Friday, December 16, 2011

In Loving Memory

grandma (the stunner in the middle) a week after my mom was born.
Grandma and some of children (1964)
                                Grandma participating in a protest with the Women's International League of Peace

Grandma was a an anti-war activist her entire life. It is a fact that I witnessed her get arrested protesting a war on tv when she was in her 70's ( I was 17). This was not her first or last arrest for standing up for what she believed in.   She was one of four "Napalm Ladies" wearing gloves, heels, and pearls, who blocked the loading of napalm bombs onto barges in Alviso, California destined for Vietnam in May, 1966. She was arrested and put in jail and went to trial. Pete Seeger wrote two songs about them. Tom Wicker, Washington Bureau chief for the New York Times wrote in a book that the arrest was what first made him see the Vietnam War as morally unjust. He originally supported the war, but the "Napalm Ladies" changed his mind.

When I think about my grandma Joyce, I can't help but think about the rhyme she would tell me and my siblings when we were younger "Emily pemily pudding and pie kiss the boys and made them cry (of course you could sub any name in. Do note this was an endearing rhyme, not a taunt)." I can't help but think about reading Bertrum books aloud, learning how to play Casino (a card game), watching Casablanca, The Red Shoes, Catch-22,  and the Gods must be crazy. Word finds in the morning, scrabble at night. Friday night pizza, Sunday morning banana pancakes. The most eloquent, articulate, passionate, intelligent, kind, caring,frank....Woman I've ever met. A Loving wife, mother, grandmother, advocate, inspiration, an honor to know and love. She will be dearly admired and dearly missed forever. 


  1. A beautiful tribute, Emily. My condolences to all of you. I only met Joyce a couple of times, briefly—my loss!

    (Salem, 1977-86; you were just a baby).