My parents received a letter from one of my dad's cousins from the Morman branch of the family. Enclosed were some geneology records he'd found while researching the family tree. Sidenote: I don't know if this is common knowledge or not but apparently the Mormon Church keeps extensive geneology records. I had no idea! Anyway, looking them over and talking with my parents I learned more about my paternal grandmother's family than I'd known before. I knew a bit about her family already, mostly because Grammy was a born storyteller. It helped that her childhood and large family were genuinely interesting, but Grammy could turn a trip to the mailbox into a side-splitting story. She had icy blue eyes that sparkled when she was telling a story or laughing, and I remember her as an exceptionally beautiful, stylish woman even as a senior citizen. In the photos I've seen of her younger days, she could have been a movie star. Grammy could trace her lineage back to the first ship that came to America after the Mayflower, though I now think that might have been a dramatic embellishment. Apparently her family had some money at one time. They owned a large tract of land along Lake Ontario that is now a state park, but they fell into hard times even before the Great Depression. So back to the records... I found out that Grammy's mother was named Nellie Belle Brown, which is about as old fashioned a name as I've ever heard. Belle must have been a very popular name in that family, because there was also a Flora Belle, a Nora Belle and a Clara Belle. There was also a Cordelia just to break up the monotony. Grammy had four brothers and sisters. I don't remember either of the brothers, though one died when I was four years old. I do remember Aunt Vera and Aunt Doris very well. Aunt Doris sent home made gifts to my brother and me every year; small things that I didn't really appreciate as a child but now realize were very special. I remember Aunt Vera a bit better, mainly because she was a bigger personality that demanded to be noticed. She taught me to waltz at a wedding when I was six or seven. We used to go visit Grammy and Bop in Fairmount on Sundays. Grammy would make tea for me; it made me feel very grown up. Then the adults would start talking (boring!) and I'd read Grammy's collection of National Enquirers or play chopsticks over and over on the upright piano. I don't know how they could stand it.

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