Last week my cousins Joe and Mike sent pics of old Udell’s Motel matchbooks for the blog. The motel is the reason my parents met. Before I get to that I wanted to do a little background on my family.
My grandfather’s dad was a prolific painter. He was deaf. My grandmother made sure we at least knew the alphabet in sign language. I have a few of his paintings. You can judge for yourself whether he was self-conscious about his disability by this 1934 painting he did. I don’t even know his first name. He signed his paintings R Udell.
My grandmother's dad died in a motor cycle accident in 1907.
I was told my grandfather went to th 1904 World's Fair when he was 5.
My grandmother’s brother Bill was a successful violinist and dancer. He’s pictured with his second wife Betty. He and both of his wives were billed as Mark and Marquette. He must have maintained a good relationship with his first wife because the 3 of them worked together for a while. I’ve seen great photos of them dancing on cruise ships in
The newspaper clipping is about one of his dogs jumping into a geyser at
My grandfather had a newspaper distribution route. He was hoping to pass it on to my father. It was the Post -Dispatch, I think, but they also had to deliver the free county paper. My father hated the job so much he would throw the county papers down a sewer. When it came time to retire my grandfather sold it so he could buy a motel. They looked at
My grandfather had a heart attack and died in 1962. They had given up the motel by then and moved to a house in
Years later, before my grandmother had a stroke and had to stay in a nursing facility, I used to visit her. She’d open a couple of beers and we’d talk. She told one story she said she hadn’t ever told anyone. Apparently she had a still born child before my dad. This was very personal for her and must have still hurt.
The collage shows my 12 year old grandmother with her mother Gigi, pronounced Gee Gee(hard Gs), and her brother Bill – My grandparents in 1922 – My grandmother’s dad Geo C. Mack – Bill and Betty – and Udell’s Motel.
All corrections are welcome. I’ll have more later, this is leading up to my parents’ meeting.