Saturday, February 21, 2015

letters from Aunt Mary

Dec. 6, 2014....At Christmas time, I think about your dad leaving ears of corn and a bale of hay on the front porch for Santa's reindeer. I think he was 8 years old. I bet dad enjoyed having to put on wraps and goulashes and tote this back to the barn!
In today's paper is a cartoon where a little boy and his grandpa have made a fort with sofa cushions and a blanket. The grandma asks, "What are you two rascals doing in there?" Answer: "Coloring, eating brownies and telling scary stories in our fort." Grandma, "Tsk, tsk! What a big waste of time." Last scene has grandma standing by the fort with a KEEP OUT sign and asking "Can I come in?" This brought back treasured memories of your dad, Freeda, and I pushing chairs together, throwing a blanket over to make believe it was a train or an airplane. We used our imaginations often. He climbed on an overturned bucket, it flipped and he hurt his mouth.
Love, Aunt Mary
Feb 4 2014
When hearing sounds of whipporwills on a nature show, it brought back memories of your dad & I standing out at the barn lot gate, talking and hearing whipporwills. I love to listen to them. Sometimes, something completely unexpected will trigger memories and emotions. I was also thinking (a couple of days ago) about one night when he and I sat up playing Scrabble rather late ( I think around midnight) until we'd used every single letter/chip.
When your dad was fifteen, he came down ot the city one weekend when I had tickets to see performers at the old auditorium in KC, MO. We got to see/hear Conway Twitty, Richie Vallens, Paul Anka, and Annette. We chose to sit in the balcony where we could easily see the stage. When Annette came on stage, some jerks threw cherry bombs into the crowd on the ground level. Security came out with night sticks (billy clubs) all the overhead lights were turned on and Annette went on performing (unfair to her). We went to a movie matinee and saw "Old Yeller". It seems like we watched an American Royal parade, but I'm probably wrong about that. I think he came down to the city with FFA boys once. I did take Roger to the parade at least twice (one time we stood amongst spectators on the sidewalk and nearly froze and antoher time we got to sit up in a south stock room window at the old Emery, Bird, Thayer Dept. store where I was working and that was great. A coworker also had a young sibling and they sat with us.
A few years ago, I wrote a story in a writing class about your dad's first airplane (jet) ride to Ca. with me on July 4th, 1985 and that we viewed fireworks all over the bay area as we flew at low altitude the last stretch from San Francisco's airport over to San Jose's. Our assignment was to write about a best or a worst holiday. I don't remember if I sent you a copy.
Freeda wrote me that Tricia is expecting, due Aug. 25. She had a miscarriage before the first of her five children who'll be 10 years old on Feb. 7.
Aunt Dona wrote me at Christmas time that she'd heard from Louise Frisbie. Louise wrote that she'd invited Shirley Flatt for Thanksgiving and heard nothing. I was surprised when I didn't see them at your dad's memorial service. I had called Shirley and left a message on her answering machine. Your dad, Shirley, & I had nice time visiting over lunch and when walking around at Freedom Cemetery with her after Floyd Jr.'s funeral (as she showed us other family graves.) Your dad rode with me to/from the cem. and the funeral procession got caught in a torrential downpour on a winding blacktop road enroute. Thank goodness it let up by our arrival.
At the hospital on Oct. 18, I noticed a lump on your dad's right cheek bone. I wondered about it. I barely could look toward him as he didn't look like himself or like I wanted to remember him.
Mary Johnson, Vaile Mansion, Dec. 2013

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