Elisabeth Mortensen was my mother's mother. She died in a state of pique against the whole family&emdash;except me, or so she led me to believe, because she made a show of pulling a corrugated cardboard carton out of the closet as she was preparing for her final, one-way trip to the hospital. She didn't want to leave anything personal behind when she died, so she'd collected all of it, mostly scrapbooks full of news clippings and advertisements (for she was a model and a well-known great beauty, and kept the proofs right there), but also some childhood memorabilia, and many many photographs, mostly by an ancestor who was one of Denmark's earliest photographers. It was all going down the incinerator.
I pleaded with her not to throw it away. I tried every argument I could think of before promising not to let anybody else get their hands on it. That's what she was worried about.
It worked. I persuaded her not to throw away that box, but she insisted on destroying another, which contained all her personal papers and correspondence.
Much later, when I left the carton in an abandoned car in New Hope, that became the newest and chiefest reason for my familiar familial status: that of pariah. It comforts me to know that it's only because they don't understand.
Grandmother's husband ("Grandmother" was our only name for her; she couldn't stand nicknames), was George Preston Marshall, who became famous. There's plenty of stuff about him on the net. He had a notorious affair with Louise Brooks (a lady known to motion picture history buffs), which led to their divorce, but stirred up much-needed publicity. Then he married Corinne Griffith, who wrote the words to "Hail to the Redskins!", whom all Washington came to love, and who made Grandmother look like a real sourpuss.
Here's GPM's obituary.
My father, Georgie Price, is starting to get some cyber-exposure, too, though it'll take a while for the world to get around to the intriguing business of wondering how people entertained themselves between the eras of Shakespeare and Chaplin. Dad started getting his recollections down on paper in the mid 1950's, with the idea of writing an autobiography. I won't bother with disclaimers; it speaks for itself.