KWIT

Kid Scoop News

A Christmas baby, born in Long Island, Kansas in 1929, my maternal grandmother, Joanna Kats, came into this world in the wake of Black Thursday, the worst stock market crash in United States’ history, signaling the onset of the Great Depression.

When the Dust Bowl devastated the region, her displaced farm family moved to this little corner of Iowa in 1938, a few short years before the U.S. entered World War II.

The oldest of 12 children, she married my grandfather, Albert Groeneweg, on February 22, 1950. Their legacy is farming, faith and family.

Our Tia-Mama said she was way too young to be a grandmother when her first grandchild was born, so she became Tia-Mama.  In Spanish “tia” actually means “aunt”…and an aunt is a very special relative to a young child.  Our Tia-Mama is very special to us and we love that she has a very special name.

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri March 22, 1943. An interesting story from my childhood was that I was born in the midst of WWII, and my mother was the oldest out of five sisters.  Three of her sisters' husbands were in the war as well as my father, and my father didn't see me until I was three years old because he was in Europe.

He was stationed in England, he was part of the D Day Invasion, and he was never in battle. He was something called a telegrapher clerk and was on ship relaying the messages to how the battle was going.

My Grandpa Albert lives in San Antonio, Texas.  I interviewed him over Facetime on my Ipad as there was no time to meet with him face to face.  His life is interesting and full of surprises!

My grandfather was named Farid Jabre. He was born in Beit Chebab, Lebanon. He changed his birth date to March 19 to show his devotion to Saint Joseph. My dad doesn’t remember my grandfather’s real birth date, except that he was born in the year 1921. Grandfather died before I was born. He died from a stroke and heart attack because of heavy cigarettes smoking. So, please, don’t smoke.

At age 92, our great uncle Howard Horii has many stories to tell, but one of the most compelling is his story of the Japanese- American internment camps during WWII.  Because of their Japanese-American heritage, after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans viewed the Japanese, even those born in this country, with suspicion, and thousands were taken to prison camps to remain for the duration of the war. Howard’s family was in a camp at the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona and while they tried to make it seem normal, they did feel like prisoners.

The Vietnam War began on November 1st, 1955 and lasted for twenty years. November 1, 1955 was the official date determined by Congress to honor the deaths of Americans in Vietnam due to the establishment of the Military Assistance Advisory Group. The war ended on April 30th, 1975 with a strategic goal victory to North Vietnam led by Ho Chi Minh, whose goal had been make Vietnam a communist country. This war divided the country and drove many of its inhabitants into poverty.

My great-grandmother, Margaret Elizabeth O’Connor was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland along with four other siblings.  

Kid Scoop News

Apr 23, 2015