The Grandparent Project: Part Three

Today is the day after Grandpa George’s birthday. He’s been on my mind quite a bit as I do this Grandparent Project. He was the family photographer when I was growing up, and I used to beg him to get out the slide projector and put on a show. I always loved seeing pictures of myself, naturally, but I loved the stories that went with them, too.

We are in the third installment of this family story, and I have introduced four of my parents’ seven grandchildren. In the summer of 1989, here’s what they looked like: That’s Aunt Dharam, Cousin Guru Bakshish, my mom, baby Becca, Susan, Aunt Sarah, Josh and me.  I’m guessing Uncle David took this picture. This was the first Cousins Day we celebrated. It became a tradition to get everyone together whenever the Galassos visited the Bay Area. Here are a few more of that visit that include Uncle David and Uncle John:



And this is, I believe, the only photo of Rebecca and Josh with their great-grandmother Marion:My Grandma Marion turned 84 about a month after this was taken, and she died the next spring.  (* this one of those places where family members can help by adding corrections, comments, other photos and details)

Rebecca’s baptism was on the weekend of my parents 34th wedding anniversary, September 3. Yes, she’s wearing the same baptismal gown that her sister and her mother wore. We had a party at a Chinese restaurant that included Grandpa Mo & Wendy, GranMarni, Aunt Maggie, Godfather Michael and my dad’s childhood friend and best man, Jim Ajemian…as well as Uncle David, Aunt Sarah & Uncle John, and a few others.   These photos were taken by Aunt Maggie. My camera is in one of the pictures, but I don’t seem to have any pictures of the whole company. (* help?)

In the summer of 1990, we visited Los Gatos again and had another opportunity for a Cousins Day and some outdoor fun.  



* my husband is absent in these photos, which caused me to remember that I took an Amtrak train from LA to San Jose with these 3 kids, thinking that it would be more entertaining for my active toddler to be able to walk the aisles of the train than to be confined to an airplane seat. What I didn’t figure accurately was that I was trading 10 hours of this “entertainment” for 1 hour of that “discomfort”. I was pretty exhausted by the end of it.

And at the beginning of 1991, I looked like this. Which means that the story of Grandbaby #5 is next!

The Grandparent Project: Part Two Amendment

I flipped another page in my photo album and found pictures of myself and my husband in Scotland and England. How could I forget that in the summer of 1988, we left Grandbabies #1 & #2 with my parents while we went to the U.K.? And that I began to conclude that I was pregnant with Grandbaby #4 while climbing up to the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London?

Well, here’s another point of gratitude for my parents: they cared for our 3.5-year-old and 15-month-old for two weeks while we traveled. My mother, on our return, confessed that it was almost too much for them. But the kids look like they had fun! Here’s a couple of photos that my dad took at Vasona Park. On the back, in his elegant handwriting, it says “Susan, Aug., 1988” and “Joshua, Aug., 1988”.

The Grandparent Project: Part Two

The Grandparent Project is off to a great start!


The purpose is to share photos and memories with my family in California and my grown children in the Midwest. Already my sisters have added comments and new photos to the story. Here’s one of my Aunt Sandy holding Grandbaby #1 (Susan) at my sister Sarah’s wedding. Aunt Sandy was not a grandmother yet, but obviously was enjoying the vicarious experience!

I’m beginning to realize that this project is perhaps also for the purpose of preparing myself to be a Grandmother. I will be turning 55 at the end of the summer. I try not to build up expectations, but I can’t deny that I am utterly fascinated by tiny humans related to my biology. Just sayin’, kids.

We left off Part One in January of 1988. There were two grandbabies on record, Susan and Josh. We lived in Pomona, roughly 400 miles south of the Bay Area where the grandparents, aunts, and uncles lived. Visiting them was always a whirlwind of opportunity to incorporate gathering together and engaging in activities we all enjoyed, like going to the San Jose Historical Museum, where Aunt Sarah worked and GranneLouise volunteered…

…or to Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz.

There were times when they came down to Pomona, but frankly, the surroundings were not as pleasant. You can see the Interstate sign in the background of one of these photos taken in our front yard. (note Grandpa’s hat…did I tell you that would be a recurring theme?)

At the end of 1988, Grandbaby #3 was born, but for that story, I have to defer to my sister Dharam Kaur.

Meanwhile, I was pregnant with Grandbaby #4, who arrived on March 27, 1989. I was ever so grateful that GranneLouise volunteered to care for Susan and Josh while I delivered Rebecca Louise, that she was able to meet her namesake on the very day she was born, and that she coached me through the first days of mothering three children at once. Grandpa George and Uncle David came down to collect her and meet the new baby about a week later. I clearly remember my mom marveling at my baby’s tiny, curled pinkie finger. “It looks just like a little salad shrimp!” she exclaimed. I laughed aloud in total agreement. What can I say? Discovery is delightful.