Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma Jeanne!

Some little-known facts about Grandma Jeanne:
  • Grandma Jeanne Bruerton was born in Wolverhampton, England 87 years ago today. Wolverhamptom is Northwest of Birmingham. Her first name is Mabel, and her middle name is Jeanne.
  • During WWII, Grandma Jeanne was a "Rosie the Riveter", helping the war effort by working in a factory.
  • One day towards the end of the war, she met an American soldier named Paul Carson through a friend who was dating Paul's friend. At a dance, she discovered Paul "had two left feet" but he was tall and handsome, and she liked him. Soon, they got married and she moved with him to America. They travelled by boat to NY, and then by train to Oregon, where they made their home.
  • Jeanne and Paul moved to Yamhill County to be near Paul's family. Yamhill County is rural even today, so you can imagine what it was like in 1945. Picture a young woman transplanted from a good-sized city in England to live in Dundee, Oregon with her in-laws. As Jeanne puts it, "I thought I'd go mad."
  • Eventually, Paul and Jeanne moved to Portland. Jeanne worked for the founder of U-Haul when he was just starting out, and eventually helped Paul with his real estate business.
  • She joined a club, the Daughters of the British Empire, and made many expatriate Brit friends who had also married American soldiers.
  • After 16 years of marriage, on their wedding anniversary, little Paul came along (Anthony's Daddy!).
  • After Paul grew up, Jeanne decided she'd like to learn how to paint. She took lessons and found she had a real talent. She gets offers to buy her paintings even today!
  • Jeanne has kept up many, many friendships for decades. She still keeps in touch with friends from grade school in England. One of her lifelong best friends was someone she met on the train from NY to Oregon when she first came to America in 1945.
  • She taught Paul how to read and Susan how to knit.
  • Anthony loves to sit on Grandma Jeanne's lap.

Even though we have to keep reminding her that Anthony's name is "Anthony", and not the English "Antony", we still love her. And so does he!

1 comment:

  1. A very Happy Birthday to Grandma Jeanne! Enjoy the day and eat some cake. Love, Pat