October 18, 2017

Grandma’s Pocketbook

Grandma’s Pocketbook

Do you watch Antiques Roadshow, or search for fashion memory-makers like old purses? When I was watching Downton Abbey last night something made me think of my grandma Josie and her pocketbook.



Grandma never called it a purse. It was always her pocketbook. A name that harkened back to olden times when ladies always carried a fresh hankie in them, along with some mints or gum, a comb and possibly a pen or pencil. I don’t think I ever saw her with anything but a black purse. One of those tapestry looking fabric bags would have been too risqué in Grandma’s opinion.

There was no Coach wallet or anything so upscale inside either. It was probably more like something she got at the five and dime, or the drugstore, for a nominal sum.  It was either a smaller version of the purse with the ball closure, or had a zipper. I think Grandma, ever the practical and frugal lady, even recycled Grandpa’s old coin purses and got another decade or so use out of them!

So what was my fascination with her purse and why do I remember it so well? I think it was my first inkling of what ladies carried their important going-to-town accoutrements in. I was right by her side when she would pay for her groceries. She’d give that clasp a quick turn and delve deep inside with her hand to extract her checkbook or cash. You never spoke to Grandma as she was pay for anything. Gads no!

At the end of the transaction, Grandma would return her wallet or coin purse to the dark confines of the pocketbook, close it with one-handed pressure on either side of the top of the purse and I’d hear that thump-snap of the clasp. It seemed so important somehow. So grown up, and she was so sure of herself. Self-centered little cuss that I was, I probably was already enjoying one of those silly wax bottles with some red sugar syrup inside. Yes, I always persuaded Grandma to buy me something. Groceries in paper bags were taken out to the car and Grandpa would drive us back to their house.

Oh, and by the way, on one of those trips to the store I discovered my Grandma was a thief! Oh yes she was. I saw her take a grape off the stem of a bunch and pop it in her mouth! And then, she didn’t even buy any grapes. I never told a soul…

© Carol Yates Wilkerson – 2012


2012 Genealogy Goals

I’m going to do my best to set some attainable goals for my genealogy for next year and actually try to attain them.

Blogging: I’m going to try to include more Wilkerson genealogy articles on this blog.  I have so many about my own family, but perhaps I can get some of Jim’s family to visit and join in some conversations.  I hope to share some family pictures too.  Maybe there are some the family has that they would like to share also?

Family Trees: I need to go through and merge duplicate people.  As someone else said, “that may take me all year”. 🙂

DAR goal: I’d like to get going and send in my documentation to my DAR Chapter at Ozark Springs, MO to get Richard Osgathorpe (Osgatharp) recognized for his service during the Revolutionary War. I actually have a copy of his pay vouchers.  I think I stand a very good chance of getting him in the roll of Patriots.

That’s about the gist of my goals. I think those three will be time-consuming enough, don’t you?   What are your genealogy-related goals for next year?


52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Weather

It was a dark and stormy night… but I’m going to cheat a little bit for this week’s blogging prompt for 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Weather and do a link to a previous post I did on Disasters which included my recollection of the Columbus Day Storm when I was in junior high school.

[intlink id=”2131″ type=”post”]iPentimento | 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Disasters[/intlink]

Week 18. Weather. Do you have any memorable weather memories from your childhood? How did your family cope and pass the time with adverse weather? When faced with bad weather in the present day, what do you do when you’re stuck at home?

This challenge runs from Saturday, April 30, 2011 through Friday, May 6, 2011.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog (http://wetree.blogspot.com/) has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (http://www.geneabloggers.com/52-weeks-personal-genealogy-history/).

Moline Family Home – Seattle 1942 and 1986


The Moline House on Queen Anne Hill

There’s no date written on this newspaper clipping, so I will have to estimate it was written some time around 1942.  I surmise that by knowing that my grandparents, “Al” and Eppie (Epstein) Moline, left their previous residence in Bordeaux, Washington when the mill there closed in 1941.

War was imminent, but it may have been a boom time for my grandfather who was a lumber salesman her in the Pacific Northwest.  Lumber was still in high demand for the war machine that was being called into action as World War II began.  PT boats especially, were large consumers of engineered wood. Grandpa had his own lumber company whose name, appropriately enough, was E. B. Moline Lumber Company.

The Marriage Spot

My mom was just eighteen in 1941.  She lived in this house with her parents all during the war years.  On February 5, 1944 my parents were married in this room, in front of this fireplace.


You Can Go Home Again

In about 1985 my mother and I made a pilgrimage to this house so she could show me where they had lived.  Miracles of miracles, when we reached the house they owners were having some remodeling done in the upstairs bath (a jacuzzi tub was being hoisted through the bathroom window when we arrived!) and since the house was pretty ‘wide open’ to the workmen anyway, we were allowed to tour a few of the rooms.

Mom was thrilled to be able to show me her room upstairs and tell me what it was like to live there.  I think it especially pleased her to show me the living room and fireplace where she and Dad were wed.  I was totally taken by the sunroom just off the living room, but she let me in on a little backstory: her step mother didn’t like that room much because it would get so hot at certain times of the year.

I can just imagine my grandparents hosting parties and playing bridge in this house.  Eppie was an RN and had worked at Swedish hospital before she married Grandpa.  She had also worked as a private nurse at one time for Mrs. Silverstone whose husband Emmanuel (Manny) was the district manager for the Crescent Spice Company.

[intlink id=”1390″ type=”post”]1951 Hawaiian Passenger List – Elvin and Lillian Moline[/intlink]

[intlink id=”1034″ type=”post”]A Seattle Adventure With Mom[/intlink]


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