As I Remember



Reminiscences of and for the Family

Overnights were rather frequent for us as kids. I remember staying over often at the home of Dorothy Morrisey (now Earl). I recall one time most vividly because we were at the supper table and Dorothy's younger sister Alice (remember, there were seven girls in that family, so there was a tableful) literally braying out "Look, Barbara eats with her spoon!" I was mortified and from thenceforth I used a fork! It was Dorothy's mother who made that glorious prune whip that has caused to much anguish for thoughtful daughters trying to emulate my favorite dessert! The Morrisey's moved often, and I always enjoyed staying over with them.

Dot's mother died when the twins were born (when we were in about the third grade) and her older sisters took over the maternal duties. Everything was constantly "Go wash your face"-- they were Irish, and clean faces were imperative. They were also Catholic and we could attend church with them but Dot was never allowed to come to church with us. And that extended to Dorothy's son Mike when he stayed all those summers with us-- he had to sit outside in a hot car until our service was over. We must have been a terrible trial to those older girls-- we were always there when boyfriends called on them, ogling the young men, listening at the cracks of the door, aping what we heard later. There were at least three of us on hand when Kenneth Chapman proposed to Catherine in the old "hospital house" (where Mrs. [...] lived to be 100), with those library doors open a slit and each of us with an eye on it all!


My first music lessons were from Mom, but she soon decided that that wasn't the way to go, she when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade I started with Aunt Gertrude Crisp. She lived in a little white house on Sheridan Road, just across from the entrance where the mobile home park is now. (She later moved to a house that has been completely remodeled by the Patterson kid, a couple of houses east of the nursing home). The music lesson took place in her home and the piano she had is the one that is in Emily and Jim's living room. Every year she had a piano recital, always in the Methodist church and they were a source of complete agony for me practically every time. Especially woeful was the time I was playing Mendelsohn's "Spring Songs" and kept going round and round and could never come to the end of the blamed thing. She always hissed a note at a person and of course I never could understand a whisper or mouthed word so my agony was even more complete. I practiced on the piano I have in our living room-- it was purchased by G'pa Gutbrod for Mom when she was only 5 or 6. We still have the letter from the piano company in Portland thinking G'pa for paying off all the installments and telling him that, as a valued customer, he was welcome to come and rest in their music store any time he was shopping in Portland! 8-26-92

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