Interviewed by granddaughter Aryn Henning Nichols (August/September 2009)
(Photo taken on her wedding day.)
Betty (Thomson) Piggott, 90 years old on August 5, has always been the real matriarch of our extended family. Heading over to her house on Sundays, we would be greeted by a table all set and a meal – usually some kind of meat and potatoes – ready to go. Feisty and fun, we played board and card games when I was a little girl. She could often beat me in Chinese checkers, but the game Concentration – I had that in the bag. And she makes the best apple pie in the world.
1. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Be good and do what you started out to do.
2. Worst advice?
Oh, I don’t know. I was lucky enough to not get any bad advice, I guess!
3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
My dad wanted me to be a nurse, but I instead did housework.
4. What did/do you do?
I went on to be an office assistant, which is what I was doing when I met Curtis. I did pretty much everything in that office. I had to take care of a lot of things. Then I became a housewife and mother.
5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
A man, sweets, and… TV, I suppose.
6. If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Any kind of sweets. (Aryn’s note: Grandma requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday. Must be hereditary: it’s my favorite too. I was happy to bake her one because I got to eat some too!)
7. Name one thing you could not live without.
I don’t think there’s anything I couldn’t live without.
8. Tell us about: your wedding day.
It was very short at the Catholic Church. The only people there were Jim and Bernie Hoolihan. We went and picked up Curtis’s folks after and went out to eat in Decorah – I don’t remember where. It was nice that morning, but by night it was snowing so hard we could barely see the road. We went to La Crosse and stopped at Curtis’s cousins on the way, but they all had the measles! They were surprised to see us, but we celebrated. Then they had to take us to our hotel because we had a flat tire. We went to Minneapolis the next day and got another flat tire, but we made it. And we didn’t get the measles.
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