Every time I wrote the date today, I thought of my maternal grandfather, Frank Granger Ferguson, who died on this date in 1943. It was the first death I experienced and my sisters and I were devastated. My grandfather had gone to St. Mary’s Church in West Oakland to play whist for the afternoon. I remember my father answering the phone, and saying to my mother, “I have some very bad news.” My grandfather had collapsed at the table while playing whist. He was 70.
My grandfather had come to live with us because it was during the War and in the boarding house where he had been living, they couldn’t get him to pull down the shades during blackouts. My sisters and I called him “Gum Cum”.
My grandfather is holding me in front of the house my parents lived in on Lawton Ave off of College Ave in Oakland.
2 year old Patsy on the left, Grandpa Ferguson, and 3 year old Barbara in the Redwoods in Humboldt Co. in Sept. 1937. Patsy (who now is called Patricia) was 14 months younger than I. She passed me up in height when I was 4 and she was 3. We had probably been visiting my paternal grandfather in Ferndale.
In 1941 we were in Ferndale again, when my 1 year old brother Timmy walked for the first time from one grandfather to the other.
Barbara (almost 5), Patsy (almost 4), and Joan (almost 3) with Gum-Cum in May 1939.
After Gum-Cum moved in with us in 1941, he would play cards with us by the hours. He taught us to play whist and 500, a game where there was a Joker, and the Jacks were left bower and right bower. There was bidding and Joan would overbid so that she could get the kitty. That is why Patricia and I think that Joan would be very competitive at bridge.