Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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December 6, 2013

I think Grandma is Super Woman

So I think Grandma is Super Woman.

My grandmother survived the Great Depression, raised 11 kids (nine of them boys) and helped manage the family farm after my grandfather died.

Over the years, she has collected some incredible stories – outrageous ones, beautiful ones and tragic ones.

She used to share these stories with me as we wandered to the front of church after Mass to light a candle or as she worked in her flower garden and chicken coop.

But as time passed, the details of those stories slipped away from me.

Fear not, though. My grandma has another super power. She writes.

She has spent decades sharing her life in poems and essays. Finally, a few years ago she decided to compile them all in a book. She gave copies to all of her children.

I had my mom bring our family’s copy to Kokomo when she came to visit for Thanksgiving. I needed to read the stories again, especially the one about how my grandparents met.

It was even better than I remembered. It involved a bike wreck, a dirt road, a bet and a case of beer.

My grandmother penned “Old Dirt Road” in 1993.

“I rode down the old dirt road one day, trying to think just what I’d say,” she wrote. “My thoughts were on a boy I met, if he’d remember me, or would he forget? A horn shrieked loud, and I fell down. My bike just tumbled to the ground. As I turned, there he stood. ‘Go out with me,’ he asked if I would.”

Of course she accepted his date. She always wondered, though, why he had asked her out when she was lying in the middle of that dirt road. She wouldn’t find out until later.

“My life had begun down that old dirt road,” she wrote. “I fell off my bike and looked like a toad. It didn’t matter for he made this bet, ‘a date with her is what he’d get.’ A case of beer – it was the deal. He didn’t even notice that I took that spill. Never was I to learn this until too late, just why this guy wanted this date. Love is what I think it’s called yet, what took over because of that bet. He’s never figured out whether he’s lost or won. Gambling, he never was very good on.”

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