It all started with a tale told by my late Cousin Pat, a book about the history of Minneapolis, and a peculiar warning in Grammer’s autograph book.
“Grammer,” as my grandmother was called, was the epitome of what a grandmother should be – doting, kind, and indulgent. Okay, my mom probably didn’t appreciate the fact she spoiled me with candy and cookies, and showed me my Christmas gifts early, but I adored my grandmother. As I grew older, Grammer would share with me stories from her childhood. Later, as I became a genealogy addict, she was always interested in learning about my latest findings. After returning from a research trip in Grammer’s hometown of Minneapolis, I loaned her a book I’d purchased called “Downtown.” Little did I know I wouldn’t receive it back until Grammer had passed – but she would never tell me why or what happened to it!
Right after my grandmother’s death, I became reacquainted Grammer’s niece (my mother’s cousin), Pat (Anhorn) Blair. Cousin Pat told me of my grandmother’s wild teenage years, and I learned a side of Grammer that I’d never known before. The most interesting detail, however, was regarding Cedric Adams, an overwhelmingly popular radio announcer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in the 1930s and 1940s.
Cedric, it is stated, was so popular that the airline pilots flying above the Twin Cities area knew what time it was when families turned off the lights in the houses after the show was over. Apparently, Cedric was also very popular with my grandmother. Cousin Pat recounted that my grandmother’s mother was quite displeased that she had been “going out with” Cedric Adams. Fact or fiction? I didn’t give the story much credence until finding this entry in Grammer’s autograph book, dated June 3, 1938:
Grammer’s friend writes:
Goldie My Dear:
My very best wishes for your coming years. Especially the ‘mink coat’ & all that goes with it.
Eileen M. Austin
Be careful of all Radio Announcers.
While I still find it very difficult to believe this married man was dating a sixteen year old girl, one thing is clear: my grandmother, the little old lady who fed me cookies and milk after school, helped me with my homework, and gave me a pony, wasn’t always old. Just like others her age, she had dreams and hopes, and yes, crushes. Cedric Adams must have been a really special guy to have captured her heart.