|Birth: ||Jan. 5, 1898|
|Death: ||May 20, 1976|
My Grandma Swanson loved to garden and most especially grow roses. I think of my grandmother often but most especially in the Spring when flowers are blooming.
My grandparents owned a small orchard behind their house on Brockton Avenue in Riverside, California. Mostly they had rows and rows of citrus trees but I remember figs, also. Grandma always advised everyone to plant fruit-bearing trees because "...you have to water it so may as well get something back!"
This brings me to something that most who knew my Grandma would probably comment on....her frugalness. Grandma was great at making ends meet and re-purposing something. When my grandfather Oscar asked her to marry him; she told him that he needed to get a better job and save $2,000. So he did both. He got a job with the Southern Pacific railroad. During the Depression; Grandpa was never out of work because the railroads were always running. Smart Grandma!
Perhaps her frugal nature came out of her early life. Not much is known about Grandma's family. She is a brick wall that is solidly built. As the story goes; Grandma's mother died giving birth to her and her twin. The twin died also. The father was left with Grandma and other young children. He put them in the Los Angeles Orphan Asylum. That is where she is living in the 1910 census; without anyone else with the same surname.
A "rich, old lady" named Mrs. Gilliland got Grandma out of the orphanage to be her personal maid and house servant. That is with whom she is living in the 1920 census. My grandfather worked for Mrs. Gilliland (she owned huge orange orchards in Riverside) and that is how my grandparents met.
I figure Grandma was always tight with money and quite resourceful because she didn't have anything and grew up respecting the value of a penny, dime or dollar. Her frugalness allowed her to invest in real estate and she owned lots of rental properties in Riverside.
Grandma was a great cook and my mom still has her handwritten recipe for Spanish Rice. She always had a pantry full of food that she canned like peach and apricot preserves. My cousin has won some local baking contests using Grandma's recipes.
Another idiosyncrasy of my grandmother's was the gentle insistence that she ride in the front seat of an automobile. She also liked, no loved, fast cars. She had plenty of grandsons who shared her affinity and always came by to give Grandma a ride in their car. There is a photo of her on this page of one of my brother's cars that was really fast and she really, really liked that car.
As for her family; she had family but we just don't know who they are. My mom has said that occasionally she would overhear my grandma on the phone "I told you that I want nothing to do with all of you." My aunt told me that she was playing in the yard once and several nicely dressed women came walking up and asked her if Ethel Swanson lived there. When she told them yes, they proceeded and knocked on the door. Grandma wouldn't admit them to the home and "shooed them away". When my aunt asked who they were Grandma told her "relatives and we want nothing to do with them".
So that part is a mystery and looks like it will stay that way.
I loved my Grandma dearly.
Oscar Swanson (1891 - 1966)*
Donald Edward Swanson (1923 - 2003)*
Janet Eleanor Swanson Wagoner (1926 - 2013)*
Created by: CynC
Record added: Dec 01, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44987643
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