Grandma Sara

What follows is an account of memories that my grandma Sara wrote before she passed. I think it’s priceless, so I saved it here.

Pictured below: The Gelnett siblings – Sara is in the white top and blue skirt.

Roy, Sara, Violet, Mae and Oscar

Anne [daughter] asked me to tape record some of my memories but I have such a whiny voice, I can’t stand the sound, so I will try to write some things. This is what I wanted my father (John Long Gelnett) to do for me but I waited too long. I bought notebooks, pencils, pens and scratch pads for his birthday after his hand became too unsteady and even though I kept asking him if he has started, he never did. Later, Mother said that he was ashamed of his hand writing so, while his mind stayed perfectly clear until his death, he wouldn’t write because his beautiful penmanship was quivery. He was not a vain or proud man but he was especially proud of his writing.

John Long Gelnett is a good place to start, because, if this is to be about me, parents’ lives are important. He was a complex man and I am sure each of his children would describe him differently but in spite of ourselves, we were very much influenced by him – negative and positive.

He was born October 5, 1878 to John Brugger Gelnett and Fianna Long Gelnett near Knousetown, the small valley called Quaker Run after the name of the creek that goes through the area. He was the fourth child in a family of seven boys and seven girls. His mother was Fianna Long, daughter of a prosperous farmer, Benjamin Long who farmed where Chester Long lived (below Witmers) in Pfoutz Valley. At what date or for what reason, my father didn’t say, Benjamin Long and his brother Emmanuel Long traded farms so my grandmother finished her growing-up years in Turkey Valley about a mile below St. James Church on the road to Oriental at what was, in my day, the Jay Kerstetter (later Bailor) farm.

Her father, Benjamin Long was the son of Christian and Nancy Lang (different spelling). He was born in Pfoutz Valley September 20, 1820 and died September 5, 1888 and is buried in the Barner’s Cemetery, Liverpool Township, Perry County. He was the first child in a family of twelve children. This is recorded in the “History of the Lang (Long) Family of Pennsylvania,” 1680-1930 on page 61.

I never knew my “Gelnett” grandparents but heard so many stories about them that I feel as if I had a good relationship with them. I was about 16 months old when Grandma Gelnett died and my Mother told me the story over and over to me that on her “deathbed” at home, she heard me crying and said “Give Sara a cookie,” then rolled over and died. This story always made me feel important but now, it makes me realize what a compassionate person she was. She married a rather rough and poor man and reared a family of fourteen. They moved to a tract of land completely covered with virgin timber. They had a one room log house against the mountain and started an up and down water driven saw mill on the place to cut the timber for a house. They built a small shack to house the miller, Emanuel Chubb. They cut trees from the fields so they could start farming – Grandpa Gelnett’s father, Jonathan Gelnett, had owned the land and one of Grandpa’s brothers, Henry B. Gelnett, helped to clear the land. They had more lumber than they needed and everyone else within driving distance had, too.

I went to Uncle Henry’s funeral with my father in a horse drawn buggy – I think it was held at the St. Thomas Church. This is where Grandpa and Grandma Gelnett are buried. Uncle Henry lived near the church and my father took me along to visit him. He seemed old at the time and probably was, because my grandfather, his brother, died two years after I was born. My father often took me along with him on “duty visits” (when someone was sick) or to funerals (often I didn’t know the deceased) and we would use a horse and buggy although when everyone went along we had our old Model T car. Of course, taking the car was a gamble- flat tires were common plus muddy roads with deep ruts that could get the car stuck in the middle of the road. Steep hills were hard to climb – sometimes there was an access road half way up, that one backed into and got a good start to finish climbing the hill. The hill from Seven Stars to Richfield was one that we always had to stop half way up to get another start and we were so thrilled when we got our new Model A Ford and we went up on one try.

