Sunday, March 31, 2013

Generation 49

The Grosh Family - Generation 49 The parents of Elva Grosh

by Bob Grosh, Generation 52

This is my great grandparents Jess and Jennie Charles, the parents of my grandmother,
Elva Fae Charles who married Herbert Michael Grosh who were was my dad's parents.

This music reminds me of my grandparents, Read on to find out why.
The music is Scheming Wheasel faster by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"


Jess Elmer Charles b. February 28, 1874 d. June 15, 1959 in California
Jennie May b. April 02, 1880. M. February 22, 1898 d. August 23, 1965 in California

Here is Elva's mom, Jenny Charles and her sister. 

Jenny is on the left. Her sister is on the right. This was taken on the front porch of my great grandma and grandpa Charles's house in California when we visited in the late 50's

Jenny loved to play cards. When she played cards with her great-grand-kids, she cheated like hell. Of course, we eventually figured it out, but didn't dare protest. She tried to teach me how to play poker. We used pennies, nickels and dimes for chips. She was really serious about card games when pennies were involved. I suppose it was because when she was a kid. a penny would buy a loaf of bread. I remember her saying "A penny saved is a penny earned." or "Mind the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." whenever she got one from us. I didn't like poker. I think she changed the rules to suit her hand. So we played Old Maid, Go Fish or Crazy eights. For a penny a game.

Jenny, grab the cute one, I'll whack his dad with thi
s rock and we'll run.

This is Great grandma Jenny Charles and Grandpa Jessie Charles visiting a family grave in California. That's my dad pulling weeds. The three kids are my brother, sister and me. I'm the one with my hands in my pockets. The pockets were probably empty. I kept my hands there a lot when grandma Charles was around. I often wondered how many of my pennies, nickles and dimes were in that big heavy purse she carried.

They both had a sense of humor. My Great-Grandpa kept his hands behind his back a lot. He liked to make me to guess what he had behind his back. Sometimes it was a cookie. Usually it was nothing. He got a laugh out of making you guess when he had nothing behind his back.
I remember a 50th wedding anniversary. They had saved the wishbones from every Thanksgiving turkey during their years together and had them attaches to a wide ribbon with little bows. They painted the 50th one gold.

You kids stay put. We'll send your parents when we get to
 the top of the hill. 
 Great-grandma got up at dawn every morning and slowly shuffled, all hunched over with arthritis, to the kitchen. She kept a huge bottle of aspirin next to the sink. Barely able to move she would pour out a hand full of aspirin into one hand and popped all of them in her mouth. After washing them down with a full glass of water, she would do a little dance, completely cured of arthritis. The dance she did was a jig. The same dance she did when Great-grandpa Charles played the fiddle. He was really good at playing the jig on the fiddle.

I never met her, can we dig her up?
I remember dad always having his aviator sunglasses. I guess if you are a fighter pilot, you never go anywhere without them, But really, my dad wore WHITE SOCKS?

Chuck and I seemed to understand the solemn nature of this place. Or maybe we were just bored. Becky seemed to have fun no matter where we were.

There isn't much for kids to do at a cemetery. The Charles's didn't have any toys for grandkids to play with, so there wasn't much to do there either. At the Charles's house we could watch TV or play in the back yard. It was great to watch that black and white TV because great-grandpa Charles was hard of hearing and the sound was turned up real loud. We could watch Bonanza and Gunsmoke without mom hollering at us to turn it down, she didn't dare.

I loved those westerns. but then, all kids loved westerns, there wasn't much else.

Of course the clicker would change the channel whenever there was a wrestling match on. Great Grandpa loved wrestling.

A few explanations are needed here. It was a real clicker. The buttons were like little triggers, they fired hammers inside the remote that "clicked" against small tuning forks. A vacuum tube in the TV picked up the frequency of each tuning fork and made the channel or volume go up or down. That might sound like it would be slow to change channels, but, even in LA, there were only five.

Hey Chuck, help me get her to the trash bin in the ally. 
The technology wasn't the only thing that was different. Wrestling involved two men in trunks who wrestled. There were no chairs over the head, punching out the manager, skimpily clad girls, shouting at the opponent, clown like costumes, or throwing the ref out of the ring. In short, it was boring there too.

With no bicycles or other playthings, the back yard only offered up a wheelbarrow.

Dad's 52 Caddy in front of the Charles house.

Cowboys and Indians

Here is the front porch. It was the best place. Great grandpa Charles would go set on the front porch when there was nothing on TV but the soaps. He told stories, not just any stories, but ones about wagon trains, settlers, horses, guns and Indians. He told Westerns. He told about the year long journeys his grandparents families took by wagon train to cross America and reach California from the East. He told about searching for gold and silver. He told about an uncle's family all being killed during an Indian raid, all except one small child. This one child was taken and raised by the Indians. He hated the Indians because of what they did to his family and killed some of them by sneaking up on them at night and slitting their throats. As the west was settled, he found his way back to his kin, but, having grown up with the Indians, he did not like the white mans way of life. He then moved back with the Indians and took an Indian wife.

Imagine that. My grandmother was born before Henry Ford made his first model T. Her father was born before the Write Brothers first airplane flight. Her grandparents crossed the prairies in wagon trains before the Transcontinental railroads were built.

Touched by Generations

So why is this picture of a viking ship here?

Well, I haven't found any pictures yet of this event, but I have memories of it.

This was purchased in Walt Disneyland in California just a year or so after Disneyland opened.

Our family was there, Mom, Dad, Becky, Chuckie and I, along with my great-grandpa and grandma Charles. They were in their 80's I think. Mom and Dad wanted to buy something to go on the fireplace of the next house they planed to build. In a store in Frontier land were some possibilities but Mom and Dad couldn't agree. They had narrowed it down to a couple choices, this boat was one of them. Dad asked me to break the tie. Realizing that this was an important decision, I quickly decided that I would have to "ponder" the choice and come up with a good reason for my decision.

