Thursday, December 18, 2008

The REAL Story - Sarah Leeming falls and breaks ankle

I am absolutely amazed that this type of thing was considered news of the time but apparently the reporters back then were looking for every little tidbit to put in the local social section of the paper. This is totally not the kind of thing I was looking for when I started searching the Ancestry newspaper collection for the North Adams Transcript newspaper. North Adams is where my grandmother's family is from - much to my surprise, her mother was pretty well known around town... and not for her baking or parties!

This news clipping is about a woman, apparently on her way home from a local "restaurant" and she takes a fall in the street and breaks her ankle. The date is December 8th, 1952.

I can't believe I found this tidbit about my Great-Grandmother and immediately call my mother:

"Mom, I found this news clipping about Grandma Leeming, when she was knocked down and broke her ankle."


"Yeah, it says that Sarah Leeming was walking home when two large boys came into the street and knocked her down, breaking her ankle." "It says she was walking home from the Greylock Restaurant."

..... Long Pause from Mom ........

"She was probably drunk." "The Greylock also was a bar that she went to, when I was a kid we used to have to go over there and get her sometimes."

Okay, so this conversation wasn't going where I wanted it to go, but my Mom has a great sense of humor and was already laughing at this point so we shared a good laughter moment and talked more about the article. I later talked to my Grandmother - Sarah's daughter and she said the same thing! "Yeah, she liked to have her drinks" she said.

I can tell you from this experience - be careful what you mention when you find it. What if Great-Grandma's drunkenness was a big family sore spot or secret that wasn't discussed? Many older generations simply didn't discuss such behavior (and lots of other stuff). I would've opened the genealogists can of worms and possibly upset my Mom and my Grandmother in the process! Keep in mind when you do find something that's possibly controversial, approach it gently, there could be reason why you haven't already been told about it.

In this case, I had no idea that the lady liked to drink so I kinda had an excuse :-)

Watch my blog for more interesting "Social News" from Adams!

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