Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Joan Schneider (Tenner), born the year of the great stock market crash (1929), was a ‘woman of her time”. Raised in Pittsburgh during the Depression, she was taught that the expected role of a woman was to be the head of a household, a good wife to a loving husband and a great mother (of five children). She was all “that”. To expect more was really just a pipe dream, but Joan was so much more than “that”.
At an early age, Joan’s teachers knew she was a good writer and would continue on to be a great writer. Her impressions and thoughts took the form of poetry. Her poetry became her voice, a needed personal extension of herself to the world. So, in her role as a housewife and mother, she accumulated enough of her work to self publish two volumes of poetry; Consider The Humbler Poet (1979), reprinted in 2019, and Through Thistles and Time (1983); reprint due in 2021.
Joan Tenner’s greatest role and joy was that of grandmother. The poetic prose she wrote for her grandchildren became the beloved gems of her collection of work. Eight Halloween stories became a special connection and tradition between “Grandma Tenner” and her grandchildren. The story behind how the tradition got started in Lubbock, Texas is worth telling. I will leave that up to the grandkids.