Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grama and Grandpa Rumsey

Bonnie Ceicil Jones Rumsey

Charles Robert Rumsey

Two of my favorite bloggers, Linda from Anchorage and Terry from Portland, have recently posted family photos and talked about their roots.  It made me think I should post these photos of my Grama and Grandpa, my mother's parents.  Here they look so young and hopeful. My grandmother was doe-eyed and gentle but strong, my grandfather bright-eyed and optimistic.  When I knew them, they were always cheerful and kind. My grandmother is wearing an engraved pocketwatch around her neck.  That watch is still in the family. 

My grandfather was known as "C.R." or "Bob".  He owned a gas station/auto repair shop in Long Beach, California.  I never saw it.  Although we lived in Long Beach, I think by the time I was old enough to remember, my grandfather had retired.  He managed the apartment building where he and my grandmother lived.  He was a gardener, and the tiny flowerbeds were full of roses.  On a trellis covering the whole wall of the garage, he grew sweet peas.  I always think of Grandpa when I see those flowers.  He died when I was in the 4th grade.  I put sweet peas in his coffin at the funeral.

C.R. Rumsey's Complete Service

Their apartment was tiny. It was like playing in a doll house for me. My grandmother had canaries, and there was a closet under the stairs which was full of treasures and odd old things.  She kept buttons in an old coffee can. I can't tell you how many ways I devised to sort those buttons! How easily entertained we were as children.

The apartment building was a California "court", two rows of apartments with a walkway down the middle. The garage, storage and laundry rooms were across the back of the property on an alley. There was a staircase toward the back of the court that led up to the roof, which was long and flat and blacktopped. One summer night my sister, my cousin and I laid flat on the blacktop and watched a meteor shower.


  1. You are lucky to have these photos. I moved clear across the country and have very few of the old photos. I suppose someone has them. I should ask next time I am back there.

  2. I love these photos and family stories. Those small things we remember from our grandparents (sweet peas!) are like touchstones that keep them alive for us. That lace on your grandmothers dress makes me think she had a love of textiles too!