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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

My Grandmother Was Ahead Of Her Time

My paternal grandmother Throcky (Carla Margaret Throckmorton) was almost a full century ahead of her time in many ways, for example, she pronounced schedule and coupon the same distinct (incorrect) way that millennials do today. Instead of speaking schedule with a soft sibilant "s" followed by a hard "ch" as in school, she spoke schedule with a harder "s" and skipped the "ch" all together; just like the young one do today, like a slurred "said you all"

As for coupon, she started it with a "coo", omitting the influence of the "u" that really should make "cou" sound like "q". It was annoying to me to the point of embarrassment, but she was resolved. She seemed to feel it was daring to speak that way. As one of the first women playground directors in St. Paul, Minnesota she had to conform in many, many ways to feminine stereotypes that must have hampered her work, she work a longish dress while directing large boys playing football and hockey, she spoke gently as she directed large groups of excited people through the various indoor and outdoor activities that she organized at her recreation center, oh, the list of things to which she as a woman had to conform is endless. Perhaps when she spoke schedule and coupon in her own way it was a little rebellion that made her feel independent without cost.

These new pronunciations are at best variants of the classical American pronunciations. I am not the first in humanity's history to say that I do not like how the youth are saying things, but I am impressed at my grandmother Throcky's trendsetting.

Throcky was also a clever and talented woman, a fine artist although she would only have described herself a "crafty", and with both meanings intended. For example, in the 1940s she recognized that some fine fruit wood had been used in a couple of grocery packing boxes and she salvaged the wood. A friend of hers cut out Minnesota fish and bird shapes from her design. Then Throcky painted them as real as life. My parents inherited these lovely animals and when my parents could no longer stay in their own home, I hung Throcky's animals in my guest bedroom for them, above a long mural that I had installed of one of the northern Minnesota lakes, where we used to vacation, staying in a wood cabin with a wood stove heater, and small boats for daily fishing. It gave them lovely memories.

My parents and grandparents have all passed on now, and I myself am headed for much smaller senior-appropriate housing so I photographed and sold Throcky's delightful Minnesota animals. I miss them.

Caption: Minnesota animals painted by Carla Margaret Throckmorton in 1940s

photographed by her granddaughter Annmarie Throckmorton 2013

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