Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I have to talk to my sibs, but I do not remember having Thanksgiving at my grandmothers, either one of them.  I do remember having dinner at my Grandmother O’Rourkes but for the most part my father would pick her and her brother William O’Rourke, and bring them to our house.

The really strange thing that I just thought of is I do not ever remember having dinner at my mom’s mothers, Anna Bartels.  Was it because my father did not like his mother-in-law (that is a fact for sure)   What I can remember he said was someone asked him how the war (WWII) was going and he said it was going well and supposedly she said “Not for our side.”  Anna was born in Germany.  If this conversation did happen I will never know.

I also do not remember my grandmother Anna Bartels coming out to our house for dinner.   We would go to visit but not eat.   This needs to be investigated tomorrow when I talk to my brothers.

I talked to one brother and sister and they also had no memories of ever eating a meal at our grandmothers, Anna Bartels.   They also remembered going to visit but not eating.  Was this because my grandmother did not want to cook or because my father did not want to eat there?   I am thinking it was the later.

My brother did remember eating breakfast at Gertrude O'Rourkes house because he was eating pork chops for breakfast.  I can remember eating dinner and being fascinated by the tiny squares of carrots that she had cut, and also she made parsnips and turnips.  He said he had gone there after church and she cooked breakfast.  

Which leads me to another question.  My grandmother O'Rourke lived in East Pittsburgh and the local Catholic Church was St. Williams.  This the closest church, about a ten minutes walk, but most of it was uphill.   She always went to St. Colman's, which was in Turtle Creek.  Traveling to St. Colman's would be on two street car rides and take about thirty minutes.  I have her and my grandfather, Thomas Dowd marriage license and they were married in St. Colman's in 1917.   Perhaps this was the church she always attended and she would get to see her son and grandchildren every Sunday.   

My father would take my grandmother and her friend, who was also her cousins wife, home after church.  It is amazing what buried memories come back with a thought in your head.

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