The Edmonds Side

The Edmonds Side

My mother was an Edmonds by birth. I never got to know this part of my family very well. They were a rough bunch out of the coal mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

They did not like my dad because of the age difference (she was 26 and he was 52 when I was born). After a while he stayed away because of the way he was treated. He always told mom to go ahead to family gatherings but she usually refused to go without him.

I do not remember a family get together that did not end in a fist fight of some sort and the police being called. Usually, an uncle or two would spend the night in jail to dry out.

I was always told that my grandfather Edmonds left Pennsylvania because of a mining accident. I do not remember there being anything wrong with him. He fished and hunted as a hobby.

When you see pictures of family reunions, they all look like a shot out of a Godfather movie.

One uncle was convicted twice of being a pedophile. When he was a boy, he scalped himself in a sledding accident and I am told that grandfather stitched his scalp back on.

Another uncle tried to commit suicide. After divorcing his wife, he left his three children with no support and ran off to Arizona.

Grandfather and one uncle were convicted of breaking a man’s legs for not agreeing with their point of view in a union election. They were fined hospital costs. 

I always felt that my grandmother preferred the children of her sons and they always seemed to be treated better. They got toys for Christmas and I got PJs. One year she even forgot to give me a present. When she became too ill to care for herself, it was my mother who became her sole caregiver. My mother worked forty hours a week and then came home to the mess that was my grandmother. Mother’s siblings were too busy or too poor to help.

When I was six, grandmother came to the house and I refused to let her in, because I had no idea who this woman was.

Yeah, the Edmonds family.

Roy Richard
April 2023

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