Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fearless Females: March 12 Working Woman

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has presented 31 prompts to honor the “fearless females” in our family trees.

Today’s prompt:  Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

Bad-timing plagued my paternal grandfather.   First, he bought a taxi company just as the city of Portsmouth was introducing busses.  Unable to survive the competition with cheap public transportation, he and my grandmother moved to Burlington, North Carolina and then bought yet another struggling taxi company.  And that’s when my granny became a working woman.

Burlington Cab Company, Burlington, NC
My granddaddy's cabs

Julia Walsh Slade took on the duties as dispatcher for Burlington Cab.  My only solid memories of her working were from those visits in the summer.  While she sat at the desk answering the phone and radioing the drivers, I would style her hair.  She had beautiful white hair cut in a bob.  Sometimes I brushed it smooth and sleek.  Sometimes I twisted it into a bun that wouldn’t stay.  I’d create a curl along her cheek.   Yeah, I styled it alright.  Granny would admire herself in the mirror.  Quite often she laughed. 

Julia Walsh Slade 1958
Julia Slade at the Burlington Cab Company office 1958

And that’s what a taxi cab dispatcher does. 

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Those are some beautiful memories, Wendy. Your granny sounds like a special lady. :)

  2. She sounds like the perfect granny! I can picture her smiling now!

  3. A white haired granny, doing something to keep everyone smiling. Marvelous.

  4. Aw, such sweet memories of your grandmother, Wendy!

  5. You styled her hair? I LOVE THAT!!!! What great memories to have of time with your grandmother.

  6. Granny did have the prettiest hair! I'm glad you were able to make her hair move lovely as she worked.