Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stories from Mom: Part 7, Friends and neighbors, life and death on Center Street

By Virginia Williams Kelly

We were friends with all the neighbors and we were like a big family, if any one needed help another neighbor was always there to help. I remember when old Mrs. Robertson was dying of cancer and how my mother took such good care of her, washing and dressing her and doing anything else she needed until she passed away.

Yes, we were neighbors but we were also best of friends on Centre Street. We formed bonds there that have lasted a lifetime for most all of us.

Frostburg State University owns all of the property on our side of the street now and as I was driving past it the other day some workmen were putting finishing touches to the large FSU sign in the grass where our home once stood. I stopped and ask them to take especially good care of that property since it was once my home. Then I ask them to please keep the weeds out from between the stone wall and the pavement because that was the least they could do for me since I had done it for the all the growing-up years of my life. That was the only thing I hardily disliked on Centre Street, because pulling those weeds just happened to be my summer job for 15 years while I lived there.
I also remember life and death on Centre Street. Mrs. Davis who had a daughter and she named her Mary Virginia after my friend and I. I always thought that was a lovely gesture and both Mary and I liked it very much.

I remember the day old Mrs. Robertson died and how sad we all were at her passing. I remember our sister Margaret dying when she was only 10 months old. She was what the doctor called a ‘blue baby’ which meant she had a serious heart condition. I remember my mother frying pork chops after the funeral and how very hungry I was, in fact I was so hungry that I bit into an old raw onion and threw it up and never touched or ate an onion until I was 60 years old.

I remember Granny Chaney, the grandmother of my best friend Olive who was bed ridden but who we visited almost every day because she could tell us the most wonderful stories about her life on the farm. We never tired of listening to them.

Mama was a member of the Congregational Church's Ladies Aide Society. The did what we now call social services to the ill and elderly of the community. In the summer, they had a pot luck picnic for members. That's Mama in the front row with a turban.

Here's another picture of Mama with her sister, my Aunt Marg.
Emma Susan (Whetstone) Williams (1897-1956), and Margaret Ann (Whetstone) Brown (1902-1996). They both look so young.

Mama with some of our neighbors: Left to right, Elsie Conrad, Mrs. Robertson, my Mama, and Edith Robertson.

That's me in the jacket with some friends. I really don't remember exactly who they were! I think that's old Beall High School in the background.

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