former eastern territories of the Habsburg monarchy (in modern Romania, Bulgaria etc.) but also deep into Russian lands, until the soviets either exterminated or displaced them.
After having read Fomenko I must concede some validity to his (partially annoying) russo-centric claims of the "Habsburg" or "Holy Roman Empire" once being united with Russia in a Greater Tartarian Empire... Makes me think. On top of that we have the strong notions among pre WWI British and other statesmen & diplomats that "Russia and Germany have to be kept from uniting at all costs". What could be behind that?? Fear of a former world power re-uniting??

I don't know, but it's definitely thrilling to make connections (conjecture?) between larger world history and bits and pieces of family history.
 

BStankman

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My other grandparents were nice people, but more affluent.
I can verify the Fort Griswold information. At Least in regards to who was fighting who.
I had 4 cousins fighting at Fort Griswold, they all survived, even one of them who received 7 bayonet stabs, his heart could be seen beating in his chest. He was one of the very few wounded who survived. I was so surprised when a link to Fort Griswold showed up here.
@Ice Nine
I would love to hear any family stories on this. Was it an revolt, or an invasion? The memorial says conquerors.

Ledyard-4.jpg4361173492_80d7cab6fd_b.jpg4360455479_b2fcc84d0b_b.jpg
 

Ice Nine

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Thanks for the interest BS. I can only answer in the context of what we were handed down through time.

I got mixed up about the wounds and family members involved in the battle, it was what one Aunt had relayed to me. But this is correct from 3 different sources. (other than my aunt)
3 Stanton's were killed, Captain Amos Stanton, Lieutenant Enoch Stanton and Sergeant Daniel Stanton ( 26 wounds) and 2 were wounded and paroled, Daniel Stanton Jr. and Edward, Edward received a terrible wound that exposed his heart, but he survived.

The memorial says "conquerors' because the British did just that, it was one of the last major victories of the Revolutionary war, by the British. Benedict Arnold and his troops were sent to New London to take over the port city, the British wanted it for future use to help with the war. Arnold ended up burning the towns of New London and Groton. Besides the massacre at the Fort.

This side of my family has been here since 1635, but even this relative left out Daniel Stanton Jr, but his name is on the monument as being wounded and surviving.

recordgenealogic00byustan_0035.jpgrecordgenealogic00byustan_0036.jpg
 

Whaduzitake

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I never got the chance to learn much of anything from my grandparents, but I've learned some interesting things from my parents by reading between the lines. There seems to be this weird brainwashing that causes them to come to conclusions about the past that aren't backed up at all by the stories they share. I've found it's better to ask more roundabout questions instead of direct interrogation.

One of the bigger things I've gleaned is that it was totally normal (albeit less common) for women to be property owners and heads of households around the turn of the century. Being a homemaker was also considered akin to a profession and was well respected, and educated women were considered better than uneducated women. Basically the entire narrative that women were kept barefoot and pregnant and weren't allowed to progress past middle school is totally false.
I have found this to be true as well! Glad to see you say this.
This is something that's currently in the process of being rewritten, but your great grandmother probably was actually Caucasian, just not "white" by the racial standards of the time. "White" classification has made a lot of transformations over the years, and even today people still argue about whether all light skinned Caucasians are "white" or not.

Anyway, the Cherokee and surrounding peoples weren't a fully homogeneous bunch, but they were mainly of Mediterranean descent. That's why there are so many modern Americans with family stories of Cherokee and etc. ancestry whose DNA results tell them "No, you're Jewish!" or "No, you're Spanish!" etc. This is also the case in my family. We have verifiable Native ancestry, and not a small amount of it either, but my DNA test looks like somebody closed their eyes and threw darts at a map of Eurasia. It's something you see whispered about in the corners of the internet, but people really don't talk about it in real life. Even tribes don't really talk about it. You're family or you're not, and race is only an issue if you're not.

Example of a full blooded Cherokee girl from a century ago:


At the time they described her looks as "Grecian". They knew.
OMG I love this post!!! They totally circumvent the fact that no one actually "knows" where the native Americans actually came from. If you go by appearance solely, they look Western European, like the picture above, or like they are Arab or Middle Eastern, or a mix of Oriental and Middle Eastern or Asian Indian. It's just not politically correct to say the glaringly obvious, imho.
 