All my life I have thoughts about Grandma Gelnett and tried to imagine what her life was like and what type of person she was. The facts are few – she was married at Oriental by W.N. Knouse, Justice of the Peace March 30, 1873. She had her first child, Daniel March 18, 1874- a few days less than one year later, so her first year in the “woods” was spent, helping to get a home and farm started while she was pregnant. She had her children one, two, or three years apart and in twenty four years had fourteen. Only one died before becoming an adult, that was Reiley born December 30, 1881, died October 15, 1888. They had been in the field husking corn Oct 14 and Reiley was coughing all day but didn’t seem sick but after supper he had the croup and all night was very sick and died the next day. This event affected my father a great deal because he told us about the tragic death so often and wished they had had a doctor then. Every Memorial Day my father took flowers to his grave at Dressler’s Ridge Church and asked that I show the grave to my children and grandchildren so he would not be forgotten. This I did. The spring before Palmy died, I took him to the cemetery and he was too weak to climb the hill to Grandma and Grandpa’s graves so I took the flowers and he stayed in the car. This was never a sad occasion. Palmy had a great sense of humor and was usually very cheerful and I assume his parents were too.

My Mother never said an unkind word, that I heard, about Grandma Gelnett and they lived in the little log cabin some time after they were married and visited often. Mother said Mae Lyter was so much like Grandma Gelnett in temperament. She loved children and was very patient with everyone but especially children.

My father was proud of his mother and her background but said very little about his father. They didn’t seem to have had a very good relationship. He talked a lot about his mother but not Grandpa. He told me once that Grandpa chewed tobacco and was not too ambitious. I thought he seemed a little ashamed of him but that may not be true.

In all the pictures I have seen of my grandparents and their children they were dressed well but I am sure they were very very poor by our standards. One picture has an oxen hitched up to a cart. I think they used oxen to farm before Grandpa could afford horses.

Grandma Gelnett was able to instill great ambitions in all her boys but not the girls. They all left Quaker Run and made a mark in the communities where they lived. Daniel left home at sixteen to clerk in John Dietz store at Knousetown and lived in their home. Later he clerked in stores at Union Corner, Rushtown, Newport and Thompsontown, before opening a store in Mexico, Juniata County with Ben and Amos. He attended Freeburg Normal one summer and was licensed to teach but never did. Later he, Ben and Amos started the first Ford garage in Newport. He never married and died of Typhoid Fever in the epidemic in Newport May 1915. This same typhoid fever epidemic claimed the life of Ben and Ben’s son, five year old Glenn, all within a few days of each other.

Uncle Will, William, was the second son and the financial backer of the family. He worked at the Danville State Hospital where he met Aunt Sara and attended Mifflinburg Academy and Summer Normal School in Freeburg. He was in debt $100 after finishing school so he went to work on a farm for 50 cents a day. Then he started at Danville State Hospital at $15 a month.

After the death of Uncle Dan and Uncle Ben in 1915 he came to Newport (lived on South 2nd Street) and, with Uncle Amos, had a very large and successful Ford Agency and garage until his death in 1934. They had no children but financed Georgia and Hazel Shiffer’s way through nursing school. Uncle Will was one of my favorite uncles – his office was fun to visit and I enjoyed his cigar smoke. No one else I knew smoked such good cigars and he always seemed so glad to see us.

Aunt Sara was always repainting her house and furniture so Mother kept telling me not to get in the paint. She also had a marvelous flower garden and kept giving Mother bulbs, plants, and cuttings from her collection. She was the first person I knew that paid $100 for a dress, although I never saw her really “dressed up.”

Uncle Amos was the real politician – he made me feel that just seeing me made his day. He was elected to the state legislature for three terms and served three terms as Republican State Committeeman. He attended the Quaker Run one-room school house, then took an examination, then taught one term at Union School. After that, he went to Newport and into the Ford Agency with his brothers – after they died he took his youngest brother, Dewey, into the partnership and they continued until 1952 when they sold the agency. Uncle Amos died January 16, 1956.

