Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

Despite car accident, Mom played at pageant

Our mother was welcomed with open arms in church and community because she "had an education" - which, in the teens and ’20s, meant she graduated from high school and had private music lessons.

Suddenly, it was the end of "The war to end all wars"! On Nov. 11, all of Boone County - and most of the rest of the world - stopped work to honk horns, ring bells, beat on pans and activate other racket-makers celebrating the end of the World War. Dad and his hired men stopped what they were doing and celebrated! That was the first important event of my childhood memory.

Dairy cows don’t wait; they must be fed and milked twice a day and the men were soon back at work.

Mother was brave and learned to drive the milk truck when it was available. It was more than 20 miles from home to Centralia where her parents lived; Jim and I rode on cushions in the back of the truck.

Mom’s mother died of "her old trouble" and was buried in the Centralia cemetery.

Grandpa visited around among his grown children and also played solitaire, with pitch cards. Bald-headed, he wore his black derby hat indoors and out. A Confederate soldier, he did not rehash war stories. He was married before the Civil War and had two daughters and a son. Grandpa fought on the losing side and hdidn’t talk about it. His son, Lawrence, fought bitter, miserable battles in the World War and survived.

Imagine our surprise, months after Grandpa’s death, to receive a check - Mom’s share of his estate! It was not a lot of money, but it paid for a new Model T Ford sedan, "Mom’s car."

That year, Olivet Church prepared a special event with dress rehearsal and full costume on Christmas Eve. The final performance was to be on Christmas day.

Mom’s new car sputtered as we headed home. Jim remembered some older boys having been in the car that day. Dad reached over from the driver’s seat, far across Jim, to the small gasoline adjustment control. The gas control was a long reach from the driver’s seat!

Wham! Bang! And over went Mom’s car, smashing glass and wooden bows and tearing the canvas top. Mother was on Dad’s lap, bleeding and crying.

Jim ran back to Alec’s house to get a coal-oil lantern, light it and have Ethel send something for bandages and call Dr. Shafer. Jim and Alec finally came with the horse, buggy and two lanterns.

Mom was conscious and we had stopped the bleeding with somebody’s shirt. They got her into the single-seat buggy and left the men to take care of Mom’s car in the ditch.

The next day, Mom took care of her wounds - one went across her nose and down behind her left eyeball. It was a sliver of a broken car bow; Dad tenderly removed it. The opposite end went into her forehead, hit solid bone and came back out.

Terrible scars remained. Mom talked with Dr. Shafer and applied iodine. Her entire face was swollen, turned purple and looked terrible, but Mom was the only person at Olivet who could play the pageant music. The next day, looking not at all like Mom, she played the music as planned.

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