I have a better memory of my Grandmother Smedmore because I probably saw her more often. Sadly, I have no pictures of her or of my grandfather, William Dey Smedmore. I do have a photograph of my grandmother's youngest sister, Theresa Eugenie Brown, and I rather think there must have been a resemblance between them. This is my Aunt Tess.
Aunt Tess was the Postmistress for many years in Montego Bay, but that's another story.
I would go to Kingston with my parents to visit the grannies. This was always a treat for me, living as we did in the suburbs of St. Andrew. Kingston was different .... busy, lots of people on the streets, all sorts of stores, higglers and vendors selling things on the sidewalks, and we got to ride the tramcar!
I remember that I used to tell my Grandmother Smedmore Anancy stories, which she enjoyed very much. Anancy, or Anansi, is a figure of folklore, a spider, a trickster hero, based on folktales brought from West Africa. Another Jamaican blogger, Floyd Brooks, has posted an excellent article by Marcia Davidson on Anancy stories on his blog, Jamaica Land We Love.
We didn't visit my Grandma Levy as much. I have one memory of her ... the room she was in was quite dark, and I do not really remember much about the house. I remember she was dressed in white. The room was probably dark because Grandma Levy was blind. She had had cataract surgery, which in the 1930s and '40s was nothing like what we know today ... no lasers! Patients had to lie completely still on their backs, with the head placed between two sandbags to keep it perfectly still as any movement too early after the surgery could cause blindness. My Grandma Levy was subject to nightmares and apparently had one which caused her to start up suddenly, and as a result she lost her sight. I remember she talked about her late husband, Leopold, but I do not remember what she said and at that age I wasn't particularly interested. It would be a long time before my interest in family history would lead me to find out what I could about him and about my Grandma Levy's past.