One thing has always puzzled me and I have never been able to explain it to myself but I didn’t ask my parents. All the six boys (Reiley died) taught school, founded businesses worked away from home at an early age. My father went to Philadelphia at 17 for a couple summers and worked on the “street cars.” But none of the girls seemed too ambitious – they married rather early and had large families (except Aunt Kathryn and Hattie who had none). How can a mother motivate boys and let girls be content to lead very ordinary lives? The women’s movement could have had a field day with that family.

My father said he knew only one college graduate until he went away to college himself. It was his school teacher who greatly influenced his life. When he was seventeen he walked to Harrisburg and took a train to Philadelphia when he lived with a friend in a small rooming house and got a job on the horse drawn trolleys. They had open sides in the summer and he walked along the benches and collected the coins. I’m not sure how much a ride cost. Philadelphia made a great impression on this poor farm boy and he was proud of knowing most of the streets when we were attending school there.

He attended “Normal” school in Freeburg and thirteen weeks summer school at McAlisterville under Professor Sonleff in 1899. He taught school at Watt’s (one room) 1899 to 1901. My Mother was a pupil there but she hated school and never could understand how we all seemed to enjoy grade school, high school and going on to advanced schools.

My father saved every penny he got and was able to attend National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio and was graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree August 2, 1902. He lived in a house there and worked for his room and board.

He tried working at the state school in Danville with Uncle Will but only stayed there two weeks, then got a teaching position at West End, Bedford County. He also taught high school one term in Luzerne County in 1903. He again worked on street cars in Philadelphia in the summers of 1903-1904, teaching in the winter.

He and Mother, Daisy Irene Zeiders, were married March 12, 1905 and moved to Steelton where he worked in the steel mills and Violet, their second child, was born there in 1907. Later they lived in Burnham and he worked in the steel mills there for a short time. They moved back to the two room log house on his father’s farm and Harold was born there. Mae says she remembers the house and thinks they lived there until the spring of 1910 when Palmy (my father) bought the farm in Greenwood Twp, Juniata County, that was sold to Eddie Brofee this year.

According to my father’s account book he bought the farm on October 25, 1909 for $1200. He had expenses of:

October 25, 1909
Lawyer fee $5.00
3 trips to Mifflin, county seat $3.00
Insurance of $1,000 $2.00
Acquiring deed $5.00
1/2 of 1/3 ton of phosphorus $13.33

He borrowed $600 from Uncle Will and some from Uncle Amos because his account book records payments on notes to both.

October 25A L Gelnett $20.00
A.L. Gelnett (first note I ever issued)
Paid April 10. 1911 $119.42
March 7, 1910 A.L. Gelnett $25.00
W.L. Gelnett $40.00

He was paying 6% interest which seems high to me because all during the depression rates were 4 to 6% and stayed that way until 1973.

He made frequent payments of interest and some on principal of $50 to A.L. Gelnett, W.S. Gelnett and the Richfield Bank. He was teaching school at Watts during this time and in the same account book are some of his lesson plans. I think he made about $30 a month teaching school.

The rest of us were born on this farm, at home, with a midwife. One of my father’s sisters came and stayed to help with the children and the new baby. This was a hard time for Mother. The house was small, money was tight and we had no water in the house. The spring was down a small grade and she carried all the water that we used and heated it on the kitchen stove, which was our only source of heat. Of course, my father worked very hard, too, teaching school and farming, but Mother was stuck with small children and more work than one woman could do.

She had a cheerful disposition, singing while she worked – Aunt Nettie said she could tell how tired she was, because then she sang louder or whistled.

Mae said she remembers the night I was born – Mother didn’t help her with her home work so in the morning Mae cried that she couldn’t go to school without her arithmetic paper done. Her father was her teacher but Mother (who never attended much school) helped her with her homework. Some one told her, they thought she could go to school, that her teacher would understand!

