Sophia and Violet
Yesterday was Grandparents’ Day, an observance begun in 1978. All my grandparents died before this holiday was inaugurated so I’ve never observed the day, but in their honor, I’d like to tell you a bit about my grandmothers.
Sophia Rosalia Young Post was born in Philadelphia in 1893, the oldest child in her family. When her father’s health flagged due to his work as a glassblower, he moved his family to the Pocono Mountains for its clean air. Sophia was about 10-years-old then, and she would spend the rest of her life in the Poconos. Born of strong German stock, Sophia was a determined woman, accomplishing much with few resources. She raised six children, managed the family farm, grew and canned vegetables and fruit while running a boarding house for summer vacationers. At the same time, she found time for art and music. I treasure two of Sophia’s paintings that I inherited.
Sophia played piano and served as the musician for her congregation for many years. Well into her eighth decade, Sophia played for worship services at a local chapel open each summer for worship. (That’s Sophia, at 80, to the right.)
Violet Blossom Goodson Johnson was born in North Point, Arkansas, in 1891. Because I lived in Pennsylvania, and Violet died when I was just seven, I don’t have many personal memories of her. My mother told me many stories about her mother, however. Violet was an accomplished seamstress, sewing dresses for my mother and shirts for her three brothers. Violet quilted (I treasure a nine-patch quilt she made for me), and I have some of her tatting and crocheted pieces too. My father raved about his mother-in-law’s cooking. I think Violet baked biscuits every morning!
Violet was a devout woman. One of my older cousins who grew up nearby says she remembers visiting Grandma, often finding her in a rocker with her Bible open on her lap, reading. I know that Violet was honored as a 50-year member of her Baptist Sunday school class. (That’s Violet, to the left, in 1918.)
Blame it on TLC’s “Who do you think you are?” or ancestry.com. I wish I knew more about both my grandmothers. What were their dreams? How did they manage all the hard work of living and still find time for music and art and handwork? What experiences shaped their faith?
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director.