BB+Ida are my Grandmothers. BB and I sewed together while Ida and I cooked and read together. Their lives are a tremendous influence on my life, shaping the person I am today. The lessons I learned from both will not be forgotten, this is a short glimpse into these exceptional women.
Gaetana “Ida” M Ventura was born January 6, 1921
-Raised seven children and was grandmother to sixteen.
Ida remained at home, pressing linens for restaurants with a rotary drum heat press which lived in her guest bedroom ever since I was old enough to remember. Ida showed her love through food, baking breads and making pasta (which she dried over the backs of dining room chairs). She was often caught with underwear on her head, to cover her hair (she would pull a clean pair out of the dryer) when making bread. Hair was not something to be seen in Ida’s kitchen. Ida read newspapers while I listened to the radio in her exposed brick front room, she told me stories of her youth, and picked lilacs for me, from her backyard. Ida, a rather simple woman, was passionate about her family, her cooking, and her grandchildren.
Barbara “BB” or “Nummy” Dusel was born March 21, 1922
-Raised nine children and was grandmother to twenty.
BB was a registered nurse and was always on the go, an avid golfer (I can still picture her in her plaid golfing attire), sailor, and bridge player. BB was able to talk to anyone and make them feel special, she was very smart with a vast array of knowledge. BB took my cousins and I on adventures, and would spoil us with the chocolate bars hidden in her fridge. BB and I sewed together when I was younger, she was quick with the machine and highly organized, we made exciting projects and I learned to follow her lead. I attribute my quick hand to her. BB was a lover of life.
I remember the lace spread laid on Ida’s bed and the boxes full of patterns kept in BB’s attic. I am grateful for the memories I cherish of both BB and Ida, while also grateful for the imagery that has been with me for all these years.
Barbara T Dusel, 80, and Gaetana “Ida” M Ventura, 86, lost their lives to Alzheimer’s. In honor of their memories and the memories of others, a percentage of bb+ida’s yearly profit will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association to bring awareness and support to families.