Monday, March 26, 2012

My Great Grandfather- Ward Verdi Croft

My great grandfather is Ward Verdi Croft. He was born in 1887 in Pennsylvania and died in 1975 in Oregon. I went to stay with my grandmother (his daughter) last week who is now 87 years old and she told me some stories about him before he met my great grandmother. I have his piano in our living room, a Trowbridge upright from Boston of the year 1908. I try to spend about 30 minutes a day (or at least a few times a week) playing it. Family members have told me he was an excellent musician. He could play many instruments, but my mother remembers him dancing his fingers on the piano keys to ragtime all day long during her childhood.Above is a picture of him and his mother, in the year 1919. I am in the process of scanning a 58 page photography album for my grandmother. I am going to put it all together in a digital copy and then make a book for my mom for Mother's Day. So, whoever is reading this- DO NOT TELL MY MOM I AM DOING THIS! The album goes through my grandfather's time from about 1910 to 1920. When he was about 16 years old he joined the Navy and boarded a ship for South America. He jumped ship and then spent about 10 years traveling throughout Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. He has photographs of the first ship that went through the Panama Canal in August 1914. He played piano in the bars for the people working on the Panama Canal. During the Prohibition days he delivered moonshine in glass milk jugs painted white.

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