Grace Allspach

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Member of the Silver Stringers
Contributor to the Melrose Mirror

I began life in Malden, MA on April 19, 1924, the second of four children born to Grace Weeden and Angelo Santella. We moved to Melrose when I was four and lived there until I left to go to Florida to be married in December 1947.

I went to Lincoln School and Melrose High, where I graduated in 1942. Shortly after graduation, I took a Civil Service exam to work at a defense plant, the Watertown Arsenal. My dad, a World War One veteran, was also employed there and I was able to work with him. I stayed there for two and a half years and also at the Boston Navy Yard until World War Two’s end.

I moved to Bear Lake, Florida and married Ralph Waterman. We became parents to three girls and one boy; who have since made me a grandmother to ten, a great grandmother to nineteen and a great-great grandmother to four. I lived in Winter Park, Florida for 10 years and moved to Rhode Island in October 1958. Due to health problems, my husband was unable to hold a steady job, so I did whatever; a Jill of all trades, for many years. Eventually, my marriage ended and I took the children, who were teens by then and we made it through together as a family.

My last place of employment was a machine shop that produced hydraulic pressure relief valves for the government armed forces. I was there for 26 ˝ years, where I learned to make the parts, which involved assembling, testing and proofing. Then I set, wired and sealed them to be shipped and installed in planes, copters, tanks and nuclear submarines. I found this to be an interesting occupation.

In her later years, my mother came to live with me for over 13 years. During that time I had both my knees replaced (27 years now); and a granddaughter Pam, come to live with me, as her parents were sent over seas and she wanted to graduate and go to college in the United States. My mom died in August of 1989 and Pam left for George Mason University after the funeral.

As to my writing, it lay dormant for many years and to this day, I regret those lost years, but what is, is. After the children left home to start their own families, I joined the Rhode Island Writer’s Guild and attended a state sponsored writer’s class; and there I began to write poetry.

Charles, my second husband was a widower and after mom’s passing, we were married on February 3, 1990. I retired six months later and Charles retired a year after that. We settled in Leesburg, Florida and traveled quite a bit before he became ill and died on June 4, 2003.

I still travel, visiting my family in KS, RI, VA, SD and MN, but I love living in Florida and spending time with my daughter (who also lives here). I have a large home and it is filled with love when my family comes to visit. I enjoy going to Disneyworld and have the annual pass to prove it.

I was pleased and pleasantly surprised to learn about the Melrose Mirror and the Silver-Stringers; and even more pleased to become a part of the group.

It was my pleasure to spend a great day with you at our 65th class reunion. Aren’t we blessed?

December 2, 2007



Additional Articles by :
id 14445 The runaway sleigh --Poetry 12/7/07
id 14605 Giggle, giggle, I love you honey --Random Thoughts 2/3/08
id 14972 Ode to America --Poetry 7/4/08
id 15110 A ballad to Elvis --Poetry 8/1/08
id 15267 Gory Halloween --Poetry 10/3/08
id 15781 The conversation with Him --Poetry 4/3/09
id 16210 My greatest joy --Poetry 10/2/09


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