Here is a second account of that day that I found in another notebook:

Violet doesn’t recall anything about my birth, she was 9 years old then, but Mae has a vivid memory of it.

She asked our father (Papa) to help her with her arithmetic but he would always say “think Mae, think” so after he left home to teach at her school, Mother would help her with her homework. They had about the distance of 4 city blocks to walk to school (Wilts) and Palmy had to go early in the morning to start the wood stove and warm up the building before the children came. The fire was left in the afternoon to “go out” as our Dutch forefathers expressed it. Some mornings every one sat on benches near the stove until the room heated. Of course we wore long underwear and long black stockings.

The morning after my birth, Mae found Mother in bed and unable to help her with her arithmetic and was most upset as she went to school to confront Palmy with her homework undone.

That evening after one of our unmarried aunts was there to help until Mother was able to take over. Mae and Violet had to take the basket of the delivery sheets up to Bastwich (our neighbors about ¼ mile away). On the way up Mae decided to look at the sheets and had her second upset of the day!

Palmy was trying to farm by the newest methods – he read a lot and tried out new things. In his account book:

1910 – 1911 #1 field 100 bu lime @ 8 cents $1.00
#2 field 100 Bu lime @ 8 cents $1.00

1912 Strip where Plums are 75 bu $ .75
1913 Below Plums 35 bu $ .35
1914 Sowed alfalfa 1 acre $ .35

April 18 1912 Kipp & Moore Harrow $15.00
Sept. 12 1913 1 ton phos $16.00
1915 Thompsontown Bank Binder $11.75
July 5 1916 Guy Fry note 4 month $150.00
July 5 1916 J. B. Gelnett (his father) $150.00
April 15 1917 J. R. Bucker note for $35.70
30 days at 3% for auto

I don’t remember this car but I saw a picture of all of us in it.

My father told stories of the things he did farming that were amusing. He always felt that people dried their hay too long and lost all the nutrients so he had beautiful green hay. One hot day he worked it into his small hay mow with a great deal of trouble, packed it tight and was so pleased with is nice green color. The next day he went out to look at it and it was very hot so he had to fork it out and spread it in the sun to dry before repacking it into the mow for his cows winter feed. Then he knew why people let the hay lose its color. (This is to avoid spontaneous combustion and burning the barn down as well.)

April of 1920 he bought the farm that Harold Hahn lives on. It had a bigger (brick) house and barn and more farm land. He did not sell the “Dressler Place” – a small tract of land in a small valley behind the farm. I can remember moving – we used horses and wagons and all the neighbors came with their teams to help. Mother and I walked from the one farm to the other a little early so she could prepare food for the men. I was only five years old at that time.

He bought the farm from Jacob Leiter for $3300. My father was still teaching school at Watts and everyone was in school except me. I enjoyed having Mother all to myself all day; it was a relaxed period in my life.

The account book records:

March 25 1922 Pd $900 on note J.E. Leiter
and leaves judgment not $2400
Jan 2 1923 Pd $700 J.E. Leiter $1700
Jan 4 1924 Judgment on note $1400
1923 sold old farm to Charles Willow $2700

After that Charles Willow paid $100 each year until 1932, then the Great Depression was making farming hard and he was unable to pay anymore. In 1940 my father bought back the farm for $800 and the Willows moved. January 1946 he sold the farm again to George and Ruth Strawser for $1800. The interest at that time was 4% and they made regular payments until it was paid in full May 11 1948.

My father quit teaching in 1921 and spent all his time farming. We had pure-bred cows and a registered bull, also two chicken houses full of layers (about 300) which were a lot for that time. He planted a few acres of potatoes that we sold house-to-house in Harrisburg. I had to knock on doors and ask if they wanted to buy potatoes. This was a job I really hated but I enjoyed the ride to Harrisburg and the crackers and cheese and pack of cookies my father bought for our lunch. We never ate in a restaurant. In fact, I think I was in high school before I ate a meal in a restaurant.

