<< ibnelson.com

001 First Memories
002 Hampton Road
003 Cedar Wood
004 A Room Of My Own
005 School Days
006 My Friend Wayne
007 A Great Flood
008 My Mother Makes Biscuits
009 To Disneyland
010 We Go To Mexico
011 The Cabin In The Woods
012 We Go To Yosemite
013 Grandma Nelson
014 Nelson Nursery Early Years

I.B. Nelson according to himself

Grandma Nelson

My Dad and his mom, my Grandmother, Elva Henrietta Nelson (Ott) ©I.B. Nelson

Castro Valley

My grandmother, Elva Henrietta Ott, and my Grandfather, William W. Nelson owned property on upper 'B' Street in Castro Valley, California. The photo [above] of my grandmother and my father, Cliff Nelson, was taken in the garden in front of the house about 1960. The driveway was in the shape of a "U", enclosing the front garden. My dad and grandmother are standing facing the front of the house.

Bone Meal Tablets and Ivy

The house was covered in ivy from one end to the other and at night you could hear small animals rustling about as they went on their nightly errands. I liked going to her house because she would always give us cold pink grapefruit juice (diluted half and half with water) to drink and give us bone meal tablets to chew on. Later in life I tried to eat a bone meal tablet and thought it was just terrible tasting. But when I was very young I chewed up and swallowed my grandmother's bone meal tablets as though they were candy. Apparently, my grandmother and grandfather distributed vitamins as a sideline.

Breakfast Nook

She served up a dish she called "Swedish Tamales" - a mix of hamburger, rice and spices wrapped in Cabbage leaves and steamed or baked. I thought they were wonderful. We sat at what I call "the Breakfast Nook", an alcove with a picture window facing out into the front garden, above. There was a bench seat that ran beneath the front window, where my sister Phyllis and I would sit. Above us on a high shelf was a long row of pictures which I later learned were the covers of the annual calendars published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Great-grandmother Ott

My great-grandmother Ott lived in a small cottage behind the main house and liked to have her great-grandchildren visit. You could go out my grandparent's kitchen door, past the closet, on the left side, where the vitamins were stored, past the giant Jade Plants outside the kitchen, down the path lined with Death Valley "Picture Rocks", right to my Great-Grandmothers front door: it was only about 50 feet. I remember her always smelling like coffee, a pleasant odor I have liked ever since and always reminds me of her. She kept butter on the table in a covered glass dish: the butter was always soft and spread easily. And she always would serve us ginger snaps. I remember her seeming terribly old but also very kind.

My Grandmother marries

My Grandmother met my Grandfather William Nelson in Prunedale California. At the time he was serving in the U.S. Army, in the Coastal Artillery, 114th Company (enlisted April 24th 1909). They married July 22nd, 1911. A copy of their marriage license can be found in the San Jose Library