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UnusualBean

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If you go by appearance solely, they look Western European, like the picture above, or like they are Arab or Middle Eastern, or a mix of Oriental and Middle Eastern or Asian Indian. It's just not politically correct to say the glaringly obvious, imho.
Notice how most of those regions are in or adjacent to the Mediterranean ;)
 

Dandi

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In my family tree it happened like this: My great grandmother was adopted and then, from the sayings of my grandma, she ran away from home - around 30km and she got married with my great grandfather that died when my grandmother was small and she can barely remember. My grandmother's brother committed suicide in the 30's. From my other side of the family my grandfather was adopted and he has his roots in Ukraine (we have no more information about from where exactly, only thing we know is that he was 4 years old when he was adopted). My other grandmother was telling us stories how her mother came from a family of single kids so there are no other cousins, uncles she had. She was saying that our great-grandmother since she knew herself she was living in that area (on the other side of the country, some little small village with no real connection to the world, the entire village is now moved because there were landslides in the 90’s, her house is long gone). Weirdly enough in both cases, the fathers of the grandmothers died when they were really young, there is only one picture with my great-grandmother with her husband but not with my grandmother.

A family friend has a similar situation in her family where the great grandmothers were said to be born in single families and they were given away for adoption and they came from really small villages.

There is a family name that is really proeminent through Romania, the “Dragoi” name. Not too many people are talking about this but I searched it awhile. It's not like the John Doe name where in romanian would be: Gheorghe Popescu. My grandfather had 6 brothers which all have now of course the family name Dragoi but from where it originated I haven’t found out - it may be a archaic composed word from drag -meaning close to the heart and the ending -oi that was used in old times. When you say it in romanian it sounds as if it is coming from the word "dragon"

Quick question for everyone:

Would it make sense to do a heritage test? Because from one side of the family the grandparents where from opposite sides of the country and perhaps outside the romanian territory.
 

Silvanus777

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There is a family name that is really proeminent through Romania, the “Dragoi” name. Not too many people are talking about this but I searched it awhile. It's not like the John Doe name where in romanian would be: Gheorghe Popescu. My grandfather had 6 brothers which all have now of course the family name Dragoi but from where it originated I haven’t found out - it may be a archaic composed word from drag -meaning close to the heart and the ending -oi that was used in old times. When you say it in romanian it sounds as if it is coming from the word "dragon"
Very interesting! I know next to nothing about the Romanian language, but do you know if there's a connection between the, as you say, common name "Dragoi" and the notoriously famous Vlad Tepes "Dracul" of the 15th century? I have no idea, but this is just a thought that came to my mind. I have some very basic knowledge of slavic languages from some Russian classes I took back at university, and I too think that the connection you made to drag, as in "close to the heart" (drug in Russian being "friend", also someone close to one's heart) would make perfect sense for a family name. However, what if "Dragoi" is a (linguistic) corruption of "Dracoi"? Now again, I know basically nothing about the Romanian language, but "-oi" can be a plural noun ending in Greek (for example "magus" = magos, plural: magoi). Could the Dragoi / Dracoi have historically been the extended family and/or descendents of Vlad Dracul??

@Dandi Haha, guess I have a vivid imaginatin. Would definitely love to know more from you about this if you find out anything else about the origin of the name! I'm generally very fond of "decrypting" family names I come across. :giggle:(y)
 

Dandi

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Very interesting! I know next to nothing about the Romanian language, but do you know if there's a connection between the, as you say, common name "Dragoi" and the notoriously famous Vlad Tepes "Dracul" of the 15th century? I have no idea, but this is just a thought that came to my mind. I have some very basic knowledge of slavic languages from some Russian classes I took back at university, and I too think that the connection you made to drag, as in "close to the heart" (drug in Russian being "friend", also someone close to one's heart) would make perfect sense for a family name. However, what if "Dragoi" is a (linguistic) corruption of "Dracoi"? Now again, I know basically nothing about the Romanian language, but "-oi" can be a plural noun ending in Greek (for example "magus" = magos, plural: magoi). Could the Dragoi / Dracoi have historically been the extended family and/or descendents of Vlad Dracul??

@Dandi Haha, guess I have a vivid imaginatin. Would definitely love to know more from you about this if you find out anything else about the origin of the name! I'm generally very fond of "decrypting" family names I come across. :giggle:(y)
This is very interesting
I found in this book on google "Yearbook of Morphology 1999" about this augumentative suffix -oi which sometimes is used as enhancing, oversizing, and sometimes used as a diminutive.
Another thing about Vlad Tepes -" tepes" comes from "țeapă" - which means impale (the object) but also means "to deceive" and that's a saying that is said to be in our culture since vlad tepes :) . A story I know about Vlad Tepes and why was he called Dracul - was because he received a gift from the chinese emperor (which said to have negotiations with during the 1500's) a cape with a dragon on it, from which our beloved citizens of the country where saying that is the devil , "drac" - evil entity that lays in hell and does nasty things.
Maybe one day I will get to the bottom of this family name and find out what's with this double sense of this word. Being a family name in my family it's sweet to the heart :) and when I hear it it brings nice feelings inside :) to note, it's written in romanian Drăgoi.
As a summery:
While we have the word "dragoste" (which means love) which makes the family name Dragoi fitting, we have also the "drac" and the augumentative suffix -oi which also makes it fit.

