Monday, March 3, 2014

#52Ancestors Week 9: My Pappap, Charles William Atkinson!

I think it's hardest for me to write about the people I knew and loved.  For week 9 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, I'm going to try to tell you about my grandfather, Charles William Atkinson.  I'm a bit surprised to realize that I haven't written about him before.  I hope I can do him justice, and if I get anything wrong, I hope my family members will correct me!
This pattern is called "Moss Rose"

Grandpap worked at the Canonsburg Pottery. Most in our family are still interested in where our dishes  are made.  My sister says that you can tell an Atkinson because we always turn our plates over to see if there's a pottery mark!  I bought an almost complete set of china made at Canonsburg Pottery several years ago on eBay and while our place is too small for a full china hutch, you can see how I display a few pieces to the right.  A while back, the Jefferson College Historical Society posted a wonderful history of the pottery on their website which disappeared several years ago.  I saved a copy of the entire article along with the photos they posted and while writing this entry, I was inspired to ask for permission to repost that story.  I'll let you know if I hear back from them!

Pappap always seemed so dignified to me. The photo to the left is how I remember him most of the time, but he couldn't have always been so serious.  To the right is a wonderful picture of him with his brother George McDaid Atkinson who was 15 years younger than he was.  Grandpap was the son of Andrew and May (McDaid) Atkinson. He also had a sister named Esther Lillian Atkinson.  He grew up in West Finley Twp, a rural area near the West Virginia state line in Washington County, PA.  

Another more light-hearted photo of him
is this one with my dad, Jim Atkinson

Pappap loved roses and his backyard was full of the rosebushes he grew.  That's why this is my all-time favorite photograph of him.  That's me in his arms in the summer of 1959!  My mom always said I was Pappap's girl from my earliest days!

A short biography and more photographs can be seen on his Find a Grave Memorial.  He left us suddenly in the summer of 1987.  My dad and my brother were on vacation at the time and they were staying at his house.  One morning, Dad went up to check on him because he was usually an early riser.  He found Pappap lying on the edge of his bed, dressed for the day as if he had sat down to put his shoes on and had just fallen back dead.  I hope I can go like that someday. 

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