Sunday, February 12, 2006


It’s weird. I don’t remember much about my grandfather Raymond. He was my mother’s father. I can’t remember him speaking a word to me; however, I know he had to. I keep looking for words of wisdom from him, or something that would tie me to him and make me think of him fondly, but there isn’t anything really. Now don’t get the assumption that I wasn’t fond of him, or that he wasn’t a good man, because he was. I just can’t remember any conversations between my grandfather and me. I do not think of him in a bad light by any means, it’s just I remember no interaction with him or no special stories involving himself and me. I’m sure my other sisters remember things about him that are heart-warming, but I can remember none.

However, I do remember my grandfather in the terms of calling my grandmother daily, and hanging out at “The corner” (a local beer joint) and kissing my grandmother religiously. I remember being moved at the sight of him sobbing when my grandmother and my uncle Charles passed, but that is honestly about it. There has to be a lot said about a husband who is that devoted to his wife.

His appearance was short and round. I can’t say he was fat, but if I had to describe him in a word, it would be round. I remember his clothes were always neat in appearance. He had a huge mole on one of his cheeks, and I often wondered about that mole. I had weird, kid thoughts, such as, “did it hurt”, “was it ever going to fall off” or “did he shave it.” Like I said, weird.

My grandfather smoked – or did he? He lit cigarettes anyway, and they just dangled from his mouth. Sometimes I would just want to flick the ashes off, because almost the whole cigarette would burn before he would take it out of his moth and flick the ashes. I’m not sure if he actually ever puffed on a cigarette.

What I’ve been told about my grandfather is that he was a chef. I know he worked at a local distillery as a chef and I’ve seen pictures. I’ve also been told that before the great depression he owned a candy store. I often thought growing up, “darn the bad luck why we couldn’t have a candy store to play around in.”

I was also told my grandfather also did a bang-up job decorating cakes.

Back in those days, women did the cleaning, cooking, laundry and took care of their husbands. It’s just the way it was. I was almost embarrassed that my grandfather was a chef of all things, and could decorate cakes. That was women’s work. It was my mindset as I was growing up, but today I am quite proud to say my grandfather was a chef. When I speak of my grandfather, I speak of him in terms of his cooking abilities and his candy store.

When I was older (late teens) my grandfather was visiting my sister Dorothy Ann. The family was gathered at Dorothy Ann’s house for some reason that does not come to my mind. What I remember about that day is, my grandfather took a bed sheet, placed it over his head, then put a laundry basket on top of the sheet and started chasing the kids around the backyard. I’m not sure who the kids were, but if I had to guess it would be my nieces and nephews David, Jeannette and Karen. But in my mind this action of my grandfather seemed to be very much out of character. I was a teenager. Everything adults did was out of character.

In his final years, all I recall is grandpa being at my aunt Mary Jeans. She took care of him as he lay dying. I visited him several times, but don’t remember an exchange of words at all. I was in my twenties when he passed, but I don’t remember much about his funeral, being sad or the sadness of my family. It is really troublesome that I remember no conversations with my grandfather. I want so to remember something about him, his personality or demeanor but, for me, it is just not there.

Most of all, I cannot remember his shoes.


Blogger smae said...

Glo, Grandpa Mivelaz was evidently very strict with his kids when they were growing up. I always found it hard to believe because he always was so kind and gentle. Mother said he mellowed later in life. He always gave me quarters for my good report cards, baked my first communion cake and took me places I needed to go when they were at night. I remember once he took me to Loretto at night for some sort of thing and there was ice on the streets. We were supposed to pick up Judy Talley too and when we got to her house she said we had to pick up someone else. It turned out that grandpa picked up about 4 other people. I think he was a little miffed but he never said one thing. Glo do you remember those suits we had...I had a green one and you had a blue one. They had suede on the collars. This was when I was in college. I needed a nice outfit because I was in a wedding and there was this big party for the bride..sort of a society thing. Anyway I had nothing to wear and grandpa gave mother some money so that I could buy something to wear. He started smoking when he was 10 years old. He told me that he had a paper route and that's when he started puffing. Also he dropped out of school after the third grade. I'm with you, I sure wished he had kept that candy store. I also remember that he worked at St. Cecilia's picnics. Once I helped him fry the chickens.

