My guest writer is Jill Willoughby, oldest grandchild of Edith Andersen Holst.
This is a letter that Dolores Price wrote to me, dated 24 July 1998, where she tells us she could not make the reunion that year as they would be in Denver. She wrote this additional information about her mother, Edith:
As a young teenager she did housework for Norma Lee who lived in a big house on about 2nd North and Main. She was a hard worker and picked fruit to make money so she could give her children a wonderful Xmas. She loved Xmas and enjoyed going from house to house seeing her brothers and families Christmas.
She could sew beautifully. I can remember my 1st grade teacher having me stand up to show the class a dress Mother had made. Mother and Dolly Rockwood would make Betty and I pretty dresses and bonnets. We both were bald and they would sew hair in bonnets. I have pictures with hair in my eyes and others bald as a cue ball.
She made all our clothes including coats. I was in 8th grade when I got my first store coat. She worked for many years at the cannery and was the fastest tomato peeler they had. I can remember seeing a huge pan of tomatoes coming around the belts announcing that Mother had reached a large number of peeled pans.
When she went to work at the leather factory she was the fastest and best sewer they had. I think she enjoyed working there and made lots of friends, her best friend was Mildred Snow. She made leather coats for family and friends making leather cowboy coats for her grandchildren.
I (Jill) worked at the same factory that Grandma Edith had been at and knew Mildred. I had several conversations with Mildred about Grandma in the early 1970s. I can relate to the hard work Grandma had to do there and how dirty you would get working with the leather. I used many of the sewing machines and probably used one of the same ones Grandma did.
The letter from Delores continues:
She loved picnics and going to the mountains especially up to Glenn’s and Graces. Grace and Mother would put their feet in the creek with great enjoyment. She was close to her brothers and sisters-in-law. We were the first to get a TV and brothers and friends would come and watch wrestling also they liked to play penny poker.
When I was teaching at Bear River High, I bought the red kitchen set for her birthday as a surprise. When they delivered it she made them take it back because she thought they had the wrong house. The store called me at the school to tell me about it and I told them to redelivery it. She was thrilled!
I remember my Grandma Edith Holst. She would always hug me and I knew she loved me very much.
She worked as a seamstress and she would sew her grandchildren dresses and coats. She would sew a tag into each garment that said, “Made Especially for you by Edith Holst.”
I was able to stay overnight and sometimes for several weeks in the summer. I stayed with my cousins Jill and Susan who also lived in Brigham City.
I remember my Grandma Holst loved to watch the Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday nights. She made wonderful creamed peas and new potatoes. She was a wonderful cook and many family members would be over to enjoy meals together. I remember many birthday parties and picnics in her back yard. I remember the tire swing in the yard.
Grandma usually always had an apron on when she was at home. I remember that she had red wall paper in her kitchen and I remember that the ironing board was in the wall. I remember the drawer in the kitchen that held crayons and paper dolls and such for the grandkids to use.
I remember when I slept over we would usually sleep on the living room floor. I would stay awake to the sounds of many diesel trucks that passed by. The home was on 678 North Main and this was before the freeway.
My favorite part of Grandma and Grandpa Holst’s yard was the weeping willow tree in the front yard. I loved to run around in the branches that hung down. I also loved the Bing cherry tree in the yard next to the garage. The cherries were the sweetest and biggest cherries I ever tasted. To this day I haven’t found any cherries to match. There were many cherry trees in the back and sometimes I got to help pick. I remember picking raspberries.
I remember that Jill and Susan and Julie and I would climb out the basement window while Grandma was at work. While she was a work she would give us some money to walk to the store down the street and buy triple decker ice cream cones.
Grandma would wear a hat and earring when she went to church or somewhere nice. I remember that her earrings had little cushions in the back of them. When Grandpa and Grandma Holst came to our home in Sandy there was always a present for each of us in her suitcase.
I remember many birthday parties in August for my Mom and my birthday were at Lagoon. I have many wonderful memories of Grandma watching us on the little boats and cars and other kiddie rides. I remember Grandma Holst loved Christmas and she would make clothes for us, and give us many presents. Christmas was wonderful at Grandma’s house.
The main thing I remember of Grandma Holst was that she was so very loving. She died on my 13th birthday and I will never forget her. She was a wonderful wife, Mother and Grandmother and I hear stories that she was a very fun Aunt.
Posts in the series will be added here as they are published.
Terry Draper says
Thanks so much Jill for posting these stories and pictures of Grandma. After reading the post I was at the end of the text and there was the picture of you and me and Grandma. I have never seen this picture. It made me cry. Thanks so much! By the way, I noticed that you had lots more hair than I did. I wonder why Grandma did not sew hair into a bonnet for me?
Don’t know if you noticed that you can click on words that are a different color like “red wall paper” and a related picture will come up.
Jill, Thanks for adding the pictures to my recollections of Grandma. You are amazing. Love, Terry
Lovely tribute, I really enjoyed reading the post and seeing the wonderful pictures. I will have a look through the previous posts and see what I missed.