Posted May 12, 2010 by jimhigley
I recently reconnect with one of my mom’s friends from years ago. The kind friend mails me a couple of recipes that my mother- who passed away when I was a little kid – had typed for her about forty years ago. Knowing that the recipes are in the mail, I come up with the bright idea to make the mystery recipes for our Mother’s Day celebration. The recipes arrive and the kids and I all enjoy a sixties meal comprised of a mighty tasty chicken casserole and a very desserty frozen fruit salad. Cheers and applause to the chef extraordinaire, Grandma Betty – the grandma my kids never knew.
So now you’re up to speed. (Is this sounding like a really dull episode of Desperate Housewives?)
O.K., so while our Mom’s Day dinner was great, I have to be honest about the fact that my 14-year-old son wasn’t filled with the same level of goose bumps that I was. He was a good sport. He understood the importance of it all. And, he fulfilled his grandson’s duty beautifully. But, it was a little hard for him to get over-excited about it all. Grandma and her recipes. Not high on the list of any young boy. I get it.
But, Grandma skyrocketed in his book a couple hours after dinner.
It all started when my son came to show me an outline of a paper he was working on that evening. The subject? World War II. He was doing a terrific job of summarizing details of the war, key dates and the world leaders involved. When he got to the part about the Atomic Bomb and the Manhanttan Project, I dropped a little bomb on him, myself.
“You know that Grandma was part of the Manhattan Project team, don’t you?”
He stopped dead in his blabbering tracks as his brain, I’m sure, was trying to wrap arms around the idea of his grandma-with-the-chicken-casserole-as-the-same-grandma-who-worked-on-the-bomb. THE BOMB.
So, I spent the next 15 minutes doing my best to tell him the story about how Grandma Betty, at the age of 19 or so, went to Oakridge, Tennessee to work for the U.S. government as part of some top-secret project that was developing a bomb. I don’t mean to overstate her role. She was an administrative person. She did paperwork and filing. And, she truly had no knowledge of the magnitude of the project she was involved with until the bomb was dropped. But, she did have a front row seat at one of the biggest events in our country’s history. She even got a certificate from the Secretary of War to prove it.
His grandma, as all grandmas should be, just became the coolest grandma to ever walk the planet.
And I’m guessing she was enjoying the silliness of it all from her vantage point. I hope so.
My mom. You da bomb!