My maternal grandmother was born in 1931 in a small Illinois town, the first of eventually eight children to her Irish-Catholic parents. They were better off than many people at the time & she graduated college at 23 before marrying my grandfather in December of 1954. Below are ten of my favorite photos of her growing up. (in chronological order)
  1. as a young toddler with her parents (c. 1932)
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    I'm a little obsessed with the way my great-grandmother is looking at my great-grandfather in this
  2. as a toddler on a motorcycle for some reason (c. 1932-33)
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    because who doesn't love photos of babies on motorcycles
  3. second from the left, around seven or eight (c. 1938-39)
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    I don't know who two of the other girls are (possibly her cousins?), but the toddler on the far right is her younger sister (five years younger, the third child in the family, & oldest of my grandma's three younger sisters)
  4. far right, with her younger brother and sister, at around eight or nine (c. 1940-41)
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    brother & sister are four & five years younger, respectively. I don't know why they have lampshades on their heads but I love it
  5. in a boat at around twelve (c. 1943)
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    this picture is fascinating to me because I never knew my grandma to go near water as she couldn't swim (she would go on ferries & the like, but would never get in anything as unstable as a rowboat)
  6. with her mother & sister at around fifteen or sixteen (c. 1946-47)
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    my great-grandma had five children at that point (two girls, three boys), & it's crazy to me how much she aged in the fifteen or so years between the first picture & this one
  7. around fifteen or sixteen (c. 1946-47)
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    this is such a great picture & I'm obsessed with it
  8. at around sixteen or seventeen (c. 1947-48)
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    another boat picture & possibly my favorite photo of her as a teen, partly because she looks fantastic, & partly because it's the only photo of her where I see some of myself & I wish I were more like her
  9. at around twenty (c. 1951-52)
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    I want her coat
  10. with my grandfather at their wedding reception (c. Dec. 1954)
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    they met at college & married the same year they both graduated