A Letter From Aunt Betty

Hi Lisa,
I understand how you feel about not knowing your grandparents on our side. All of my grandparents were deceased before I was born and I have never found out anything about them.

I have more separate memories of Clarence and Ruby Castleberry than of them together..mostly because I was the youngest of a large brood.  We were mainly a dysfunctional family (way before the term was coined), but there were good times too.  I was a ‘momma’s girl’ and spent most of my time by her side.  She was a talented seamstress, and I can remember her making clothes for everyone. For many years she used an old Singer treadle machine, but in the early sixties bought a brand new electric zigzag Singer from Sears.  I can still picture the dresses and suits that she made to wear while selling Avon products.  I would ride in the back seat of our old De Soto and later in a Studebaker Lark VI with the smells of perfume and powder while she would drive her route all around Suquamish and the surrounding countryside.

Suquamish was what we called a 1 horse 2 tavern town that was smack dab in the middle of the Suquamish Indian Reservation. The location was idyllic..set right on Puget Sound with an astonishing view of Seattle and Mount Rainier. This was before smog had blurred everything.

We owned a double lot at the wide end of a triangle block with the two bedroom house overlooking the water just a block away. Every weekend us girls had to sit in the car parked in front of a tavern while mom and dad went in for a drink…we would stay in that car for hours on the promise of a candy bar until we got old enough to realize that our house was only a block away and so we would just walk home.

Dad really enjoyed playing the punch boards (precursor to scratch tickets) and would win toys, stuffed animales etc. for me all the time. He also spent uncounted hours combing the beach for unusual pieces of driftwood that he used to make a fence around our property. It was very unique and was featured in Sunset Magazine in the late 1950s or early 60s. Many times on weekend afternoons, he would let me help him sharpen lawn mower blades for people around town. He was very good with machines. He worked at the Alaska Steamship Company on the Seattle waterfront as a ship’s mechanic for over 20 years.  Grandma Ruby and us girls would ride the ferry to Seattle from Bainbridge Island every Friday just so we could ride home with Daddy. We usually managed to get in a few hours of shopping to boot!

I can not remember a day without one of Mom’s fabulous dinners up until she became too ill.  We were brought up on meat and potatoes, vegetables and great desserts.  One of my best and you mom’s and aunt Connie’s worst memories was breakfast. I was an early riser and when mom would ask what we wanted for breakfast I always called out “Oatmeal” …the others were asleep and never got a chance for anything else!

I hope this gives you a little glimpse of our family..but you really need to also ask the other aunts about their memories. They will differ greatly! Being the youngest I was spoiled rotten and also lived at a time when money was not scarce, we had a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a rocking chair and a color TV. Life was good!

Aunt Betty

2 Replies to “A Letter From Aunt Betty”

  1. Thank you Lisa for letting me know this was
    Here…Thank you Aunt Betty for sharing! Hearing those things about a Gramma I never new was very nice…

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