Memoir Monday: Remembering Alice Fern (Part 1)


(Excerpt written using 7 Memories: Partnering to Write a Memoir)

This is my grandmother, Alice Fern, with her brothers Robert and Edmund. Alice was born in Ensenada, Mexico on Mexican Independence Day in 1897. Her brothers thought that the September 16th fireworks celebrated the birth of their new baby sister!

Alice’s brothers always teased her about being born in Baja California, Mexico, since they had been born in Upper California, which was part of the United States. Because of that teasing, Alice never learned Spanish, even though she spent a lot of time in Mexico.

The children’s father, Herman, was the foreman of a fruit cannery in Ensenada. The company canned apricots, pears, and peaches and sent them north by ship to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The children and their mother traveled to Ensenada by boat.

In a letter, Alice’s mother, Florence, describes going through the foggy marshes near San Diego. Six-year-old Edward and four-year-old Robert were frightened during the all-night journey. In the morning, they were met at the dock by Mrs. Bennett, the English owner of the fruit ranch. She greeted the travelers with a bouquet of heliotrope, roses, and carnations.

Stay tuned for Part 2.