My grandparents, Bill and Mabel Crompton were from Yorkshire, England. My grand mother, Mable, was a diminutive 4 ft. 8 in. and the very picture of Grandmother; sweet smile, floral dress, wore a ‘dress’ hat when she went out. She didn’t talk much because Bill did all the talking.
Bill had been quite the dapper ladies man and thought of himself that way until his death at 86. Handlebar mustache, slicked back hair and reeking of cigarettes; he was never without a Rothmans and glass of rum and Coke.
He had the most annoying habit of taking my sister or myself, sitting us down while holding our hands, and looking into our eyes while he cried. This was bewildering as a child and downright humiliating as a teenager.
Often he would say, (and much more often to my sister who was popular with boys) “I married your grandmother because she was a virgin”, on and on, blah, blah, blah, about how pure she was. Of course Mable was pure….. how could she possibly be otherwise?
Years ago, my Aunt, who is the oldest of 3 sisters, had to have her passport renewed and was required to show her original birth certificate at the embassy. This was from London, England in the 1920’s and was a form filled in with pen and ink.
At the office, the woman checking the documents looked closely at the birth certificate. She held it up to the light…… “The birth date has been changed.” she said. Sure enough, to my aunt’s amazement, you could see the original date had been bleached out and a new one put it….. at 3 months later. Mabel had been pregnant when they got married so Bill changed the date and moved to a new town.
By this time he had passed away. I remember my aunt saying several times, “That hypocritical bugger!”
But it made a great family story!