Grandma Charlotte Smith

The Smith and Dillon Family. Grandfather, Grandma, Mother, Daddy and my two sisters. I was the baby of course!

My grandmother was a very wonderful, unique person.  She had a hearing disability but that never kept her from living her life to the fullest.  Her husband, my grandfather, passed away in 1946 when I was 4 years old.  We lived across the street from her.  After grandfathers death, Grandma asked us all to move into the same house with her.  My parents had another bedroom and bathroom built onto the house and we all moved in with her.  She had peach and apricot trees in her back yard.  She loved flowers and had lilac bushes and assorted ferns and flowers in her garden.

One day, when I was young and Grandma was babysitting me, she told me to do something I must not have wanted to do.  We were outside in the yard and thinking she couldn't hear me, I told her to "shut up."  Well she had no trouble hearing what I said and immediately snapped a switch off one of the fruit trees.  Grandma peppered the back of my legs real good with that switch and believe me, I never told her to shut up again.

Grandma was a beautiful dressmaker.  She made most of our clothes.  She even sewed clothing for other people and babysat for their children to supplement her meager monthly income from Social Security. Grandma saved her money and always had envelopes stashed in various places with labels on them like, "vacation, Christmas, etc."

As I got older I became the designated guide to go with Grandma on the bus downtown for shopping or to see Dr. Hirt (no pun intended) the chiropractor.  After we had concluded our shopping or her doctor visit, she would take me to Woolworth's soda fountain and she would buy me a chocolate ice cream soda. That was always the highlight of our trip...at least for me.  It was fun helping Grandma, she was a wonderful person.

The day came when my mother had to get a job and go to work to provide extra income for our family.  I know it distressed my mother to go to work since I was just in the second grade.  She didn't have to worry because Grandma was always waiting when I got home from school.

Grandma was also an excellent cook.  She knew how to stretch a pound of hamburger and fix it a dozen ways.  She was a very hard worker and dedicated to our family.  She did the cooking, cleaning and laundry while my parents provided the income from their jobs.

I am sure I added a few more gray hairs to Grandma's beautiful head of hair.  I remember the time I put my foot in an old soap can and it got stuck on my foot.  Poor Grandma couldn't get it off my foot and we were reduced to sitting on the front porch waiting for my parents to come home from work.  Grandma reminded me that several people walking by had looked at us strangely, as if trying to figure out what had happened.  I know she was embarrassed by it all, but she sat with me until help arrived.

As I got older, I liked to watch Grandma in the kitchen.  She didn't let you help, but you could watch all you wanted.  She was a wonderful cook and even now I have her old recipes written in her handwriting.

Grandma made my wedding dress. It was a real masterpiece.  Grandma didn't take any shortcuts with her sewing......only the best work would do for her.  She also made my mothers dress and sister, Cynthia's maid of honor dress for my wedding.  A few months later, she made another wedding dress...this time a modified version of my dress for Cynthia's wedding.

Grandma loved flowers.  She grew carnations outside the back door of the house that were taller than her.  She always emptied the coffee grounds from the coffee pot on the carnations for fertilizer.  Zinnias and roses grew in the front yard every year.  Grandma passed away in December of 1978 at the age of 86 of natural causes.  Grandma was one of a kind and I miss her dearly.

Old Family Home in Fresno, CA at 3747 E. Tulare.

Grandma and Me after home was painted.

Grandma as a young woman.

Grandma in the kitchen doing what see liked best!

My beautiful Grandma. She was the best!.