by Ron Lester
I was born in 1969. My maternal great-great grandmother was born in the year 1886. She was 83 years old when I was born and remained on the planet for 17 years of my life. I didn’t have a very strong appreciation for the fact that there were five generations of women in my family on the planet at the same time for nearly four years! My sister, Treva, was born in 1982. So there was my sister, my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother and my great-great grandmother. I do remember being astonished when my grandmother pointed out the fact that my great-great grandmother was her grandmother. I thought to myself, “Wow! My grandmother has a grandmother!” Five generations of women!
I will also mention that there is a good memory streak that runs through my maternal line. For example, my grandmother shared how she would sit at the feet of my great-great grandmother’s mother and listen to stories of the family. The woman also took the opportunity to give my grandmother chewing tobacco which she chewed and spat out in old coffee cans for years.
My great-great grandmother died in November of 1986 at the age of 100. And my great-grandmother died in 2003 at the age of 93. My grandmother will be 89 in April. Long life seems to be another streak on my maternal side of the family.
My grandmother is living in California now, and I plan to make a visit to her this year. I think it’s time I sat at her feet and listened to stories about our family — tobacco free!
Ron Lester is an Ancestors unKnown Board member. He is the Founder and CEO of Disco Party Fundraiser in NYC. And he is the Executive Director of the William Saxon, Jr. Foundation.