In November of 1958 when I was ten years old, my parents sent me by train, alone, from Manhattan, Kansas to live with my paternal grandmother Throcky in St. Paul, Minnesota. They threw me away as a culprit, under pretense, as if I had been an adult and intentionally blown up my little brother’s hand, and cost him the tips of several fingers. Perhaps they were so enraged with me that they wanted me out of sight so as not to become responsible for harming me. (See my blog post on 06-20-18 for my best understanding of what actually happened that year, none of which was any fault of the ten-year old child that I was.)
My Grandmother Throcky was very angry that I was sent to her, and soon after I arrived she jerked me by hand down to the recreation center where she was director. No one was about so it was probably on a Sunday morning. She said not one word to me as she got out her 16" x 16" guillotine-style paper cutter. Then she took my hand and held it on the board next to the 16" blade of it. She raised the blade high, then SWOOP, she slashed the blade down next to my fingers. I was shocked and very frightened to understand that she wished that she could cut off my fingers because she believed I had caused some of my bother's fingertips to be cut off. There was no one I could turn to so I held my fears silently.
My paternal grandmother Throcky soon sent me back to live with my parents, she had no intention of taking on the burden of a timid little girl to whom she had severed any natural connection.
For the rest of my life, the entire family treated me strangely at best, and hatefully at worst. The fact that my mother had started me off with her false claim that I was the product of incest by her father probably made this easier for them to do.
Caption: My Grandmother Throcky's Paper Cutter-circa 1950
Photograph by Annmarie Throckmorton, I inherited it from my mother.