We always had plenty of food to eat and clothing to keep us warm but we did not have a balanced diet and Mother made all our clothes (girls).

When we first moved to the Leider place, there was no water expect from a pump at the barn – we carried all the water we used in the kitchen from there. The spring at the house was used for washing clothes. I can remember when we had a hand turned washer and Mother boiled her white clothes in a big kettle with a fire under it. She was always fussy about her white wash and continued to boil them in the outdoor kettle for as long as I was at home.

When I was about eight years old, the men dug by pick and shovel the water ditch from a spring up along the mountain (Turkey Ridge) across the dirt road through the meadow and to the house. They then laid pipe and we had water in the house – running water by gravity. There was enough force to get up to the second floor and we had a bath room put in. A coil was put through our “wood” kitchen stove and a hot water tank put near by and then we had the luxury of tub baths, no outdoor toilet trip and water in the kitchen. and bathroom. We were the first farmer I knew with “running water” – that’s the expression we used for years. We also put in a coal and wood hot air furnace about this time. We didn’t use it too much, except in very cold weather but that, too, was advanced for our area.

Although I was very proud of all of this and the fact that my father used more advanced farming methods than our neighbors and was better educated, we were poor. There was no money; we exchanged wheat at the mill for flour, sometimes as much as eight or ten 50 lbs bags – Mother baked delicious bread twice a week. (How I loved store-bought bread!)

When we went to the store, it was simply for basics and then cents-worth of candy or “store-bought cookies” of the cheapest variety. The only time we bought oranges was at Christmas and I never saw fresh lettuce until I was a teenager. We had barrels of apples, cabbage, root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, carrots buried in the ground and we used those in the winter. The fresh vegetables and fruits always tasted so good in the spring because we were so hungry for the greens.

I guess we really were not that poor but my father had such great plans for all of us that he simply would not spend any money. He wanted us all to be doctors! Certainly, he was a man well ahead of his time. He believed in equal education for girls and thought they could do anything a boy could. Of course, we proved that by working the fields during harvest. I never really enjoyed hoeing corn or the vegetable patch or shocking and hauling in sheaves of wheat and oats. Making and hauling in hay was more fun – it was challenge to take each heap (it was not baled) and build a load on the wagon that made it into the barn without falling off. Violet and I were on the wagon and one of the boys, usually Oscar or Roy, would be on the side with a fork lifting the “heap” up. We had forks too, and used them to put the hay it in place and stamped it in place. We did worry about copperhead snakes…sometimes we did find them under the heaps of hay, but none of us were ever bitten by one.

My sister, Violet, was eight and a half years older than me and a regular dynamo all her life. She had me doing everything, never implying that I was too little. We picked blackberries, peaches, apples, strawberries (tame and wild) and all the vegetables from a large “truck patch”. My back got tired and I complained of the weather (heat or cold) but she would tell me that soon I would get my “second wind” and then it would be easy. Whatever we did, she always said to me “you can do it” so I suppose I should be grateful for shaping my character and my positive attitude all my life – but it was hard work. She let me drive the car to Seven Stars store when I was thirteen and I ran over a big fat chicken. We were careful not to tell our father about that!

Most of my memories about home are tied up with Vi because we did work together. We divided the cleaning into two areas and with a great deal of giggling and wasted time we pulled match sticks to see who did which (downstairs, porches, upstairs). Mother always said we spent more time deciding than it took to clean.

Roy and I didn’t play together too much because he followed Oscar and Harold most of the time and I was not allowed along because I was “a girl”. ”A girl” was not allowed to go swimming, skating or any other activity that was off the farm. I rebelled against that even as a child so I can sympathize with the NOW movement.

