Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Vintage Vignette Presents....Pages In Time.

This beautiful couple were my Paternal Grandparents, Herbert and Lillian Green. They met at church and married at the tender young age of 16! They started their lives together in Orangeburg South Carolina. As you can see by the photograph, Herbert was a handsome young man with plenty of girls chasing after him. He was however, drawn to young Lillian's sweet and mild disposition along with her beauty and therefore the two of them were married.

Lillian, born in 1919, was a sweet and polite young lady who always made herself available to help out anyone in need. Herbert on the other hand, was quite the man about town. Born in 1915 he left home at the age of 14 and struck out on his own for the glitz and glam of Chicago. He held some pretty interesting occupations in Chicago during that time. He was employed as a "Lookout" for a local brothel where he would alert the ladies if an officer was approaching. Being a 14 year old kid, no one would have ever suspected his involvement is such a seedy operation. A few years later he found himself employed by none other than the infamous gangster "Al Capone" running liquor during the prohibition! He was given several cars with hidden compartments to contain the libations as he drove through town to make his run. On several occasions he was shot at by the same people who were subsequently gunned down during the "St. Valentines Day Massacre" (Caution! graphic photo in link!). After escaping death on more than one occasion he finally decided he'd had enough and gave up on his illegal shenanigans.

Now I know that many of you may have doubts as to the authenticity of this story but I remember sitting there with him and listening to his stories rich with detail for many, many years without so much as a minute change in detail! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these things really did occur. Although I do not agree with his early lifestyle choices, I do however, find it a very interesting piece of family history that deserves to be shared.

Herbert and Lillian went on to have 11 children together including my father Phillip. They made their home and a life together in Gary Indiana and eventually moved and built a home in San Bernardino California. They lived in area called "the valley" where many of the same families still reside to this day. There they raised lots of babies including my dad who is third to the youngest of them.

Look at that great old "Woody" car!

*My Dad Is first from the left with his hand in his pocket.

The boys as "Gunslingers"

While raising their family in California, Lillian honed her homemaking skills and Herbert worked in the steel mill at Kaiser Steel. Lillian became a master cook and I can still taste her clover leaf biscuits as I write this! She would care for neighbors and family members who took sick and always searched out ways to be of assistance to others. Herbert worked hard at the mill and took the family on many fun fishing trips. They were always generous with their time and resources.

I have many fond memories of them but especially when I was in my early twenties. Grandpa was generous to a fault. He was known to "Peel Off" $100 dollar bills to all of his grandkids as they came through the front door! I finally insisted that he not do this EVERY time I visited or he would have gone broke! Their house was on my way home from work when I would get off the overnight shift so I would stop by often to have breakfast, visit and watch "The price is right" with them. I have many fond memories of watching boxing with my grandfather and sitting at the table and having tea with grandma while discussing her life. Sometimes she would forget that she had told me the same story many times before but I would never say anything because I loved to hear them as many times as she wanted to share them with me.

Herbert and Lillian or "Lilly Mae" as he used to call her were married over 60 years before he passed away in 1997 and she in 2000. They were not perfect people and they made many grave mistakes in their lives but they were genuine individuals who weathered the storms of life and remained together for a lifetime. When I think about them I make it a point not to think about the mistakes that they may have made but I always remember the love and care they showed me personally. I always knew they loved me and felt they always made me feel that I was important enough to make time for in their busy lives. It is those memories of moments spent with them that continues to fuel my love for these very special people.

My husband and I stopped just the other day to visit their grave site and to remember them. As I sat and viewed their final resting place all the happy memories of times spent with them flooded my mind and I was filled with feelings of happiness and peace. It is for this reason that I wanted to do a pages in time post featuring the two of them. I will always remember Herbert and Lillian always remembered by me as Very Special And Loving Grandparents.

*The digital collages of them in both younger and later years were created using the Creating Keepsakes SBD digital software with original photos being imported into the program for editing and embellishing.


  1. What a lovely tribute to your grandparents :) I have really enjoyed looking at your pictures xx

  2. What a lovely, lovely entry! Thank you so much for sharing these people, with us. Especially the old stories.

    How wonderful that your grandfather shared them with you, so they can be remembered and passed down, through the family.

    Gentle hugs,
    Aunt Amelia

  3. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful post. These are my grandparents and I didn't even know all of this information. (I'm Cindy's sister). What a beautiful tribute to Grandma and Grandpa.

  4. Thank you everyone for such lovely comments. I really enjoyed putting this piece together and plan to make "Pages In Time" a regular and feature of The Vintage Vignette with a matching collage piece of artwork for every story.

    P.S. Pam (my sister) you are such a nerd for not remembering some of this!:) I spent so many mornings with them and that is when I would hear most of the great stories. :)

  5. This is a beautiful tribute...I bet they would be so proud of you!

  6. I've awarded you the "One Lovely Blog" award! Stop by my blog and grab the button. This is just beautiful!

  7. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog :) I love this post! I just love hearing great stories like these from the past! I think our lives today seem so dull compared to then LOL. Those are very nice photos! Your grandparents sound like they were very sweet :)

    All the best,

  8. Thanks Allison for the kind words. My grandparents definately lead very interesting lives. I have to tell you that I just adored your blog! Can't wait to see what else you put up:)

  9. So sweet to share your stories. Isn't it amazing that after all these years, the love you have for your grandparents, is still right there? It's how I feel about my grandparents as well.

    P.S. I LOVE the pic of them dressed as cowboys!!!


  10. Thanks Angela...that is one of my very favorite picturess of my dad growing up:)

  11. haha papa looks exactly the same. Were was that at. Who was the one on the far right?

  12. Thanks Kim for the lovely Blog Award! I really appreciate your kindness :)

  13. Drew Phil (my nephew) I think that photo was taken of them when they lived in Gary Indiana. I am pretty sure about that because Poppa was born there and moved to here when he was still quite young. The brother on the far right is your great uncle Johnnie...Poppa's oldest brother and firstborn.

  14. Cindy:
    What a poignant homage to your Grand parents. Life was different back in those days; my Dad passed when he was 84 and my Mom is 100 now and he told me about his life. He was originally from KC, boxed and Chi town was where a lot of people went through.
    That you tell the stories now is like being an oral historian!!!
    Love the Woodie; always wanted one.
    Thank you for sharing with us and please, tell us more!!!
    peace & Hugs


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