Sunday, December 7, 2008

Conversation with Mimi

My grandma was 13 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, Sunday, the 7th of December, 1941. She was in eighth grade and she told me that the day after the bombing, she and all of the other students in her school gathered together into the one classroom with a radio and listened as President Roosevelt gave his famous, "This day shall live in infamy forever" speech.

History is made all the time, but there is some history that is so immediately significant it is obvious those events will be discussed, dissected, and debated for generations to come. My grandma has lived through quite a few events of that type. Born at the very beginning of the Great Depression, she saw Pearl Harbor, VJ-day (which was evidently much more exciting then the beginning of WWII), the assassination of JFK, the near-impeachment of a President, 9/11, and another stock market crash. Through it all she raised 7 kids, grew countless tomatoes and peppers, baked enough bread to fill a stadium, sewn clothes for hordes of children and nurses, and lived life to its fullest. There are so many histories, some few big enough to impact the whole world. but most small and in their appearance significant only to those who are close. And yet I think those small, local, intimate histories created by calloused, too often forgotten hands are those that make the world around us what it is.

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