where the writers are
My Great-Grandmother, "Nonna B"
Nonna B and me


As a little girl, I never quite understood why we called my great-grandmother Nonna B. As far as I was concerned, she was A+. She always had a cheery smile for me and we laughed together a lot. When I went to visit her in San Antonio she never had just one dessert, but three or four; and she wanted me to try a little bit of each one. Nonna B called me Goldilocks and always made me feel special. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that the B came from her last name, Brendel; Bess Carroll Brendell to be exact.

It was from Nonna B that I inherited my writing ability. She wrote a book about our family ancestory and her childhood living on a Louisiana plantation in That's the Way It Was. Only she could find humor in the crazy escapades that went on with her siblings while growing up. Although the story is from a very different era, the historical memories span a lifetime and appeal to many still today.

I'm not going to sit here and brag about Nonna B's (and mine, too) relative Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland who signed the Declaration of Independence, even though it is a part of my heritage I'm extremely proud of. To emulate Nonna B would be to remain humble at all times, follow my dreams and reach for the stars unselfishly. Here's looking up to you, Nonna B.

That's the Way It Was can be found in The Library of Congress. I wrote about it on my other blog a few years ago. Click here if you are interested.