Sometimes we think we are too old to try something new. The old adage states, “You can’t teach old dog new tricks.” Well, they never met my grandmother.
Virginia Odelle Moss was born 3 October 1916 in Petersburg, Virginia. She was not her parent’s first child, but she was the first child to survive infancy. Her parents Thomas Irving Moss and Carrie Lou Hicks went on to have three more children, Lillian, Thomas, and Margaret. I will talk more about them in a later story.
I want to share you some of the things about Odelle. She went by her middle name, I am not sure why. Anyhow, Odelle’s family moved from Petersburg to Lynchburg, Campbell County before the 1920 census. Odelle seemed to have a typical upbringing in the 20-30’s. Her senior yearbook states she was in the Honor League, Be Square Club, Girl’s Glee Club, Spanish Club, Volleyball 1933, Basketball 1933, 1934 and the Girl’s Hiking Club. She wrote a fabulous poem that is in her high school yearbook. I have tried to ascertain whether she actually wrote it or if it was one she liked. I have “googled” it to no avail, so I think it is an original.
Oh, to be a gypsy girl,
A life so glad and free,
Oh, to wear the tattered clothes,
Of a wondering, gay gypsy.
The wide, wide world before me lies,
No binding ties to keep;
Just to ride in a gypsy van,
Oh, how my heart does leap.
With ever the changing landscape
Moving before my eyes,
The riding sun, the song of a bird
Would make a paradise.
Yet when all is said and done,
Perhaps ‘twould loose its zest
To roam always like a gypsy girl,
And I’d find that home is best.
When my grandfather died in 1983, Odelle was 66 years old. She did not let her life as a widow define her. According to my Aunt Carol, she enrolled in the local community college and took Music and Art Appreciation classes. When she was 70, she took a beginners art class. Over the next 10 years or so, she painted a vast amount of priceless artwork. I have included several of her works below. You will see not only how good they are, but also how we all cherish them. They can be found in the homes of my siblings, my mother’s and my aunt’s home.
My memories of her include shopping. She like to go shopping. I do not think she bought much, but she liked to go, go go. She would iron everything; I mean everything, even the sheets and her underwear! She loved her daughters and her grandchildren so much. Family was very important to her. Her kisses had a bit of static in them, I am not sure why. I just remember that. Mom, Carol, others, what do you remember most about her?
Until later, I will be exploring backwards.