Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grandma Elmo!

Today is my grandma's 95th birthday. Can you believe it?! Her name is Velma and when my niece came along, instead of calling her Grandma Velma, she called her Elmo, so for the past 18 or so years she's been Grandma Elmo.

Here are some fun facts:

  • She was married to my grandpa (a/k/a Papa Roy) for nearly 56 years, until his death in 1997. They met working at Sylvania. He invented stuff and used to say that he had to marry her because his design took away her job.
  • When she was working at Sylvania, she would hitchhike about 55 miles from home on Sunday and then back again on Friday.
  • She's a huge sports fan, especially all things Pittsburgh. Aaron and I always enjoyed going to visit during football season and watching college games with her.
  • She also loves gambling: lottery, Bingo, slot machines... Sometime in the 60's she won the newspaper's football pool and there was a story printed with a big picture of her (and my grandpa and my aunt). The headline read "Gal Wins Football Contest," or something like that. Oh, the scandal! Update: you can see that newspaper clipping here.
  • On her 89th birthday, she fell and broke her hip. After surgery and physical therapy, she bounced back and was able to go home. 
  • Every year she makes homemade sauerkraut, which has ruined me for any other kind. I also loved her spaghetti sauce and her applesauce.
Today she'll be celebrating with family - my mom, my brother and his family, my uncle and my cousin. Aaron and I can't be there, as we have another Sunday afternoon rehearsal and we're starting a busy concert week with the symphony chorus (it's a 5 hour trip).

And now, some pictures. There aren't many recent ones, and really I don't have a lot at all, because she's not a fan of being photographed. But here we go.

Velma is 3rd from the left (standing) with the big grin. This is her with her parents and her siblings

I adore this picture. It's my mom and grandma.

And here they are again in 1998 at my brother's wedding.

One of my favorites: my niece Jacqueline, Mom, Grandma, me.

This is at my wedding in 1991. This may be the only picture in existence of my grandparents with all three of their grandchildren, and only because my cousin Jamie happens to be standing in the background. 

Happy Birthday, Grandma. We love you!

Confessions of a Gila Monster


  1. I absolutely love this. Happy Birthday, Grandma Elmo!

    Gwen, you totally have her smile. How beautiful.

  2. Happy Birthday Grandmom Elmo!!! Love the photos! So beautiful at your wedding!!!!


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