Thank you very much for your insights ::)
 

Radal16

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I asked my 92 year old Grandfather a few questions over Christmas about his childhood. He grew up in a small town in Upstate NY and was the very last child to be born on the family homestead that was originally built by a German immigrant in 1750- which is still there btw, currently owned by a trust. His memory is sharp, he can remember every little detail about the farm, down to the sounds and smells. I asked him if there was any talk when he was a child about news from around the world, he said no- local news only. I asked if his parents ever talked about life when they were children and he said that they never would have done that, that wasn't the way then. If something big went down in recent history (the last 150 years or so) I would have expected that people would know from their parents or grandparents. BUT, it appears that reminiscing about the old days wasn't particularly common, at least not in my Grandfather's family. Interestingly, he remembers the beginning of segregation in the immigrant neighborhoods in his small town. That would have been in the 30's before WWII.
 

BrokenAgate

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My parents were pretty old when they had me--my mother was 41 and my dad was 60!--so my grandparents were all dead by the time I came along. But I have wondered about this. Wouldn't the survivors teach their children something about the mud flood, or rain of dirt, or whatever it was? Wouldn't they teach that the cities were already there, and they simply moved into them?

I'm trying to imagine how it all went down. People living normally and peacefully in their cities, and then there's a catastrophe (natural, man-made, or both) and it all gets flooded and bombed. Millions die, diseases and starvation kill even more. Then the controllers come in, and they tell people where to go and how to live from now on. Orphaned children are sent away from their homelands to become slaves on farms and in factories, families and friends are separated as their neighborhoods are destroyed to make room for newer buildings that look nothing like the old architecture. Everyone is made to work so hard that they don't have time to wonder what happened. The money they earn goes mainly to the government and utility providers, with little left for themselves. Life is a struggle every moment. Buildings are dug out of the mud, then destroyed within a few years or decades, and very soon, everyone has put the past behind them. As older people die off, there is nobody to pass on any stories, even if they wanted to recount them. Younger people have no memory of anything being different, and they aren't curious enough to ask about the past because there is work to do all the time. In schools and orphanages everywhere, they are taught a history that never happened, and they have no reason to doubt it.

But why would older people, the grandparents and great-grandparents, not tell them the truth? Fear, I suspect. Fear of ridicule, fear of retaliation by the government, the ever-present brainwashing that has convinced them that they can't possibly know as much as the historians, and their own memories must be faulty in some way, and the trauma of having survived something that killed so many of their friends and family.

And of course, as others have mentioned, since people didn't have transportation like we do now (or did in the past), they wouldn't have traveled very far, so they wouldn't have learned much of anything about what was going on in the world. Maybe this attitude was encouraged by the people in charge, and that's why parents and grandparents didn't discuss the olden days with their children. It just wasn't something that proper people did.
 

UnusualBean

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My parents were pretty old when they had me--my mother was 41 and my dad was 60!--so my grandparents were all dead by the time I came along. But I have wondered about this. Wouldn't the survivors teach their children something about the mud flood, or rain of dirt, or whatever it was? Wouldn't they teach that the cities were already there, and they simply moved into them?

I'm trying to imagine how it all went down. People living normally and peacefully in their cities, and then there's a catastrophe (natural, man-made, or both) and it all gets flooded and bombed. Millions die, diseases and starvation kill even more. Then the controllers come in, and they tell people where to go and how to live from now on. Orphaned children are sent away from their homelands to become slaves on farms and in factories, families and friends are separated as their neighborhoods are destroyed to make room for newer buildings that look nothing like the old architecture. Everyone is made to work so hard that they don't have time to wonder what happened. The money they earn goes mainly to the government and utility providers, with little left for themselves. Life is a struggle every moment. Buildings are dug out of the mud, then destroyed within a few years or decades, and very soon, everyone has put the past behind them. As older people die off, there is nobody to pass on any stories, even if they wanted to recount them. Younger people have no memory of anything being different, and they aren't curious enough to ask about the past because there is work to do all the time. In schools and orphanages everywhere, they are taught a history that never happened, and they have no reason to doubt it.

But why would older people, the grandparents and great-grandparents, not tell them the truth? Fear, I suspect. Fear of ridicule, fear of retaliation by the government, the ever-present brainwashing that has convinced them that they can't possibly know as much as the historians, and their own memories must be faulty in some way, and the trauma of having survived something that killed so many of their friends and family.

And of course, as others have mentioned, since people didn't have transportation like we do now (or did in the past), they wouldn't have traveled very far, so they wouldn't have learned much of anything about what was going on in the world. Maybe this attitude was encouraged by the people in charge, and that's why parents and grandparents didn't discuss the olden days with their children. It just wasn't something that proper people did.
In a number of countries, if you were caught saying the wrong things you could be carted off to an insane asylum and tortured until you forgot your "delusions". Very strong motivator to feign ignorance.
 

