Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Party Line

Beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the 1980s, my Grandma Ruth worked for a newspaper in one capacity or another. In the early days of her career, she was the on-the-spot reporter, covering accidents, fires and other big events in town. That continued until a few years after she was diagnosed with Multiple Scleroris, a disease that would confine her to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. But even though she could no longer chase after breaking news, she contributed to her small-town newspaper in her own way through her column Party Line. Each column began the upbeat words, "Good Morning!" She then would write a few paragraphs about a topic that had struck her that week, and then the rest of her column, she devoted to telling the comings and goings of people in town. If Marge and Herm went on a vacation to Hawaii, they would call Grandma Ruth and tell her about it. If Lois and Frank had a dinner party, Grandma would write about it. One of my favorite parts of her column was Stork Reports, where she would tell about the newest additions to her community. Throughout her life, my grandma suffered great tremendous limitations, but she was one of the most positive people I know. When her fingers became too crippled to type, she would dictate her column to me. I treasure those times I spent with her in her tiny kitchen, plinking away at her old manual typewriter. Obviously, my grandma had a great influence on me. I went on to major in journalism. She's one of my heroes and I dedicate my shots to her today. She died of cancer in 1988. I miss her every day.


The logo from my Grandma's column


My favorite picture of Grandma from her younger days working in the office of the Box Elder News & Journal.

Some of Grandma's columns pasted in a scrapbook.






18 comments:

Ginnie said...

She sounds like she was such a great woman. How wonderful that you have all those clippings from her little "party line".

Amy said...

What a neat story and how special you were able to spend so much time with your grandmother and help her with her column. Love your photos!

mom2three said...

OMG I love that 2nd one!! Awesome photos!!

--sme said...

What a fantastic story--I feel like I know her through you! So nice to see that you have some of her work preserved!

April said...

those are great shots and what a neat story.

Christine said...

THIS IS SO COOL! LOVE THEM!! TFS!!!

Mandy said...

I am so touched by your blogging, Margaret. The photos are lovely...but the how you see your grandma reminds me of the times I spent with my great grandma too. Wonderful, and unique. I am sure she would be so proud of the influence she had on you.

Mom2Drew said...

What a piece of history to have. I love that you've got it after all those years, thank you for sharing a little detail too...

Jen said...

Wow! What a story and wondeful memories! Thanksf or sharing that with us!!

pat said...

Oh, what a treasure--all of this! I am so glad that family has respected this legacy and kept it and shared it. What a wonderful role model she was!

Kristi said...

This is just incredible. These shots are all amazing. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Jessica said...

oh Margaret what a beautiful story, beautiful photos and amazing memories. She sounds like an amazing woman. How wonderful that you were so close to her.

Scrapper88 said...

How neat is that?! That is so special that you have them and have kept them to remember her!

Becky said...

What a great story, Meg, and wonderful photos. Love that one of her. So warm.

Photography by Shannon said...

Wow! What a great great story! Thank you for sharing!!

Gypsy Girl said...

Neat story and how wonderful you have her clippings

emilyc said...

Such great memories you have of your grandmother and the times you spent together. I love that second photo, though I am sure they are all some of your favorites simply because of what they represent.

Angela2932 said...

Wow! You have an antique scrapbook! All of these are beautiful.