Just as this blog began because I wanted to publish a tribute to a dear, deceased friend, Dr. Herbert Ratner, so this post is happening because my daughter, Terry, has asked for some information about her now-deceased relatives. What could be more natural than to begin with my mother who died 18 years ago at the age of 95. The following is what I e-mailed to her yesterday, a thumbnail sketch of Agnes Hodson’s life:

Agnes Mary (Elizabeth) Geoghegan, was born October 2, 1894, in West Cromwell CT, the second of 11 children. Her older sister died at age 7 and her next younger sister died at age 4, both from diphtheria, leaving Mom the oldest living child. As I recall they all went to a one room schoolhouse in Cromwell, and Mom went to Middletown high school, graduating on June 14, 1912, as valedictorian. (I have a copy of her speech, which was published in the local newspaper.) She then studied bookkeeping/accounting at a nearby college and got a job in Washington DC as a secretary.

At some point Mom’s family moved to Bridgeport, which is where she met Frank Hodson, and they were married on June 20, l922, at St. Charles Church in Bridgeport. They moved to Detroit because Frank was a carpenter and Ford was busy there and houses were being built. I was born in July 1923, the first of five kids, four born in Detroit. Then came the depression and no more work. It was about 1930 when they loaded us all up in their Ford and drove us to Lebanon PA with a promise of work in a silk mill where Uncle George (husband of Frank’s sister Theresa) was a supervisor. Mom stayed home with the kids, made clothes, upholstered furniture, pinched pennies, until Dad had a tiff with Uncle George and left his job.

Dad then went alone to Bridgeport where there was supposed to be work at the GE, and Mom was to follow when he got work. I would guess we left Lebanon about 1933 as I started fifth grade in Beardsley School, Bridgeport, at age 10. Not to go into too much detail, Mom got work as a bookkeeper at the Colonial Furniture Store and later at the Gray Line Bus Co. as bookkeeper. My little sister, Dolly, was born in 1938 at Bridgeport Hospital, but Mom was able to keep her job as it was actually just down the street from our then home on Dover Street.

I can think of no criticisms whatever of my Mom. Her word was true, her heart was good, she kept a clean house, mothered us well, we had no doubt we were loved. Once while looking at my garden in the yard she happened to comment that she had never deliberately hurt anyone. I thought that was something that was important to remember. I will always consider myself blessed to have had such a mother.

As I said, this was intended to be just a thumbnail sketch. Since Mom’s five children are still all alive and well, wouldn’t it be nice if they were to add some comments on their own?