Here are my brothers. This picture was taken ca. 1956. My brothers are Thomas, Richard and William. William sometimes reads this blog and my niece Olivia will get a charge out of her dad and his brother picture.
This was taken in our yard. The tree in the background was very small. It grew to be quite large, forty feet or so tall. We had about four of them lining the side yard. One day I stopped to visit my dad and he had chopped the tops off of the pine tree, they really looked silly.
This is my grandmother Gertrude O’Rourke Dowd Graham. This was taken in 1960. She was 58 years old at that time. She was younger then than I am now. Gertrude had a hard life, widowed at 28 and had to eke out an existence with two children. I can remember her doing housekeeping work for others and one day she took me and she was the cleaning lady in a finance company office. I had to sit still in a chair and wait while she cleaned the office.
She quit school in the fifth grade and the only thing I eve saw her read were the obituaries. She would peruse them and then would usually take me with her and then she would go to pay her respects.
One Saturday she got an idea to go to downtown Pittsburgh and go to the morgue. She took me too. I have no idea who she was looking for but I remember how cold it was, and she looked at a few deceased. They were covered with sheets and the attendant had to pull them out on rolling trays and uncover their faces. She must have been looking for someone in particular because that is a really random thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. It was the only time she did that to my knowledge.
My father wanted to send his three daughters to school. He had stated that he did not want us to have to bear the life his mother had. The three girls all went to school and become nurses. I went first and then I had to pay back the tuition money so the next one could go.