|The following are memories that each of us have of our years growing up. These are not especially devoted to Marie, but just different things we each remember. Enjoy!|
From Elinor Ressler Aye:
Mary Ann and Carolyn were born in Allentown. I was conceived (so I'm told) in Shenandoah, but born in Allentown during a transition from Shenandoah to Reading. George was born in Philadelphia when we lived in Upper Darby.
Daddy worked for the Maryland Biscuit Company and the railroad during World War II. Afterwards, he worked for the Cook Coffee Company. We had no car. The Cook Coffee Company van was our only transportation. I recall that when I put my arm in the wringer of the washing machine in Upper Darby, Mother had to call Daddy's boss, George Fegley to come to take me to the hospital in a Cook Coffee van. Likewise, when Mary Ann was burned, playing with matches, when we lived in Norristown, the police had to put an "APB" (all points bulletin) out for my father who was needed to give blood to my sister. She spent several months in the hospital. At first, the doctors were not sure she would survive, because I came down with chicken pox on the same day she was burned and had to be hospitalized in another hospital in Philadelphia. Mother was also burned putting out the fire, but she didn't need hospitalization.
Mother also told the story of Carolyn falling and cutting her nose so that it would be lifted on one side from her face. She picked Carolyn and ran for the hospital, which was several blocks from our home in Norristown. A man saw her carrying Carolyn, who was bleeding profusely, came up to her and grabbed Carolyn and ran swiftly to the hospital with Mother following behind screaming and terrified. It seems that there had been a major trolley accident that day and victims were pouring into the hospital, and the man thought Carolyn was one of the victims!
We moved to Vera Cruz when I was in the second grade. I had started kindergarten in Upper Darby, but that stopped when we moved to Allentown, because there was no kindergarten there. All we kids knew was that we were moving to the country. My father was Pennsylvania Dutch and had not learned to speak English until he began 1st gradejust as his father George David Ressler had when he was a child. My father and grandfather always spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, especially when we visited their friends and family in Hegins (which we thought of as the country). So when we moved to the country, I believed that my teacher would also speak "Dutch" and that I wouldn't be able to understand her. Well, of course, she spoke English, but the school had only four rooms, four teachers and eight grades. There were 40 kids in my 1st and 2nd grade class, and the students were never taught to printthey learned cursive writing in 1st grade. I had not yet been taught cursive writing, so I could not read a thing the teacher wrote on the blackboard! So I could understand what the teacher said, but not a word she wrote. While she understood my problem, she told me she didn't have time to teach me how to write. The alphabet was above the blackboard, and I'd just had to teach myself how to write! So I did!
We lived in Vera Cruz until our father's mother, Elizabeth Abby Thomas Ressler died in October, 1951, when I was in the 6th grade. My grandfather could not manage by himself, and our house was too small for him to move in, so we moved in with him on North 12th Street. However, we had some wonderful times when we lived in the country.
I don't know if you visited us during the summer. Every Sunday, from Memorial Day in May until Labor Day in September, we had a family picnic, either with members of my father's or my mother's family. I'm sure you and your mother must have joined us in some of those picnics. They were always fun because we kids could play in the woods, the creek, and in the chicken house (one was not filled with chickens but with old furniture and an old victrola), and also in the "rabbit hutch" which did not have any rabbits, but had a low roof which George and I used to climb and pretend that it was a pirate ship! The property was surrounded by woods and a railroad line. In the evenings, when the weather was warm enough, we would go up to one of the fields by the railroad tracks and wave to the engineers on the evening passenger train headed toward New York from Philadelphia. The engineer would throw us the Philadelphia newspaper which we would then deliver to our father! George fished in the creek and caught minnows which Mother would occasionally fix for him to eat. We would also dam up the creek and dig little channels and islands alongside it. We'd make boats out of sticks with sails made of the petals of wild flowers and sail them in our little world.
Grandmother did indeed take in boarders. On a Saturday evening, they liked to play poker around the dining room table, and drink beer. I stayed there from time to time when I was a toddler, and one Sunday morning, I got up, came downstairs, noticed all the empty beer bottles on the floor, and upended them to drink the dregs! When Grandmother got up, she noticed that I was quite red in the face and couldn't walk properly. She called Mother to tell her I was ill and described the symptoms. Mother asked if there were beer bottles around. When Grandmother said there were, Mother informed her that I was probably drunk! Apparently, I loved beer, although now I can't tolerate the stuff and hate both the smell and taste of it.
Mary Ann worked as a telephone operator for Bell Telephone after high school and then for the City of Allentown, doing drafting work. She left that for Air Products, and retired from there after about 18 years.
Carolyn worked as a nurse in Allentown, Washington, Salem, OR, and Holyoke, MA. Then she became an occupational nurse for National Paper Company in Holyoke. Later she worked with the Visiting Nurse Association until she retired.
I taught junior high and high school in Collinsville and Granite City, IL, until I began having children. I did substitute teaching in both school systems until I went to work for the federal government. I was employed by the National Archives and Records Administration as an archivist for 23 years before retiring last year.
George went into the Navy after high school, and served as a ship's photographer on the U.S.S. Essex, an aircraft carrier. He was in the service at the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis in 1962 and photographed the Russian ships going into and out of Cuba. He then worked as a photographer until he graduated from Kutztown University and became a teacher. He taught special studentsgifted and ungiftedand managed the district's computer programs until his retirement in June of this year.
From Carolyn Ressler Goepfert:
It's too bad we all couldn't get together and talk about what we remember with a tape recorder taping it all. I have bits of memories of all my aunts and uncles, of things they said or did.