Violet and Mae took piano lessons from Mrs. Swartz and then Vi went to Liverpool (with the horse and buggy) and took more lessons from Mr. Mitchell. She would get sheet music and had a leather cover that she put it in and then rolled it in a tube to carry. She was very good so she decided not to attend high school but to “take up” music and teach. After discussing this with other people, my father decided she needed a college education if she really wanted to teach music – something that was not necessary in his day. So, when Vi was eighteen, she started high school – Harold was already started and Mae had graduated.

After she graduated from high school, the law had changed and one could not go to summer school one year and then teach, as Mae and Harold had done to finance their education. Vi worked in a home to pay for her room and board at school. They seemed to like her very much but I got the impression that Vi hated the whole idea of being their “servant”. She never said too much but before she had to go back she started crying the night before and all morning before she left for college. I always hated that – I felt sorry for her but also felt that she was over-reacting. I suppose it was rough, but I made up my mind that no matter how homesick I was, I would never cry and I did not.

We did all types of field work from hoeing corn, cutting off the stalks, shocking and husking later in the winter. These were family jobs – Mother, Father and all children helped – lots of times we did the cutting on a moonlit night because the fodder was damp and wouldn’t break off and be wasted. I am sure I was not that big a help as I was younger and couldn’t keep up with the rest – someone always had to help my row, but I worked.

Picking potatoes was another family job that was hard and I didn’t like it, either. Roy and I split a lot of wood and my job was to keep the wood box filled and since the cook stove was our primary form of heat, it kept me busy. This is my memory – I am sure my mother had to carry lots of wood too. We had a wood house about 12 X12 and in the fall it was filled with split wood, but as the winter went on, sometimes we had to split each day. They had a circular saw, powered with an engine, that they cut the logs into stove-lengths. Sometimes I helped throw the cut lengths away from the saw as they worked, but Mother was always nervous that we would be injured. That seemed to make it more interesting and a real challenge.

I am sure I was never overworked, but there was always something to do.We had chores after school and in the summer. There were chickens to feed and pigs to “slop”.We saved all peelings from the potatoes, fruits and vegetables and sour milk – this was put in a “slop” galvanized bucket on the porch.We took this to the pig pen and added “chop” to make a semi-liquid feed and poured it into the pig’s trough.Then we threw in “nubbins” of corn.

Nubbins: After we husked the corn in the field into piles, my father picked the big ears (very carefully) for seed, then the next grade was put on a wagon but the soft or half filled ears were left on the ground. This was later picked up and put into the corn crib at the side (part of the building) of the pig pen and these were called “nubbins”. I don’t know why. Sometimes this molded.

Chop: This was the mixture of grain (wheat and oat, I guess) that was chopped at the mill in early days and our engine run chopper later. There was hog chop and cow chop so the mixture had to be different.

When we fed this to the pigs, we always added liquid and stirred it – I liked to do this – partly for the good smell and for the fact that the pigs seemed to enjoy it so much. The trough came out through the walkway so we could do this without getting close to the pigs or their manure.

I never had to clean the pig or the cow stables. I guess being a girl had some advantages. My father never let me see a birth – cow, pig or horse. They always called me to see, after it was born. This left a lot of questions in my mind that were never answered.

My father bought some pure-bred Holsteins and a registered bull and gradually built up a productive herd of milking cows. We did the milking by hand all the time I was home but I was never very good at milking and if the cows weren’t milked dry, they did not produce as well, so, I was not a regular milker. Everyone else had to get up before school, go to the barn and milk then get ready for school, and change clothes after school and milk and do the chores again.

Mother seemed to know how hard I was trying to keep at the head of my class so she didn’t let them make me do chores. I helped with some in the early evening but after supper, I studied for two or three hours. When anyone complained that I was not doing my share of work, Mother defended me. Now, I am sure she also did my share of chores, but I didn’t seem to realize it then.

We did not have electricity on the farm until after I went into [nursing] training, but my father bought a battery system that produced 32 volts. He charged the batteries by a gasoline engine. This was not too satisfactory but it was better than our kerosene lamps. My mother had a gasoline powered washer, too. All these were second-hand – usually bartered for – using potatoes, mostly.

