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Henry Crouse Speer & Edna Miller

Henry C. Speer & Edna Miller

These are my paternal grandparents, Henry C. Speer and Edna Miller circa 1950. Both sets of grandparents (in this case, my Grandparents Speer and my Grandmother Rogers, as my Grandfather Rogers was deceased before I was born), lived close by as I was growing up, and I saw them on a regular basis. So in this, I was very fortunate.

My first remembrance of my grandparents is when they were living in Hawthorne, Passaic County, NJ. My grandfather had started his own business, The Speer Press Printing Company, in Paterson, New Jersey, which my father managed in the years before his own death. My grandmother was a homemaker, and quite good at it. She was a fantastic cook and seamstress, making many dresses for my cousin, Vicki Ellwood, and myself. It was a labor of love, as far as she was concerned.

As I was growing up, our family was very close. My grandmother was always very complimentary when it came to her grandchildren. My grandfather was much more quiet and taciturn. Whereas he was reserved, my grandmother was frequently giving us kisses and hugs, and telling us she loved us. I know I am very blessed.

When I was ten years old, my grandmother came to Florida with us to visit some cousins. I can still remember the trip on the train, sleeping in our seats at night. I remember her being cheery and great company. It was great fun having her along. Both of my grandparents were very generous people with their grandchildren. Every time they would visit us, they would slip a little "monetary something" into my hand when they left the house.

In their later years, my grandparents lived in an apartment in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I can still remember my cousin and I staying overnight and sleeping in what we called "Grandma's Sewing Room". Besides her sewing, I remember her cooking as was previously alluded to. One of my favorite dishes was her great chicken with garlic! I can smell it even as I write this.

My father died in April of 1958 and then my Grandmother Rogers in January 1959. Both my Grandfather Speer and my Grandmother Speer died near the end of 1959 - so many loved ones gone in such a short time. Fortunately, I still have my treasured memories. They cannot bring my loved ones back, but they do keep "their" memory alive!

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