It is Thursday, right? Holiday sometimes throws people off.
Anyway, Beth Stanford Tubb has graciously agreed to share stories of her grandmother and her early life on Oregon Hill (born and lived at 811 W. Cary Street). She has put many of these on her blog, Eliza Jane.
Here’s a sample:
The Lady in the Lavender Hat
Claryce, my “Granny”, was born at home and grew up in an old Richmond neighborhood called Oregon Hill. It was 1923. For a variety of reasons (each their own short story, to be posted later), she left St. Andrew’s School after the eighth grade in order to get a job and help her family financially.
Each day Claryce would ride to work on the trolley. She enjoyed the views, watching the city go by, usually with the same group of people. One morning, a woman got on the trolley who caught Granny’s attention: The woman had beautiful auburn hair, pulled back in a low bun, crowned by a lavender hat.
Each morning my grandmother, still a teenager, would secretly wait for the woman with the auburn hair and lavender hat to board the trolley. Granny marveled at her beautiful skin, her kind eyes, her auburn hair, and the way it looked so lovely against the lavender.
Once in a while Granny was free from helping around the house and caring for her three siblings, one of whom had Cerebral Palsy. She would meet her friends at the ice cream shop and hang out much the way we do in coffee shops today. At this point, she was around eighteen years old. There was a boy also hanging around the ice cream shop who was particularly handsome. He reminded Granny of Humphrey Bogart. She got up the nerve to talk to him and, having no money that day, asked if she could have a lick of his ice cream. His name was Herbert.
Herb and Claryce began dating and would ride around town on the trolleys for ten cents, holding hands. “Just people watchin’” she’d say. Eventually Herb (my grandfather) took Claryce home to meet his mother. As they opened the front door and entered the parlor, Granny could not believe her good fortune: There, smiling and holding out her hand, stood Lois Ann, the woman from the trolley, the lady with the auburn hair and lavender hat.