Lots of friends my age are becoming grandmothers. Since I’m too young to be one myself, I’m vicariously enjoying their excitement. Yet, none of them really look old enough either.
When I picture a grandma, I see a tall, sturdy farm woman in a flowered cotton shirtwaist and ric-rac-trimmed apron. She has tight gray curls tucked in a hair net, big magnifying eyeglasses, and lots of wrinkles, especially when she smiles.
Alice Mayo was known for her hospitality, artistic sensibilities and her social conscience. Rochester was fortunate that the girl born Alice Varney Plank found her way here.
Alice was born in Upper Darby Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, to Chester and Lillian Plank. In Pennsylvania, her father provided for the family as a butter and egg man. Here Alice learned ballet and horseback riding and studied art. She completed three years at the School of Design for Women, where she was studying to be a painter.