Minority rules

When my grandmother was no longer able to drive because of her failing eyesight, I moved in with her. I was a young adult, with a college degree and no husband. She was in her nineties by then and living alone, nearly blind and unable to walk even a single step without her cane.

Our favorite pastime was looking at her box of “Kodak pictures,” which she’d developed in their improvised darkroom in the barn while her sister, my great-aunt Helen, held a bowler hat over the light bulb.

Interspersed with my grandmother’s photos were family photos taken by professional photographers. In one of the earliest, my grandmother commented, “My mother showed us how to hold our lips, just so, so we wouldn’t look like Jews.”


About Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, was a trial attorney for 25 years and has served on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy on numerous occasions. She was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland State University for several years and served as an Interim Associate Professor of Law in the clinical program at Case Law School. In 2009, she returned to the small southwestern Michigan community where she was raised, and wrote a novel.
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2 Responses to Minority rules

  1. Interesting commentary. Your grandmother must have been an amazing woman to have improvised a darkroom.

  2. Jane Wilson says:

    She was resourceful! She also taught herself to drive a Model A.

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