Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flo and Vera

Growing up in a dying town is interesting. You know everyone and know their ancestors and their entire life history. Heck, you are usually related to 3/4 of those people, so their ancestors are your ancestors.

Last night was Parent Teacher Conference time. We were very interested to see how the kids were doing so, being good parents, we went.

One of the first teachers we visited with was Andy's math teacher. We talked about how well he was doing, and then she said that she had family in Big E. What? Who?

It appears her maiden name was W.....r and her grandparents had lived there. What's interesting to me is that this family and my Grandma's family, the Millers, "emigrated" to Big E from Central Kansas in the teens (1910's). So, while we weren't related, we did have a common history and a strong connection. The families were very close. (In fact, Mom and I uncovered an old rumor about closeness but we don't know how to persue , or if we want to persue this rumor.)

Anyway, I remember her grandmother, Miss Vera. And Andy's teacher was pleased to know that I at least knew who she was talking about. I remember going to Miss Vera's house with Grandma once. We were probably delivering eggs. I remember that she was very short--not 5 foot tall. I remember her beautiful white hair, and the floor of her house. It had had some water damage and had swelled so that she had at least one "hill" in her house. Maybe not a hill, but a hump in the floor. A big hump that was probably a foot higher than the floor.

I thought it was cool and thought she'd done it on purpose. I remember wondering if she ran up and down that "hill", because that's what I wanted to do...but Grandma wouldn't let me. That's all I remember about her. I don't know if she went to a nursing home after that, or if she died. I had to be less than 10 years old, because I don't remember her being there after we moved to Big E ourselves. I know the house sat empty for years and was then bought by a drunk who eventually burned it down--accidently on purpose. It was a neat house tho and if it had been fixed up, could have been beautiful.

I remember Miss Vera's sister more. She and her sister had married brothers. Her sister was Aunt Flo to us. I remember Aunt Flo very well. We used to stop and visit her often when I was a little girl. My grandparents bought Aunt Flo's house after she died and that is the house they recently left. Aunt Flo was also very small. She and Miss Vera looked very much alike. Aunt Flo's house was nicer than Miss Vera's, and we visited her often. I know we did because I have vivid memories of her toybox and of Aunt Flo herself.

This was the first time I have met anyone who had family in Big E. It was so nice to visit about these ladies who have been gone for more than 30 years. It brought them back to my mind and made me remember the small living community that Big E used to be and never will again.

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