No. My “Nanny” was not a hired, surrogate caretaker. My “Nanny” was my way of saying “Mary,” the name of maternal grandmother. Nanny is missed by our family.
Born in a small town in Illinois in 1925, Mary Alice Kidd Trieglaff was one of MANY children. To my knowledge, Mr. Kidd worked on cars as a mechanic and Mrs. Kidd (Granny Kidd – my mother called her) was a homemaker. The depression was rough on the family but as families did during the time, they made do. Living near a railroad track near a river bank was interesting. Flooding was the least of interesting stories I’ve heard. My favorite must be that their family always left a plate of food on the back porch for a hobo riding the rails. There wasn’t much to eat, but there was always enough to share with someone that had nothing.
In their home, my grandmother shared a bed with her sisters and a room with all the siblings. She and another sister shared clothes and a drawer. As she grew older, she took tap dancing lessons with two brothers in exchange for her father doing the maintenance on the teacher’s car. These tap dancers called themselves “The Kidd Kids” and danced all over town for a little extra money.
Nanny got a job the first day after high school as a school secretary. This was at the height of WWII. She remained a professional secretary and bookkeeper until the early 80s. Even taking on jobs in retirement keeping the books for a golf course and non-profits.
She was a proud mother of her two daughters and wife to my grandpa (also has a tribupedia entry). She played golf and loved to travel. In the early 1980s she underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a mastectomy for breast cancer. At the time, not many women discovered this early enough. She lived another 30+ years!
We miss our Nanny. Near the end of her life, her health failed her. She became weak and forgetful. A sitter became essential and eventually hospice. It was really toward the end of her life that she opened up and shared stories of her family and the depression. Those words are unforgettable and priceless.