Who are Ruby and Violet?

Ruby was my maternal grandmother. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth but she was strong as a rock. Married in the 30s, her husband never allowed her to wear pants or drive even though she had a job as an LVN. In her forties, she secretly took driving lessons and waved her license under my grandpa's nose. He immediately bought her a car. And oh yeah--she wore pants by then, too, dangit. She was also one of the first women to sell Avon. She is missed.

Violet was my paternal great aunt. She was eccentric, colorful, and smart. She worked the cosmetics counter at Raley's in Reno during it's high days and had her own mini-cosmetics and perfume empire. She took a cab to work and home. She loved nothing more than gambling with silver dollars. She was special, creative, fun, and a hoot. When I was three or four, she came to visit. My parents put her up in the den, and even got her a clothes rack. I knocked the whole thing down, with all her clothes hanging on it. She wasn't mad at all. She gave the best Christmas gifts.She died when I was 10. My dad went to Reno to take care of her affairs and brought home a steamer trunk full of makeup, perfume, and jewelry that my mother, my sister, and I went through with glee. I miss her, too.

She was Irish and a red-head, like so many from my father's side of the family.