In the Village of Lonsdale

The Early Years of the Grayson Family in Cumberland, Rhode Island
  • Published: January 2007
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 160
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781412083034
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My mother always wore a bib apron to protect the cotton dresses she sewed for herself on an old machine that made a thumping sound when she moved the treadle with her foot. Except for the year of 1937 when I was twelve and my sister was fourteen and my father had lost his job and couldn't find another, she never worked outside the home. She didn't like to neighbor — that is, sit in other people's kitchens and gossip — but seemed somehow to know what was going on in the scattering of houses visible from our yard. With my sister and I her only audience in those pre-television days of homemade entertainment, she told us stories — anecdotes, sad tales and hilarious ones — of the early days of the Grayson family in America, their adopted country, and about the Graysons themselves.

My mother, father, grandmother and grandfather all came from England. My grandfather, born and raised on a farm in Yorkshire, sailed first, found a job and a place to live and sent for my grandmother who booked passage as soon as possible, traveling with five of their six children. A married daughter stayed behind for a few more years.

My mother's stories serve as the bedrock for this book, the details rounded out by several cousins, a gathering of documents and letters and my own precious memories. The time frame is 1903 to 1938. Included are tidbits from my life as a country child, the youngest in a family affected by the Great Depression whose harshness was kept at bay by humor and love.

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