Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Generation was Sparked by A Viking Woman and an Irish/Swedish Guy

Dad was a handsome, English/Irish/Swedish/German Man who married a beautiful and firey Norwegian Woman (Viking!) in 1960. My Mom's eyes were oddly blue - I am talking strikingly blue - often the color of Windex. Click on her picture to see her eyes up close!

I say "often" the color of Windex - because like many people the hue of her eyes changed to match her mood. When she was happy in the sunlight - they were the color of Windex. But when she was Angry - especially in the evening - they could turn a ice cold grey. She was fair-haired but not outrightly blonde - more of a honey blonde - with fair skin that was not prone to freckling. (I know because....I AM prone to freckling....grrr)

Mom had striking features like a mix of Kim Novak and Joanne Woodward (in their heydays) - although Kim had brown eyes. Above is Mom's High School graduation photo - with no makeup other than a bit of lipstick. While, in stark contrast my Dad had Golden-Brown eyes, Jet-Black hair and olive-toned skin. Not black hair like caucasians but Black hair like Asians or Native Americans. Dad had a round face and was very dark for his Swedish/Irish heritage. When he was a baby - my grandmother said that total strangers would come up and comment on what a cute Indian (Native American) baby he was. Of course, they lived in Bemidji, Minnesota which was close to the Chippewa Indian reservations - my Grandma was proud of her son but baffled about the origins of her own dark, olive looks as well as her son's. Mostly, Grandma Mary claimed that a French-Canadian Trapper and his Indian wife snuck into our bloodlines along the way. Or, that withstanding, my Dad's unusual features were attributed to being "Black Irish".

See Dad's Picture at the bottom of the page!

Gary was a good-looking man for sure. He said that girls in high school used to compare him to Elvis - he had lots of dates and wanted to learn to play the guitar! My grandmother shared a lighter version of his olive skin, dark eyes and dark hair so I know that she yearned to explain the origin of her own dark looks along with my Dad's. (Her sister, Alice was much, much was fairer...) "Black Irish" is a term for Irish people with Spanish looks derived from hundreds of years ago when the Irish coastlines were invaded by the powerful Spanish Armada in the 1300's. My grandmother claimed it was in our else could we explain being Irish and Swedish and still have folks with olive skinned with Dark Hair? My Dad inherited his Irish genes from both his Mother and Father. My Dad's Paternal Grandmother was Lillian Minnie Mae Moody (I like to add "From the Moody clan" for theatrical purposes because Moody is a VERY IRISH last name) before she married Mr. Woodward - I really don't know that I ever knew his first name... The name Raymond...jumps out from the mists of history at me.... Anyway, Mom and Dad married on Sept. 10th, 1960 when they were 20 and 21 respectively.

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