I’ve been meaning to start an online family tree for years and went so far as to gather letters and documents from my mother. Apparently, her mother — my grandmother and one of the least sentimental people on the planet — had a genealogy project cooking too, although never completed, as far as I can tell.
Here is an excerpt from a letter she received from some sort of cousin/in-law/auntie named Gladys, whose gimlet-eyed account of her family members makes me hoot.
Ruth was pretty when she was young, but these later years, she has sort of left herself go and is so out of shape, she is like a ball. She is short and broad and does not wear any garment at all and left her teeth go to pieces too.
Woodrow is just as careless as he can be, works in a Structo factory, and doesn’t seem to care how he looks. He too has left his teeth all got to pieces and never cares if he has a hair cut either.
And you should see their home place. It has never had any paint on the buildings since they were built. And so run down it is awful. They have no bathroom, only an old outside toilet that is falling down, tipping sideways and all but impossible to go into, we were there two days this fall, and the plaster had started to fall off the kitchen ceiling and a big hole there with more to come off. Oh my, I have said enough.