When you all used to visit us on 12th street, I remember that one of you loved to cut our little patch of grass in our backyard. I remember Liz, Hymie, Lois and Albert borrowing my parents car and driving to a resort in the Poconos. (This is before either couple had children.) They parked as far away from the hotel as possible because they were so embarassed by the old delapidated car! I also remember they took me to a lot of places. (They spoiled me, and don't you know I loved every minute of their time.)
The last time I saw Jack, Mother and I stopped to see him at his apartment in New Buffalo. He talked a great deal about Arlene and how much he missed her. He also conned me into folding his contour bed sheets, stating "I never understood how to fold these."
I spent many summers in Marysville with the Turners. We used to swim in the Susquehanna and go for ice cream up to Duncannon. I remember visiting with Liz when I had my first two daughters. She hauled out a big tub so they could splash in water.
Grandmother (Marie) utilized all her grandchildren. I remember one summer when I was in junior high school, I went every day except the weekends and made supper for whomever was there at the time. When I was older and could drive, I would pick her up and drop her off at places. I remember one of her boy friend's was a gent called Levi, and he laughed at me one time for opting for a 7-up. He told me I would have gotten more soda if I had picked a coke. Do you remember 7-ups being in a smaller bottle?
We called Mr. Fritch Pappy Fritch when we were younger. And I remember Uncle George. He would come to grandmother's every Sunday for dinner. Don't know what his last name was.
Thanks for the memories.
From Cathy Brannan Haney:
I can't remember when I enjoyed something so much! There was a lot in there that I didn't know so I feel connected once again! The pictures were great! I hadn't seen one of my grandfather Lafayette (Jack) as a younger man ever and I loved the one of him as a young boy! Mom was was thrilled though with all the pics and histories I sent her. She just loved it! That was good for her to go back in time to what she remembers as a girl.
Let me tell you what I know and remember of Marie. When I was a small girl, we used to take vacations back east. We would first drive to Aunt Marie's and Mary Jane's. I remember Aunt Marie giving orders to my sister and me. It scared me a little because she "meant business." I was always a good kid and never caused a stirkinda whimpy back then. I never knew you could rebel (lol) if you had a notion. So, for her to lay down the law about where we could and couldn't go inside the house and out in her strict voice really intimidated me. I remember we were told to stay out of that little tunnel part on the side of the house. Of course, that is where I wanted to play because it was dark and scary and so inviting to a kid. I remember the big house which I totally loved. The rooms were large and airy. The breezes came through the house. I remember the smells of cooking. I remember how sweet and gentle Mary was and just adored her. I couldn't wait to see her each time we went there.
From Eloise George Liberty:
In all my summers of growing up, there were always much anticipated visits to home. The home I refer to here was that of my grandmother Marie C. Fetterman Patterson. We could never wait to get there, and back then, dad took the longest way to get there. We never went straight to her house but always stopped to visit aunts, uncles, and cousins along the way. It was so much fun getting to see these people we were kin to and never having as much time as I would have liked to have been with them. We usually spent at least two weeks on vacation, so there wasn't a great urgency to get to grandmother's house immediately.
We normally visited my father's brother Jay and his wife Pauline in Harrisburg. And from there, we headed across the Susquehanna to Marysville where Aunt Liz and Uncle "Hymie" lived with cousins Ralph and Betsy. From there, we drove up the road to Duncannon and visited Uncle Jack and Aunt Arlene and Greg and John and the twins Timmy and Tommy. And then finally, we would reach grandmother's house.
Grandmother lived right in town in a semidetached townhouse. Once we arrived there, we were assigned the task of putting our things where we would be sleeping for the next few weeks. For me, it was always the third floor of the house. My two older sisters were usually assigned the chore of helping in the kitchen while the rest of us were promptly shoved right out the door to play in the back yard.
When I was younger, grandmother had a player piano in the parlor, and we would put the roller music inside and pump away on the pedals listening to the old tunes to our heart's desire. In my later "early" years, grandma, we visited once to discover that she traded the piano for a washing machine. That about broke my heart.
As I got into my early teens, I discovered "True Romance" and "Modern Romance" magazines which grandmother had many, many volumes. I often escaped up to the third floor bedroom where there was a Victrola. I would proceed to put on an old record, cranking it up, and throw myself across the bed where I would read romance magazines for hours on end.
One of the things we looked forward to were the wishbones that Mary always had an abundance of. She cleaned and dried each wishbone and then polished them with fingernail polish. Each time we visited, she always gave each of us our very own wishbone. One would have thought we were given a hundred dollars, but we just loved getting such a small thing as this. She and grandmother also gave us bottles of perfume and makeup. It seemed that they had enough perfume to fill a cosmetic counter, so I always went home with at least three bottles of perfume.
When we tired of playing at grandmother's house, we headed over to Aunt Adah's to play with Roxanne. Aunt Adah lived just a few blocks from grandmother at the time across from a cemetery. Anyway, Roxanne was cousin George's German Shepherd, and she was very gentle with us kids. Sometimes cousin George would pile us in his car along with Roxanne and take us to a park and then take what seemed like a zillion pictures of Roxanne.
Then, there were always trips to the "country" to visit Aunt Lois and Uncle Albert and Lois Ann, John, and Daniel in Emmaus and playing in the apple trees.
|And we were always guaranteed at least one visit to Centralia to visit with our Great Grandmother Jennie Fetterman and our Great Aunt Kloma and cousin Alverta. On the way back to grandmother's, we always stopped at Leiby's where we were treated to an ice cream cone. Leiby's made the best homemade ice cream in the area.|
From Betsy Turner Hartman:
My memory is that when we visited and she tried to hug us, we didn't like it because her whiskers scratched!!! We too though loved that player piano and her dial telephone which tiny Marysville didn't have.
From Keturah George Ruhl:
You forgot to put in about Aunt Mary Jane's big, fat, wet kisses she gave us when we arrived for vacation.
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