Monday, April 22, 2013

My Grandma was Rosie The Riveter

How did I go all these years without knowing that my 93 year old grandma was "Rosie The Riveter"?  My parents recently took a trip to Richmond, CA where my Mom lived as a little girl.  They came across an article in the paper about Richmond Park's "Rosie Fridays" at the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front Visitor Education Center.  I was fascinated with the article which features four women who worked at the Kaiser shipyards during World War II.  These darling ladies are my grandmother's age, and give tours on Friday's and talk about what it was like to be "Rosie".

As we were chatting about this, my grandma nonchalantly tells me she was a riveter. 
"What?"  I proclaim
"Oh, Yes."  she says.  "I remember working the night shift from 1942-43.  I burned and welded  in shipyard number two at Kaiser, and I also put percussion elements in shells. (Apparantly, that part was kind of dangerous)"

My beautiful 93 year old "Rosie" Grandma Iris

It turns out she took classes to learn how to weld, and then she was on duty.  My great grandmother, (who was very interesting) took care of my mom and her brother who were just toddlers at the time. 

"She used to give us black coffee for breakfast,"  My Mom, Dixie said.  "We were running around going crazy from the caffeine.

"Well no wonder you were so wild when I got home,"  Grandma said.

Grandma talked about her time as "Rosie" very matter-o-factly.  She did what she needed to do to help her country.  It's all just amazing to me, the strength and determination of these women.

If you'd like more info on this check out "Rosie the Riveter World War II Homefront National Historical Park" on Facebook.  It's incredible that these ladies in their 90's and late 80's are there sharing their experiences.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing family teasure of information to uncover! Brenda

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ColibriNB said...

It's so cool you got that information first hand from your grandma!

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