top of page
  • Writer's picturePatricia Grayhall

In Honor of Women's History Month

Do you ever wonder what your ancestors would be like if they lived today? Both of my great aunts, born in the 1870s, were handsome women that would look great today in butch attire astride a motorcycle or a horse and sporting tattoos.

One of them had 6-8 kids before her husband died leaving her a single parent. Fortunately, her charms were such that she snagged a new husband 15 years younger but had two more kids. The other aunt had five kids before she threw her husband out of the bedroom.

They both lived into their mid-90s, long enough for me to get to know them and for them to know their baby dyke in the making.

In the 1920s, my grandmother, cut her hair short, smoked cigarettes, voted or the first time, and carried a pistol. She was whip smart, had two years of college, and was known to be quick with the witty retort. Born a woman in the mid 1890s, her life was constrained and her potential crushed. Morphine was used to treat women's suppressed desires and wandering uteruses in those days and sometime in her 30s she became addicted.

I never got to meet her because she died by suicide with her own gun when my mother was a teenager.

My mother served in the American Red Cross in Brazil during WWII, then in the Allied Military Hospital in Berlin, Germany right after WWII.

There is so much more I could say about my mother, but I am afraid that will have to wait for another book.

My aunt, still alive at 103, was a pilot in the early days of aviation. She was buddies with the women-in-aviation pioneer, Jacqueline Cochran. She would have joined the WASPs, except my uncle, a navy pilot said, "There will only be one pilot in this family."


bottom of page