Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mom's Birthday has recently released the 1940 Census, which is finally all indexed.  I found Mom and Grandmother living in Miami, Florida in 1940!

They live with a lady I've not heard of, named Dorothy, who works as a waitress.  Funny enough she's listed as a 'wife' rather than a 'head' of the household, but I can't find a previous page that lists a head of household. 

Mom was working as a cashier in a Beauty Supply shop.  She's listed as a daughter, though it's not clear of whom.  Good job I already know that part.  Grandmother was neither working nor seeking work.  She, too, is listed as a wife, which is correct.  I know she married her second husband in 1939.  My guess is that Larry is stationed at a Naval base somewhere near there.  Perhaps Dorothy's husband is as well?

Mom was born in Lehigh Oklahoma, but later lived with her maternal grandmother in West Monroe, Louisiana.  After that she was with her mother in Shreveport, and now in Miami.  I had heard about this, so it's not a complete surprise.  But it does go a long way to explain why Mom's Southern accent was always softer and sweeter than my Oklahoma twang.

Happy Birthday, Mom!


Beryl said...

What an interesting story. I have noticed that just a few years away from Oklahoma produces that "softer" accent you write about. You sure do find a lot of Dorothys from that era. Let us know if you get anymore information on your mystery Dorothy, please.

Rick Stone said...

It's great how you honor those who have passed on on these special days. I'm trying to do the same. The next big one I am dreading. August 26 would have been Joanne and my 24th anniversary. If things work out right I should be on the road all day that day.

BigLittleWolf said...

This is very cool, Shelley. My mother and I had a problematic relationship - something I've alluded to (and more) in some of my writing. She was, nonetheless, a brilliant woman from whom I learned a great deal. She was also quite the beauty in the 1940s.

Her birthday was a few weeks back (she's been gone 7 years now); it's inevitable that birthdays remain lodged in our psyches. I went back through some photos and found a few of her in her youth. I sometimes wonder about what it would be like if we could travel back - "Back to the Future" style - and know our parents before they were parents, and discern what seeds might have been planted that influenced their lives.

Shelley said...

Beryl - I suspect Dorothy may have been a friend of Grandmother's. I have loads of photos of Mom's friends, only I don't know their real names. They all had nicknames! I really must do some digging in her letters and photos and see if I can't unite photos with descendents.

Rick - There is no way that all those anniversaries in this first - and probably second and third - will be quite painful. My thoughts will be with you.

BLW - Mom and I had about a 10 year patch of rocky relationship. I feel very lucky that we had time to sort that all out and become best friends. Not everyone can do that. I can't imagine not having a lovely relationship to look back on. I think you've hit on the key - to learn to see them as people in their own right, with lives that would have been just as important even had we not come along.

Susan Partlan said...

What a beautiful photograph of your mother. Isn't addictive!