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Homage to Grandma Alice

The 5 magnificent Woodland sisters: Nellie, Jessie, Eva, May & Alice (my grandma).
My cousin Peta—the most accurate holder of family data—just told me that it was on this date in 1982 that Grandma Alice died.

Alice was the second-oldest of the Woodlands, who were the strongest, smartest, most powerful women you could ever hope to meet.

Being a Woodland in our family means having a dramatic streak. When one of the younger kids—a great-great grandchild—gets a little Mr Entertainment-y, someone is sure to point out that he is certainly a Woodland. My neighbor Lucky once called my mother "a magnificent woman," & it wasn't exactly a compliment. I sometimes have to ask Johnny, Was that a little too magnificent? I too have that streak.

The brothers—& I'm not even sure how many there were (Peta, help me out here!)—definitely were in the sisters' shadow, even though Uncle Harold supported the family back in England during the Depression by playing the violin in movie orchestras. I can remember as a kid, Grandma & my mom watching some Fred & Ginger movie on our tiny black & white TV, getting closer & closer to the screen, till one of them screamed, There he is! There's Uncle Harold! pointing at one of the identical dots the stars glided past.

Grandma taught all her grandkids to play piano, told our fortunes with tea leaves, & best of all, had false teeth that she kept in a glass of water at night. Take 'em out, Grandma, I would plead. It was her magic trick.

Alice Woodland Phillips 6 April 1885 — 8 February 1982
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