Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A few words from my Grandfather

I recently found some notes I took last year during a conversation with my Grandfather Forrest Frank Jr., who was telling me his memories of his childhood and family. Here are my notes, in no particular order, told from his point of view:

  • My childhood home was 600 Grand Ave in Fulton.
  • My grandfather Frank went by Charley. He ran a "little red store" in Fulton. It was called either Frank & McClure or Frank & Market.
  • My grandmother Frank's name was Emma. I think her maiden name was Runge. I remember that she had a relative named Frank Runge that visited some.
  • My uncle Melvin also ran a grocery store on 9th St in Fulton. He was in business with my uncle Frank Backer, his brother-in-law.
  • My father Forrest Sr. drove a horse-drawn laundry truck in Fulton. Once a horse stepped on him, injuring his stomach. Later in life he got stomach cancer, and he always believed that it was caused by that horse stepping on him.
  • My father once ran for Fulton City Collector, but as a Republican! I was very embarrassed. After the war, I ran for City Collector and was elected, but as a Democrat.
  • My mother and father divorced when I was 13. My father then moved to Michigan City, Indiana, where he ran a Peptolene gas station on the corner of 10th and Franklin St. The gas station was owned by my uncle Poole Harrison, who was very rich and owned several gas stations in the Chicago area. My mother remarried to a man named Arthur Bergin and lived in Fulton.
  • The summer after my father moved to Michigan City, I went to visit him and worked at his gas station. We also went to the World's Fair in Chicago. (Note: This was 1933, grandpa was 14 -SPF)
  • All of my family is buried in Hillcrest Cemetary in Fulton.
  • My grandfather Harrison was named Robert Berry, but went by R.B. He moved from Cole County (Note: It was actually Miller Co, south of Jeff City - SPF) to Callaway County before I was born.
  • Grandfather Harrison owned a melon farm. He did pretty well for himself and was able to pay off his $13,000 mortgage in the first year.
  • My mother had four sisters and a brother.
  • My aunt Vesta was married when she was young to a man who turnd out to have a drug habit. It was very scandalous and she got a divorce. She then married a man named T. Page Rogers, who was very rich. I think he was in the oil business. They moved to Galveston, Texas, then later to Dallas.
  • After I enlisted in the Army, I stopped to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Dallas along with some Army buddies. Their driver picked us up from the bus station in a limo and drove us to their mansion! We all drank cold beers and ate steak that night. We lived the fancy life for a night. It was one of the best meals I've ever had.