The last several months of her life, Helen was bedfast. However at no point was her mental capacity diminished. I would sometimes sit at her bedside in the evening and listen as she regaled me with her memories of days gone by. Sometimes I would listen carefully, then before retiring for the night I would go to my desk and record her stories. I tried to keep them in her voice and as closely to her words as possible. As I was culling some of my myriad file folders, I came across these records. Let me share a few of these tales.
Great-grandfather Richard Goodwin was highly educated and quite prominent, but my grandmother's mother died when Grandma was a girl of ten. Richard Goodwin remarried and apparently, as I understand it, remanded Charlotte to the custody of a guardian, at least some of the time during her growing-up years. Charlotte, though, was very strong-willed and independent, and upon nearing adulthood and wanting means of her own, learned telegraphy and took a job as a telegraph operator. Her father, on discovering this, was so furious he cut off all Charlotte's hair, as he deemed her actions disgraceful and beneath her status in life!
The greatest mistake my mother ever made was staying with her mother (Charlotte) all her life. My grandmother was very severe and somewhat of a tyrant. She was not what I would call a loving person, and both my sister Elsie and I were recipients of punishments at her hand that were too severe by half.
(More, perhaps, another time.)
Helen Knapp Prouton her 90th birthday