Hello there, I’m Hannah Rechthart Grunner. Someone thought it would be a good idea for me to write down a bit about myself, so here it is. I don’t know how exciting my life has been, but it’s been a good life, ups and downs and all.
I was born on April 12, 1912 to Gus and Lucy Rechthart in Cleveland, Ohio. They already had three children — my older sister, Amy, and my brothers, Erik and Harry. Growing up, even though Amy was ten years older than me, we banded together. My brothers were always joking around, especially Harry, mostly driving me crazy. When Ma became pregnant years later, we were all surprised, but I was overjoyed to have a younger sister, Irma. I was ten years old when she made her debut into the world.
Our family life kept me on my toes. There was rarely a dull moment in the Rechthart household. With five children, we were a noisy, rowdy bunch. We weren’t rich, but we didn’t lack for anything. Ma baked bread every Saturday and was the queen of her kitchen (and made sure we all knew it). Pa was the old softie, especially toward his daughters. He worked long, hard hours at his trucking and delivery business.
When I wasn’t being kept busy picking berries, feeding the hens, or doing some sort of chore, I was with my friends in the neighborhood. There was a group of girls who I was the ringleader of, but sisters Louisa and Rosemary were my closest friends. While Rosemary was a couple of years younger than us and rather shy, Louisa was my age and outspoken. We argued often, but we had each other’s backs. I’ll never forget all the times we girls spied on the boys as they skinny-dipped! I also pulled the fire alarm in the school when I was in eighth grade — something I would never dreamed of doing if it hadn’t been for Louisa!
I guess you could say that I was the “good girl.” I worked hard, got good grades, and rarely got into trouble. My dark blonde hair and hazel eyes may have matched Amy’s, but I never had her confidence around boys. When I was out of high school, that was the first time I began dating seriously. I worked as a secretary and met a young woman named Kat. Kat was a few years older than me and introduced me to her brother, Will. Harry and I had actually grown quite close in the past few years leading up to the end of high school for me, and I told Kat about my crazy brother. We were double dating for several months, but those times were short-lived. Harry, who always knew how to have a good time, had too much of a good time and developed an alcohol problem.
Worse than that, his alcoholism landed him in jail because something really, really terrible happened. I hate to even mention it, but years later, he was out of prison and came back to the family.
I have since married a wonderful man who I met at work — Edward Grunner. We have a family of our own with three children, but I’ll never forget where I came from. My parents and siblings are always in my heart.
And how could I forget to mention what else is part of me? Music — or, more specifically, playing the piano and organ. I began piano at age seven and haven’t stopped. I played the organ at church for years until my children were born. Maybe one of my kids will inherit my love of music.
As for now, I can rest happy in knowing that my family, my faith, and my music will keep me going until God deems it time for my earthly life to end.
Hannah is the protagonist in my novel, Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful.
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