b. March 21, 1909, District of St. Mary, Dundee Scotland
Elizabeth Dewar Spalding Fender Duncan was a woman that came to the United States from Scotland as a teenager. Her father and older brother came to the US first in steerage and during that journey her father decided that her mother, herself and my great aunt Edna would travel first class when they moved across the pond. My grandmother came to the US aboard the Adriatic leaving Liverpool England on December 27, 1924 and arriving in New York on January 9, 1925.
She worked in a dental lab in Akron. She took the bus there every day and she never drove, she never had her license. She lived on West Exchange Street just down the street from Clix? (Clicks, Cliks), it was a very large five and dime sort of place. She smoked a lot, Tarryton cigarettes, and she knit. I knit now. She was fantastic with a sewing machine and I remember she made a lot of her clothing just for the pure enjoyment of doing so. She had a singer machine that set into a sewing table the size of a card table and that was always put up in the corner of her bedroom but it would come down on our visits so a mattress could be put there for my sister and I. We LOVED bunking in with her and on the weekend, one of us got to sleep with her, it was such a treat.
She was a fabulous multi-tasker.. she would sit in her chair, catch the evening news, talk to us, knit and smoke -- all with me in her lap. She was very tolerant of my need for her attention and my adoration of her, lol. She liked her occasional "wee ticky" of scotch when my mother was there to enjoy some too. She drank her coffee black. She would pour a bit into the saucer to cool it and then poured it back into the cup until the liquid cooled enough. I remember the shape of her hands and fingers and I remember holding her hands and pressing my fingertip against the filed edge of her nail. Every morning she had a soft boiled egg and toast with unsalted butter for breakfast. I remember what the egg cups looked like that held her eggs. When we were visiting I would sit and watch her eat her breakfast; I was her company as she got ready to go to work. She always had a box of sugared donuts for us on arrival and chocolate milk.
She had a temper... I have one too. Hers was not a horrible temper but a stubbornness that would say very clearly she would not do anything she didn't want to and she would speak her mind. She was very intelligent and I remember she would put my biological father in his place with a set of her jaw that he did not argue with. Too, she was compassionate. I was not his favored child and he was cruel to me on many occasions and she tried to assure me that it was not me but him. She was my life raft. I would have given anything to live with her.