Thursday, April 16, 2009

Visiting with Neighbors - March 1995

Daily Iowegian - 31 March 1995

  We were fortunate not to get the thunderstorms predicted for Sunday afternoon.  So many of our children live distances from us so we have to watch the whole United States.
* * *
  Sarah finished a study tour of the Washington, D. C., area and if the weather was good her uncle who lives in Virginia area just outside Washington would pick her up Sunday. Since it was the Stow school's spring break, Jean and Rachel planned to drive and have a short family visit and pick up Sarah.  Then Jean and the girls planned to take a short tour of the Gettysburg historic sights.  All these arrangements would depend on the weather.
* * *
  When I went to the Jerome Methodist Church Sunday it was the first time I had heard Mrs. Flannigan conduct the services.  She, like her husband, had a well prepared sermon and easily kept the attention of her audience.
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  The ladies asked me to remind you that they are planning a smorgasbord for Sunday, April 9. Serving will be from noon to 1:30 p.m.  These plans, of course, are 'weather permitting."
* * *
  When I am in the church I think it looks just like one would picture a typical, pretty, country church.  Too, I often think of the fun times there -- programs, Christmas Eve festivities and weddings.  But I also think of the many funerals when services were held at a church and not a funeral home.
  Of course, I remember funerals of relatives and close friends but there is one that I think I shall never forget and that was the funeral of Lazelle Inman who was so young to die and left Ruth, a young widow with two small children to raise.  I can still see so plainly Ruth coming down those church steps with two little children, one on each side, holding their mother's hands.
  Another funeral I remember well but for a different reason. That was the funeral of Kathryn Hawkins and it was an extremely hot day. There were no fans or air conditioning. The pall bearers always wore dark blue (serge) suits and white shirts so starched and pressed that they must have been miserable.  Ties were of a somber color.
  Dad was a pallbearer and when the hearse, flower girls and pallbearers arrived at the church, Arch, Kate's Brother, met the men and told them to remove their coats, it was so hot he thought they would be ill.  It would be Kathryn's wish to have the men be as comfortable as possible.  I still recall the shock of seeing those men without their coats.  It was a kind of shock as they entered the church.
* * *
  Rachel called to tell me about an unusual lecture she and her mother attended this past weekend. The program was about wolves.  The speaker was part Indian, had lived many hears in Alaska and brought a wolf with her.  One of the wolf's parents was a white wolf, the other a black one. The wolf on display had long white fur with some black trimming. The lady was speaking on preserving the animals and showed slides of some of the cruelty used in exterminating the animals.
  It is a controversial subject but both Jean and Rachel thought it an interesting lecture, especially since they got a close-up view of the animal.
* * *
  The other day Catherine and I were talking about our grandchildren starting to school in August and not getting out until often as late as the middle of June.  However, there are many free days during the year.  We usually started the first of September and were out by the middle of May.
* * *
  Getting out early did not mean that we did not put in many hours.  We had never heard the term "snow day."  We went back to school the Friday after Thanksgiving. School was dismissed a little early after a school program in the afternoon.  We did not have many days vacation after Christmas Day.
* * *
  Looking at pictures taken long ago, the eighth grade students often looked rather grown up just to be eighth graders but I was reminded that often rural schools were closed for some time so the children could help with spring and fall seasonal work.  When you think of farm work without the aid of tractors, you can see the extra hands would be a necessity.
* * *
  It seemed to me that rural schools usually had eight month terms. Jerome was considered a town school and we went nine months. 
  Transcribed with permission of the Daily Iowegian.

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