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The year was 1960Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at 8:42 AM
The year was 1960. It was also the year of my first school dance and my first fancy dress. It was a beautiful orchid lace with a sheer scarf that was attached to the left shoulder. It was also the first time I ever danced with a boy. I remember being so afraid that no one would ask me. But he did. A handsome young man in my class walked over and asked me to dance. I was so nervous I felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest! He was so cute!
If I had known at the time, I'm sure my mom also felt like her heart was going to jump out of her chest. But for much different reasons and not happy ones.
My father had been seriously wounded in World War II and had been crippled since he was 23 years old. He suffered constant pain but never missed a beat working to provide for his family. Finally, his ankle gave out on him. The doctors said his bones looked like broken tooth picks and he must undergo surgery. The doctors fused his ankle, which meant it stayed in a frozen position. It stayed in that position until he went home to be with Jesus in 2008.
Before Dad was admitted to the hospital, he went to everyone that he and Mom did business with and explained the situation. Every person, without exception, agreed to let my mother buy the needs of our family on credit while Dad couldn't work. Some of those people were Mr. and Mrs. Hall of Hall's grocery, Mr. McConnell at the gas station, Ray and Ruth Shipman, from whom Mom and Dad bought our home, the Bunny Bread Company, and the rest I can't remember. They were good, kind-hearted business people.
Dad at the time was working for a local furniture company for minimum wage. I might add, that was 1960 minimum wage. He received a very minimal veteran's pension and, if you can believe it, was taken from him! So here is my young mother of 33 with six children and one of them a baby, left with no income except a small amount she received from babysitting a couple children. You can only imagine the pay for babysitting in 1960.
That was a year for snow also. Mom had been saving to buy my sister, my oldest brother and me snow boots. Then some family member needed money for baby milk, so there went our boots.
It was a very hard year for Mom and Dad but I didn't realize it until many years later. Dad was either in the hospital or a wheel chair most of that year. At some point much later they gave him back his veteran's pension with back pay.
Mom and Dad took every penny and paid every single person in full who had been so gracious to let Mom buy on credit during that trying year. No one lost a penny on my parents. I know God blessed those wonderful people who were so willing to help.
Back to the orchid dress. To this day I don't know how in the world my mom afforded me that dress! But as I look back over the years there are lots of things I don't know how they managed. The only way I figure is that they were always giving or helping someone in need, therefore, God always met, perhaps not their wants, but their needs.
Johnny and Mildred Grubbs, who are my parents, and the folks who helped our family in 1960 are my heroes and heroines this week. Next time it could be you!
I love you Mom and Dad!
See you in the "Korner."
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Kathleen is a resident of Dexter. She was born in Indiana, but her parents moved their family back to the Dexter area when she was three. Other than three years she and her husband, Collin, lived in St. Charles, Mo. and ten years in Birmingham, Alabama, she has spent her life in Dexter. As you can tell, Kathleen is a people person and believes in giving credit to whom credit is due. Thus, the reason for her hero/heroine column every other week in Kathleen's Korner. As you can tell, she also like to have fun, most of the time at her own expense. Kathleen (Grubbs) is a 1964 graduate of Dexter High School and invites her friends to her "Korner."