12:26 PM  
Blogger The Curl said...

Hey Glo, I remember that incident with the clothes hamper, I think there is a picture somewhere. I remember when he came home in the afternoon from "the corner" he would always bring me a "Chocola" and it was a big thrill to shake and shake it. I think sometimes he would shake it. I remember being in his car sometimes too. I always LOVED the fact that he was a candy maker and cake maker. It helps me know really where MY genetic make up came from!!! I always loved when Ray and Laverne came to town and we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house and Sherry Ann and all of them were there and the house was full. I remember that house too, (Of course Glo you lived upstairs later) isn't that weird. It was ??? 1/2, the address. I must say I didn't visit him much when he got sick. I do have a picture of him when he came to my house at Christmas (one of the very few times I had it) on Wurtele, it was when we gave mother and daddy the Picture of us, you know the Phantom of the Opera picture, the Wicker is getting thicker, picture. Ha Ha. Keep up the good work, the memories, even if few are priceless

12:51 PM  
Blogger The Curl said...

I remembered another memory. Grandpa Mivelaz bought my first communion book (I still have it) It was a pearl covered one, it was the most expensive ($5.00 I think) but he got it anyway, it was accidentally given to Charlotte Meyer (you can still see her name scratched out) but was correctly given to me.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Why can't I remember those kind of things. I had a cheapie communion book, the 3 dollar one.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

What fun this is to remember and to add your memories to others. The sheet and clothes basket gathering (I think) was David's birthday. Mom used to have a picture of it. I don't remember it myself , but do recall seeing the picture many times. I'm not sure who ended up with the picture.
The thing I remember about Grampa Mivelaz is that when we went to visit....there was always fruit in a bowl on this white metal cabinet. I remember that Michael and I would pretend the bananas were a phone before we ate them.
Another thing I remember is Grandpa Mivelaz giving to us a glass. He had something that he could etch designs into the glass. He drew a picture of us and wrote our name on it. I thought it was so cool. David, Michael and I each had our own. We used them alot, not sure what ever happen to them. But I thought they were cool.

11:42 AM  
Blogger david said...

I have the picture you are talking about. That is one of the few things about him i remember. I also have a picture of him when he was a member of a baseball team, The photo is of the whole team, and was taken in 1915. The uniforms say Steinmetz Gladdage on the front of them whatever that was. It sounds german to me. I'll see if i can e-mail to you. Every one that sees it thinks it is the coolest thing they have seen.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

David, I would love to see the pics you are talking about. Glad you got the link to this blog.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I too can remember that picture of Grandpa Mivelaz, with the basket over his head. I also have a picture of him standing in front of what looks like a house on main street with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. My only memories of him was when we would go over Mary Jeans house while he was still alive. And I definitely remember that mole on his face.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Scott Denison said...

Hello, Mivelaz family. My name is Scott Denison. My mom is Rosemary Mivelaz Denison, daughter of William Mivelaz. I believe my Grandfather William is the brother of Grandpa Raymond. I would love to know if this is the correct Raymond. My email is I have a very detailed family genealogy if anyone is interested.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Hi, I know my Grandpa Raymond Mivelaz had a brother named Bill. My aunt, Mary Jean received a bunch of genealogic information from a gentleman named Bill Mivelaz, Jr. Related? I know a lot of Bill Mivelaz's family is from New Albany.

With a name like Mivelaz thee almost has to be a connection.

Gloria Miller (Daughter of Dorothy Mivelaz and Henry Miller)

PS Would be interested in any information you have.


4:34 AM  
Blogger sherry king said...

Hi,When my husband sent this to me at work, like the Celine song says, it's all coming back to me. I remember visiting grandma and grandpa Mivelaz during the summer, when we would drive up from Illinois. I loved going to church with grandpa, and we would stop by a small bakery and get donuts afterwards. He would give my brother, sister and myself change to go down to the corner store and by comic books to read on our return trip. When i seen my parents name mentioned, I knew I had to write. Raymond and Lavern were my parents, and I'm Sherry Ann.

10:10 PM  

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