Being a young boy, of course I wanted the boat, not the cheep artificial plastic flower arrangement Mom had chosen. 

I spent a very long time looking at the flowers, touching them and inspecting them.

While I pretended to be interested in the flowers, I considered how to overcome one of mom's objections. The boat was cast concrete, and heavy. She said it was to heavy to lug all over Disneyland and then all the way out to the car. I knew I wanted the boat, but I also knew I would have to justify my choice. It was the first decision I was asked to make involving spending our family's money.

Great Grandpa had parked himself on a bench in front of the castle. Great-grandma had gotten a wheel chair for the day. We could set the boat on the bench so Great-Grandpa could guard it. We could set it on Great-grandma's lap in the wheel chair to get it to the parking lot. Since Dad had his arms full with my brother and sister, I would carry the boat as far as the park bench. I announced my decision and my solution for getting it to the car. 

A few minutes later I regretted it. I only weighed 65 pounds, the boat was almost more than I could lift. Mom made sure I was the only one to carry it to the park bench. She tried several times to find excuses to go the longest route possible. I don't think she ever forgave me for siding with Dad.

Now the boat is on my front porch, Great-grandpa Charles touched it in DisneyLand. Grandpa Grosh helped dad mount it on the fireplace in SantaRosa Beach. Most of my kids have touched it. Whenever our grandchildren come over, I lift them up and let them touch it.

It has been touched by six generations. The next time you visit here, touch it, take a picture and post it in the comments section.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Cubs Curse

On Sunday afternoon October 7th 1945, the radio was on in the waiting room Galion Community Hospital  in Crestline Ohio. It was tuned to the Mutual Radio Network station, WLW radio in Cincinnati. Two broadcast that day influenced my life.

The World Series

The fifth game of the world series was on. The Chicago Cubs were playing the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley's field and they were tied a two games each.

 In the bottom of the 5th inning of the 5th game, the score was tied, one up.
Then there was a game changer, I was born.

The Detroit Tigers Scored 4 runs in the top of the 6th inning and beat the Chicago Cubs 8 to 4. The Cubs lost the wold series.

The cubs never won another series.
The curse continued for me. Thirty years later we moved to Chicago.
Sheila became a Cubs fan. Every time I sat down to watch a game with her, the cubs would start losing. I was perty much confined to another room when the games were on. No matter how far ahead the cub were, If I entered the living room and even glanced at the TV, the other team would score. I was really afraid I would get hit by a flying remote control if I entered the room when the cubs were playing.
Some say the Cubs losses were because of the curse of the goat.

I don't believe it.
At work one day, everyone decided to go to the game. I had never been to a cubs game. It was a beautiful April and coulden't resist the chance to get out of the office. We didn't expect any traffic, but we still managed to arrive at Wrigley very late. Just like some 30 years earlier, I arrived in the bottom of the fourth. This time though, the cubs were ahead, leading Philly 13 to 2. They couldn't possibly lose.

Armed Forces Radio

On Sunday night, people in Crestline Ohio were tuned into Armed Forces radio listening to  Phil Silvers , Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Bing Crosby.
Crosby sang  White Christmas, Sunday, Monday or Always and Pistol Packin' Mama.
More importantly, he sang I'll Be Home for Christmas for the first time on radio. A song Mom and Dad would often sing on their annual trips to visit my grandparents parents on Thanksgiving or Christmas. The words seem to have created a thread in their lives. We had dropped the bomb on Japan. The war was winding down. Our troops were looking forward to coming home.

Bings song became a Christmas classic. The greatest generation had it embedded in their souls.

As a result of that song and others like it, our parent's seemed drive to return home for Christmas. No matter where we were or how far the trip, we had to go "Over the River and Through the Woods, to Grandma's House We Go". Sometimes it was to the McLains dairy farm in Galion, or the Grosh's house in Symerna Georgia

Generation 50 - Herb and Elva Grosh

The Grosh Family - Generation 50

   by Bob Grosh, Generation 52                                                                

This is my grandparents Herb and Elva Grosh.
Herbert Michael Grosh was born on February 28, 1896 and died in April 1978 at 82 years old. Herbert Grosh's last known residence is at Springfield, Fairfax County, Virginia 22153

Elva Fae (Charles) Grosh was born. April 01, 1900 in Franklin Co. Columbus, Ohio She died May 18, 1974 in south Florida of a heart attack while picking strawberries. Herb and Elva were married on February 18th in 1918. 

Herbert Grosh - Circa 1959 
Here is Herbert M. Grosh

He was visiting us in Florida. This picture is in the back yard of our house on 6 Bass Rd in Fort Walton Beach. The road has since been renamed Ohio Pine. He worked for Boeing Aircraft in Marietta Ga and owned a filling station. He was an excellent auto mechanic.

This is his wife, Elva. I'm not sure where the picture was taken, but it might be stone mountain Georgia.
In Ohio, Elva was the owner/operator of a small upholstery shop, it was located in the garage behind their house. Later, she  taught school. She was only a substitute teacher at first because she didn't have the required certification. The story goes that a fire in Ohio destroyed a lot of the records, so she claimed to have a teaching certificate from there and got a job in Georgia as a teacher. She was named teacher of the year several times when they lived in Georgia.
When she and Herb both retired they moved to south Florida. One hot summer day they were picking strawberries at a nearby farm when she had a heart attack and died.

Imagine that. My grandmother was born before Henry Ford made his first model T.

Here is Grandpa Herb Grosh sitting on the bank of the lake at his vacation home on Lake Sidney Lanier

This is Elva's parents