Sunday, March 11, 2012

Frances G. Tersla Gannon

Last Saturday two major things happened that would change my life forever, I was crowned Miss Empire Rose 2012 and my 104 year old Great Grandmother passed away.  Although she was 104 and wasn't able to see me compete, I've found that she had been there with me at all seven pageants I competed in.  She always found a way of being a topic of conversation in my interviews and I loved talking about her, she had this way of calming my nerves when her name was brought up.

On Saturday while I was in my interview, she was on her way to take a nap that would take her to a better place.  As I was being crowned Miss Empire Rose 2012, my Grandfather was calling my mom to tell her the news.  I'd like to think that my Great Grandmother felt that it was time because she had somewhere else to be, she wanted to be able to see something that she helped make crowning.  Every time I put my crown on, even look at it, I think of my Great Grandmother.  I know that she is with me and I like to think of her as living through my crown.

My Great Grandmother was born on October 10, 1907 and at her wake we discussed some interesting facts about the year she was born.  I found it pretty amazing how things used to be, so I thought I would share some with you :

the Hershey Kiss was invented
average life expectancy was 47 (she surpassed that expectation)
8% of homes had a telephone
14% homes had a bathtub 
a 3 minute phone call from Denver to NYC was $11
only 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads
average wage was 22 cents per hour
95% all births were at home
doctors had no college education
sugar cost four cents a pound
eggs were 14 cents a dozen
coffee was 15 cents a pound
5 leading causes of death :
1. Pneumonia and influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke
population in Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30
crossword puzzles and iced tea had yet to be invented
no Mother's Day or Father's Day
two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write
only 6% Americans graduated from High School
only 230 reported murders in the entire United States

Just think what it would have been like to live back then.  It's amazing to see how far we've come in just a little over a century and we're still moving forward.  Where will we be in 2112?

RIP Great Grandma

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