BrokenAgate

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They also keep us constantly preoccupied with wars, famine, drought, poverty, and every other kind of hardship so we'll be too traumatized to feel like passing on stories to the next generations. Who wants to remember any of that? Better to just forget it and move on.
 

sleepy

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a lurker for a while, but a first post as I wanted to share my grandma's thoughts since it's from a different culture than most of the replies, she's said something interesting things, and overall a different perspective. She's also terrible at lying, so I believe her.

My grandma was born in the 20s in Japan. One of her homes (they had two) was destroyed in the fire bombs in Tokyo, but she stayed at their other house in a different area sometimes, which is why she and her family survived it. When she talks about childhood, she talks about how hard it was to walk up the mountains carrying water and how her sister loved to cook the potatoes in the ground, or how her father made her wear the hats he sewed even though she didn't like it - she never talks about "horrors of war". She seems to have no real sad stories from that war time in her life, other than the fire, or when she moved to abroad (I'll get there). I don't think she's hiding anything because she is terrible at lying, and she's mentioned upsetting things like siblings that died at young ages from illness.

A few months ago right before I found this site, when I was visiting her she was watching a (Japanese silly quiz styled) TV show that was about space. One question was "how old is the universe?" and an elderly man answered "68 years, because that's when I was born. I don't know if it existed before then, so to me that's what it is", before being told the "right" answer of .. whatever trillion, then went on that explain the "correct" answer. The whole show was like this (wrong "silly" answer corrected with laughs to the current science). My grandma said she never learned any of this in school, she was fascinated and didn't believe the "real" answers.
The show talked about how the Earth revolves around the sun and the moon around the Earth, and how they're all round. My grandma was laughing because it sounded so silly to her; she was told in elementary school the Earth was round, but when she asked why water stays on the ground, no one really answered comfortably. She also said she's never heard about the "Earth around sun, moon around Earth" orbit before, and she still believes that the Earth is stationary, and the sun and Moon trade places.
She doesn't know why the moon glows, because the idea of the sun bouncing light off of it is ridiculous to her, because of the positioning.

That was all just idle talk, but I mention it because it shows a bit of the types of things she learned (or didn't learn) in school in a standard education. Their history they were taught in school was standard, big event history of Japan in elementary school; history of surrounding areas in middle school (and they start English then); and then in high school, they branch into very, very vague world history. A lot of the subtler Japanese history she doesn't know, and a lot of big world history events she doesn't know.

He father (my great grandfather) was a college professor and inventor, and I think he probably had the same lack of modern cosmic science, or he would've corrected her.

She went to college for architecture (this is right after WWII) and worked in the military. She copied and drafted blueprints for machines she didn't know the purpose of, and sometimes tanks, then switched to clerical work on an American base because of her English.

She met my grandfather (he was in American army), got married, and they moved around between US, Germany and Japan (the Korean war happened during this time and my grandfather was stationed in Korea a couple times), and the other hardship she had was when she lived in America at first; everyone was really racist towards her. She also lost many of her belongings in a storage fire in Germany.

I think I got a little of topic, but those are the kinds of things I learn about from her. She doesn't know a lot of Western history other than what she had to learn for citizenship (which 95% she's forgotten because who needs it). There's even discrepancies in the Japanese history she knows versus the history I've learned more recently. I can't think of examples exact at the moment. We watch Japanese TV a lot, and it always prompts a lot of "I never knew that!" or "That's wrong" from her on the quiz or info ones.

This side of my family had a documented lineage that goes back hundreds of years, which is a big contrast to my other family side, which stops at great-grandparents because one says they were born on a raft in a river and refuse to talk about their history, and the other ran off someplace untraceable and no one knows anything about them.
As for my grandfather that was in the military who married her, he died when I was younger, so I never got to talk about this stuff. But I know he and his brothers were all bad alcoholics for most of their lives that they blame on the wars and being in the army.
 

BrokenAgate

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She went to college for architecture (this is right after WWII) and worked in the military. She copied and drafted blueprints for machines she didn't know the purpose of, and sometimes tanks, then switched to clerical work on an American base because of her English.
She sounds like an amazing woman! I'm so glad you were able to get so much information from her. It's interesting about her education, what she learned and didn't learn. Higher education is a fairly new thing (or something that we only recently re-invented). I think many of our grandparents and great-grandparents, if they went to school at all, had a very basic education until around the age of ten or twelve: reading, maths, writing, a bit of geography and history, just enough to get by before going to work on the farm, taking up an apprenticeship, or whatever. Girls often were viewed as not needing much of an education because they were expected to get married, have children, and manage the household, not have a career in science or management. Of course, this is a generalization, but these types of stories are the ones I've read about most often. Minimal education, hard work, raise a family. So it's cool that she went to college despite seeming to have missed out on a lot in her earlier education.
 

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