Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reflections of my great grandmother, Rosina

I spent my early years in a small house directly behind “Great Grandma” Neukom’s house on Penn Street in Decatur, Indiana.

I lived there from about the ages of 4 to 9 years of age.

I remember Grandma Neukom had a huge garden that she seemed to tend daily while wearing either an old fashioned bonnet or straw hat She was a small feistly old woman to me and didn’t seem to show affection towards many people

My father (Charles) said he had helped build her house when Christian, her husband died. It was a small bungalow-type house with a small basement loaded with canned fruits and vegetables. It was always immaculate and Grandma Neukom was especially proud of her flowers and garden.

It always seemed to me that she was mean-spirited towards my grandmother (her daughter, Edna). As a yound boy I didn’t realize she did this to perhaps make her blind daughter stronger and more self-reliant. I remember very vividly the wire strung between her house and Edna’s so that her blind daughter might travel the distance between houses more easily, and her yelling at her daughter if she stumbled or got off path.

Grandma Neukom spoke in a heavily accented German voice. She died on the 9th of June 1973 (the day my brother, Chuck, got married) after living her final years in the care of her daughter, Edna........the independent, blind one.

Let me shock you.

I sincerely believe the world is going mad. I see it every day.

People do things that are meant to shock and awe. There is no limit to their actions or dress.

Yesterday, a young girl pulled her pants down to show us all her new butt tattoo. There was not one shred of modesty in her, that I could see. She was proud and barely eighteen.

I think this all started about twenty years ago when everyone my age started dressing like Willie Nelson. Don't get me wrong, I love Willie. I just don't want to look or act like him. He is not my idol. His stature as the "ultimate outlaw" started a trend. I wonder if he is proud of that fact.

I have pretty much stopped watching any television. Movies and books are my source of recluse. I can escape the madness for a short time.