We had no refrigeration except the cellar and spring house. On Sunday mornings in the summer, Mother killed and cleaned the chickens for our noon meal. We ate lots of chicken and cured ham that was never kept cold but never spoiled either – it’s hard for me to understand now.

Country School

This generation can never understand our one-room school houses but I’ll tell you how it was for me.

First, we would walk the mile and one half in all kinds of weather, rain, snow and zero cold. Our clothing was not as efficient as it is now but we made up for it in quantity. Sometimes Mother put so many layers on me, I couldn’t bend my arms! We had long underwear, thick and fleecy but not wool. I always wore dresses of wool in the winter, thick black stockings and leggings that hooked around the leg but usually pushed down – I hated those and resisted putting them on unless we had deep snow to walk through. Then “four buckle artics” over the shoes, woolen “pull-down cap” and gloves completed the outfit. By the time we got to school our hands were so cold we cried while warming them at the furnace that stood in the corner of the school house.

We had a water cooler with a faucet that the big boys filled by carrying water in a bucket from the spring at Fry’s next to the school house. We had no place to wash our hands all day and had an outhouse that we used even in the coldest weather.

One corner, opposite the furnace, was filled with shelves and there we put our “dinner buckets” filled with sandwiches for our lunch.

We had double desks so it was important to have someone you liked as your seat-mate. Jennie Strawser (Campbell) was mine for a few years and we had a good and giggly relationship. We were “best friends” and stayed overnight at each other’s house as many times as our mothers let us.

Our lessons consisted (after the first few years of learning to read and spell) of “A” and “B” books.We “recited” our lessons in the front seats – where we went during our classes – and by the time we were through the “B” books we had heard all the material in the “A” books so there was no challenge left and it was no problem to get 100% on every lesson and test.We had no library and I was starved for reading material – I read the very few magazines we received and anything any friend would lend me.Leroy Strawser had osteomyelitis during this time and with no antibiotics, there was no cure.He spent a lot of time in the hospital and came home with books.What a joy when he lent me Tom Swift and other books that were given to him in the hospital.

He had an open wound draining from his hip for years but was able to attend school, high school and college – he was a teacher during [daughters] Anne and Cathy’s grade-school days.

Wilts was a small school and we had lots of fun playing games at recess and lunch hour. We took our sleds along to school and “coasted” down the hills.

There is something to be said for the closeness and one-to-one attention of a small school. I always felt “bright” which probably would have been lost in a big school and I went on to be the head of my class in high school. Of course, we had a small high school too, only four teachers, so I always had personal attention. When I went to Philadelphia to take the aptitude test for Nurse’s training I had the highest score. I never knew my IQ — I am sure it was not that high– but I was encouraged all through my life and I am sure this is more important than we realized. Big is not always better, and the personal touch is important in everything.

6 thoughts on “Grandma Sara

  1. I *love* the idea of posting this online. No time to read it all right now, but thank you for doing this.

  2. What a lovely idea to post her writings. I am in the process of building (my Mom’s side) family web site, and would like to include stories like this, along with photos and genealogy.

    Did you know that the name Sara means ‘Lady’? The name was used as a title for the (informal) “royalty” or respected women of Ireland when the British were in power at various times. Kind of as a secret code, or joke on the English. It was also employed to mean “learned” or “healer” at more than one point in Ireland’s history. Which seems appropriate for your Grandma. Many Crones were called ‘Sara’, and these were the most respected women in each village.

  3. hi i found your blog i put his name on looking through the net and found it i read your blog about my grandfather we should meet some time give me your e-mail address and phone number i like to find long lost relatives i fond some it was nice you wrote about Henry Brugger keep conact me

  4. Meg, I’d love to print this out but not with the dark background. Maybe you could email this to me sometime without the background.
    Aunt Cathy

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