Sunday, November 30, 2008

GREAT-GRANDMA ON MY MOTHER'S SIDE - Above is a picture of my father with my great-grandma on my father's side. Her maiden name was Helen Ruby Hunsicker - and her nickname was Nelly. She was born in Lexington, Kentucky but spent the most formative years of her childhood in Macon, Georgia. Eventually, her family moved to the family farm in Milford, Ohio where she then lived the rest of her life. After her father died, she married my great-grandfather, who previously had been helping to take care of the farm. When she was only 13 years old, she attended Ohio Weslyan University in Delaware, Ohio where her sister (my great aunt Ollie) Olive Mae Hunsicker had been appointed a professor of business. During one summer vacation, both her and Aunt Ollie worked as camp matrons at the newly formed Yellowstone National Park -- before there were park rangers and the army maintained the park. During this summer, they witnessed Nez Percz Chief Joseph and his band fleeing from the army and grizzly bears who camp right into the camp to be fed (without attacking the people!). Later, Grandma taught school briefly - and then wrote a monthly column for Century Magazine, a national magazine similar to National Geographic in quality - and corresponded with such famous individuals as Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, and the publisher of National Geographic Magazine. She also kept a diary for almost all her life. She and Grandpa had two children - my mother and my Uncle Van.