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In 1972 my grandfather, Homer Henry Wagner, was in the hospital after a heart attack. I wasn’t allowed to visit him because I was only 8. So I recorded two reel to reel tapes for him to listen to.  I sang songs, told jokes, played cello, and recited poetry.

Diana Thornton at Cheat Lake camp with grandfather Homer Henry Wagner:

My mom, Lois, helped me and sang along with me on some of them.

Diana and mother Lois Thornton at grandparent’s house, West Pike Street, Houston, PA playing Candyland. Christmas day 1967:


I was my grandparents’ first grandchild and would be their only granddaughter. My grandfather doted on me, and he was a special person to me and my mom. He died in 1976.

Diana Thornton with grandparents Homer and Louise Wagner. South Pacific Avenue. Pittsburgh. 1970:

Homer Henry Wagner with granddaughter Diana Vida Thornton at Cheat Lake. 1964:


Me with my grandmother Louise Adelaide Weiler (L), Pearl Weiler (her sister), my grandpa Homer Henry Wagner.  Taken same year as recordings at my house 306 S. Pacific Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, May 18, 1972:


I don’t remember making these, but listening to myself 50 years later was emotional.

Me and my grampa, ca 1965 on his motor boat on Cheat Lake, WV.

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