This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.

Winslow Shreve with daughter Anna about 1962

My uncle Winslow Shreve was Canadian. He pronounced the letter “Z” zed instead of zee. My sister Pearl and I found it interesting. And it gave me a new “Z” word!

Winslow was a pharmacist. He was married to my father’s sister, Anna who was also a pharmacist. At one point, when we were small, he also had a gas station. I remember while my mother was getting gas and chatting, Pearl and I climbed up on the big piles of snow that had been removed from the area. My mother pointed out that we were knocking the snow back down and to stop.

One summer I worked in the pharmacy with Winslow at North Detroit General Hospital. It was 1965 and my duties included delivering medications around the hospital and (my favorite) making salves by mixing the ingredients he gave me.

Years later, whenever I drove to Detroit from Idlewild, I would go by and talk to Winslow and Anna. They always had good family stories about the old days, their wedding, extended family, growing old.

Winslow died in 2010 from lung cancer after we had moved to Atlanta. I remember at Christmas time before he died, he and my aunt called and we talked for a short while. That memory still makes me tear up.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Z

24 thoughts on “Z – ZED

  1. What a lovely way to go through the alphabet for AtoZ and I am impressed with how many you have done so far.

    In India also we pronounce Z as ZED and not ZEE. The latter is used as a slang sometimes for Z but its taught as the former to us formally in our schools.

  2. Congratulations on completing this year’s blogging challenge. I have enjoyed reading your “snippets” . Here in the UK we pronounce Z as “zed”. Your uncle Winslow sounded a lovely man who left you with many fond memories.

  3. Such a warm send off to this year’s challenge with this beautiful piece about your uncle. Your fondness for him is palpable.

  4. In German we call Z also “Zed”. You were a fabulous helper, and a trustworty one, too, dealing with meds!
    Winslow looks like someone you get to have fun with!

    Congrats on completing A-Z 2023 and happy anniversary!

  5. So sorry you lost this favorite uncle. Collateral relatives can be such a help in branching out the family tree. Glad you did not leave it until too late, as many of us do, to hear your uncle Winslow’s stories. Congrats on completing AtoZ 2023 — I’ve enjoyed your photos and stories. There should be a separate contest on best choices for letter Z because yours is a good one!

    1. Everyone in that generation is gone. They were a big help with family history and I miss them!
      Now I’m wondering why everyone in the world says “zed” except the USA. Wait, French pronounces it zee!

  6. When I was little I always messed up my alphabet by saying “X, Y, Zed and Zee.” It was because growing up in Canada we had a mixture of American and British English, and sometimes the alphabet song was sung ” X, Y, Zed OR Zee.”

    Congrats on finishing A-to-Z again! And thanks for following along with mine. ????

  7. Congratulations to making it to zed. Great memories of your uncle and some more nice photos.
    I wonder where zee comes from? I will have to look up now. Always accepted the difference like fall and autumn, but never thought about why.

    1. From http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/10/why-do-the-british-pronounce-z-as-zed/
      “The first known instance of “zee” being recorded as the correct pronunciation of the letter “z” was in Lye’s New Spelling Book, published in 1677. There still was a variety of common pronunciations in North America after this; but by the 19th century, this changed in the United States with “zee” firmly establishing itself thanks to Noah Webster putting his seal of approval on it in 1827, and, of course, the Alphabet song copyrighted in 1835, rhyming “z” with “me”.”
      We did learn to sing the ABC song ending with Zee ????

  8. Zed ends the alphabet for me too.

    Congratulations on another successful AtoZ challenge. Sorry I haven’t managed to comment each day.

    1. For just about everybody zed ends the alphabet it seems.

      I tried to find an A – Z for you, but couldn’t. Did you do one this year? Thank you for each comment you made.

  9. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with Winslow and Anna. Those memories can bring tears to our eyes at times.

    And yes, of course it’s Zed not Zee…LOL.

    Great work on completing your 10th challenge not to mention writing poetry as well.

  10. Your uncle Winslow looks and sounds like a benign, good-natured person. I can see your father and your uncle in him, too. Working that summer with him and your aunt must have been a lovely experience. (And I wonder how many pharmacists make their own salves these days?). I’m glad you had that last conversation with them. And I’m glad that you felt free to write about your Canadian uncle for the Z(ed) post. For me, that freedom of movement has characterized your posts and your theme for this year’s challenge. Liberating!

    1. I don’t think of him as benign. He had a sharp wit too. He was actually an uncle by marriage – he married my father’s youngest sister Anna. So any resemblance isn’t by blood 🙂

      Long after that summer job where I mixed salves, Winslow said they didn’t mix their own salves any more, they came ready mixed. My aunt did work at the same hospital, but I she wasn’t there that year. She was at home with their two daughters, I think.

  11. This is a lovely post. I can see you were very helpful at the pharmacy.
    I shall go through your posts in the days to come.
    Thank you for dropping by blog, and for the comment.

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