Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 02, 2012

Grandpa Peter Bullinger (white shirt) in front of his Engineering & Automotive Shop in Chicago
My Mom, Theresa; Grandma Bessie; Aunt Viola (Mom's wedding day 1940)
An original blotter from Peter Bullinger's Business in Chicago, Illinois
February 02 is my Grandmother's, Bessie O'Hara Bullinger, birthday. We would always kid her about Ground Hogs Day! Grandma came from Ireland and that is about all we ever knew about her "history" before coming to the United States. Bessie was my Mom's mother and lived with us after our Aunt Viola died. She married Peter Bullinger and they resided in Chicago and had seven children. My mother was the third child.

The picture above depicts Grandma with myself, little brother Bobby, and big brother George in Northbrook, Illinois. The dog's name is Blackie. (I can see the milk order chart posted on the wall of our little rental above George's head -- the days of the milk man and bottled fresh milk on our door stoop.)

I tried and tried to have Grandma tell me about her childhood and family. She would never speak of them. She would say that she did not want to talk about the past just the present. After Grandma's husband died during the 1930's it left the family without much money and these were hard times for them. I know my Mom quit high school to go to work to support her Mom and younger siblings -- as did Viola (older sister).

Grandma was not the easiest person to get along with but I loved her and enjoyed spending time with her. She loved to crochet and made beautiful bedspreads, table clothes, and dollies -- some of which I have to this day. In her later years she had many problems with her hips and if she was living today she would probably have had hip replacements and be able to walk about. However, back then she had to use crutches to get around and she must have been in considerable pain. There was a time when I wanted to take her back to Ireland but she would not go she said in a wheel chair. I would take Grandma on little drives to get her out of the house. I so wish she told me about her childhood and her family.

...I read that the ground hog saw it's shadow and we will have 6 more weeks of winter...let's hope it is as mild as it is now. I'm all for that. Just let it snow in the mountains and pack in the moisture for the run off.

Everyone have a great day!


  1. So fun to see your family photos. Too bad your grandmother did not pass on some stories. So many stories are lost, instead of the history of a family to be learned from. I have a younger brother Bobby too.

    How much snow do you have over there?

    1. Nothing is lightly spitting snow now and it is cold...25 degrees! How about by you?

  2. I don't think she realized how much people treasure those stories from our relatives. I wish she'd shared more too. Love that you have a Chicago history there! So neat. I remember the milk bottle delivery just a little bit. It ended when I was quite young.

    What a delight to meet you by way of Patty's farm. :)