Shirley Hoerner grew up on Shannon Avenue in the 1940s, back when West Carrollton was more rural. Today on Senior Voices, Shirley reminisces about her loving grandmother and the important role she played in her young life. She shared her story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Nancy Messer.
Shirley Hoerner: My grandmother was the stability in my life, actually, in lieu of the fact that my parents were very young. I think my dad was 19 and my mother was 17. And then my dad went off to war soon not too long after and so they didn’t have a very good or close relationship.
So, my grandmother was my stay, she was my rock and I loved her dearly and that part of it made it very good. She liked me best too I think.
I went every morning to her house because she was so concerned that I would not like my lunch and she would pack me a boiled ham sandwich or some cheese and crackers, just in case, so I had to always go there before I went to school.
I loved her dearly. She died when she was only 57. And she worked hard, and, too hard. And the day she died she had been over in the field picking dandelions. It was November, and she had been bent over so long, and it takes forever to pick a kettle of dandelions to make-they cooked them, and it’s almost like spinach.
And she was chopping wood to put those dandelions on her wood stove to cook and she had a cerebral hemorrhage and that was the end of my grandma. And it was almost the end of me.
She still had that hatchet in her hand when she fell to the ground. And ah, but all of it was good but I was just young and it was very difficult for me to give her up.
They stayed together-my grandmother stayed in spite of everything and she taught them [her children] the standard. And I think even if it wasn’t learned you can look and see if your family, you know, what they need and where you need to be.
People know in their own heart what is good and not good and just being strong enough to stay with the good, make a purpose in your life, to do well and excel, and leave a good report.
This interview was edited by Community Voices podcaster Patti Gehred. Senior Voices is a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton, and WYSO. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation. Jocelyn Robinson coordinated this series as part of Community Voices.