My Grandma Elsa came to America in 1929 on a ship. She and grandpa landed in San Francisco after passing through the Panama Canal, not the typical pioneer crossing. I’ve got a photo of her holding up a huge stalk of bananas purchased in Panama which I will post when I get back home. She planted a banana tree by her front door in her central valley California home. It was there for years as I grew up and visited daily. It never produced a single banana, but I imagine it reminded her of their pioneer crossing.
I have a sunbonnet Elsa made from a feedsack in the 1930s. It looks just like the sunbonnets the pioneers wore crossing the plains. It’s a treasure to me, reminding me of the courage Elsa had to leave family and friends and come to a new land, hoping and dreaming of better opportunity for her family and descendants.
I’ve been on two pioneer trek re-enactments. Each time I wore grandma’s sunbonnet so I would think of her and remember my other ancestors who pushed and pulled wagons and teams across the plains.