Not Everyone Gets a Grandfather  

Jim Hutton

The title of this page is so true. As I mentioned on the introductory page, I didn't get to meet my grandfather on my mother's side, Albert Hall, until I visited England in 1973. My grandfather on my fathers side died six years before I was born. I also didn't get to meet my grandmother on my mother's side until very late in her life when her and my mother briefly reconciled.


Visiting My Grandfather for the First Time in England in 1973

Visiting My Grandfather for the First Time in 1973

My Grandfather Hutton Died in 1946 before I was born

My Grandfather Hutton Died Before I was Born

 

Storytime with one of my adoptive granddaughter

I only met my Grandfather Hall on two occasions. The first was when I was in the navy and had an opportunity to visit him where he lived in Reading, England in 1971 when the ship I was serving on visited Portsmouth, England. The second was when he visited my mother in Owen Sound in 1977 on the only trip he made to Canada since leaving in 1926.

 

As mentioned my Grandfather Hutton passed away before I was born. He worked for many years at McQuay's Tannery in Owen Sound where is was exposed to harsh chemicals.  It is believed that this exposure lead to the development of kidney cancer that took his life at the young age of 59.  He died only a few days from his sixtieth birthday. Death Certificate.

 

My Grandmother Hutton on the other hand lived in Owen Sound where I grew up.  Although I have photos of my grandmother when I was four or five, I didn't get to know her in spite of her living only a few blocks from where I lived. Unfortunately my mother had issues with my grandmother and did not visit her during the last 12 years of my grandmother's life.  As difficult as this was she decided to further punish her mother-in-law by keeping her children from seeing their grandmother.  So I really didn't get to spend my time with my grandmother as I was growing up.  I didn't really understand why this was happening at the time. However upon reflection later in life I came to realize that my mother was suffering from a mental illness which became very apparent later in life. This was likely related to her being abandoned by both of her parents when she was very young and growing up in an orphanage.

 

As a direct result of my experiences, or more precisely the lack of my experiences, with my grandparents I very much appreciate how important it is for a child to get to know their grandparents. Given that my grandchildren may not get the opportunity to learn about my experiences and their heritage directly from me I'm hoping that they will appreciate the time I've taken to document this history.

 

 

 

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