by Millie Wyant

We aren't in a class of really big families but with six children, the first five in a little over seven years, people referred to us as "one of the Alexander kids" rather than by our individual names. I am the oldest and decided to write some of our memories down since we have so much fun reminiscing when we're together.

The cast of characters:
Father: Carl Raymond Alexander, born May 28, 1905
Mother: Mabel Frances Pennycuff Alexander, born December 16, 1908
Children: Mildred Louise Alexander Wyant (Dodo),
Paul Stephen Alexander,
Raymond Louis Alexander,
Frances Arlene Alexander Selby,
Dorothy Mae Alexander Kendall,
Carolyn Dell Alexander McWhirter,
born August 28, 1926
born January 3, 1928
born February 28, 1930
born January 13, 1932
born December 26, 1933
born October 29, 1946

Father's background:
The story handed down about our dad's heritage is that seven Alexander boys came to this country from Scotland (?). This is probably true since we have talked to Alexanders who are seemingly no kin to us and they tell the same story. Daddy, his brother and two sisters, grew up in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana in the early 1900s. Many new things were being invented and developed but it took awhile before they were in the average home.

He remembers that when he was very young his family did not have electricity. Gas was piped into the house and used for cooking and for gas lamps. A coin box was installed and when they ran out of gas, a quarter put in the box gave them more gas. The quarters were collected, once a month, by someone from the Gas Company. This is how the gas bill was paid. They didn't have credit cards or checking accounts in the average home back then. Fletcher Avenue near his house was lit with gas lamps down the center of the street on a grassy promenade. Every night someone went along and lit them and next morning came back and snuffed them out.

Horses were the mode of power for commercial and pleasure vehicles and, of course, left their residue on the streets. Daddy remembers that boys would play in this residue with sticks and flip it on each other. Radios were a new invention. Since there were no speakers on the radio, the only way to hear it was with headphones. The family took turns using the headphones. Life was very different back then.

Mother's background:
Our mother's ancestry was part American Indian. Many years ago, back in 1859, a pregnant Indian girl was living in the woods in Warren County, Kentucky and taking food from people's homes and gardens. Then one day a newborn Indian baby was found strapped to a cradle and suspended from a tree near Grandma Kimball's home. The Indian girl living in the woods was gone and never returned. It was rumored that someone knew who the father was but it was never told. Grandma Kimball gave the baby a good home, named her Mary Ann Desolate and this baby was our mother's grandmother. She died young so Mother never knew her.

Lillie Dell, 1917 Our mother's dad may have been part Indian, also, but we've never heard the details of this. His name was Granville Louis Pennycuff and he married Mary Desolate's daughter, Lillie Dell. They bought a small tobacco farm near Bon Ayr, Kentucky and were very happy. Things were going well for them but life was hard back in the early 1900s. Of the five children Granville and Lillie had, one son died of measles, another died of whooping cough, and Lillie, brokenhearted over this, died of "consumption" when Mother was just eleven years old. Their grandmother came and took care of the family until their dad married a sixteen year old girl when Mother was fourteen. This was not a happy time for Mother. She had led a sheltered life until then. She had never been very far from her home until she was twelve years old. Her first trip was to Glasgow, Kentucky in a horse drawn wagon, eight miles away. When she was fifteen her family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where she met Daddy.

The rest of the story:
Mother and Daddy, 1925 These two were quite a mix on the surface. Mother was short, had coal black hair, dark brown eyes, and was a farm girl. Daddy was six feet tall, had red hair, blue eyes, and was a city boy. Mother came from a family of fun-loving, party type people and Daddy's family was a quieter, did everything right people. They were fun loving in a different way. At least, this was the way we kids perceived them to be.

Our folks were married June 3, 1925 and rented a furnished apartment for $7 a week. Daddy had a job as helper on a truck delivering lumber. His dad was the driver. Mother was sixteen years old and Daddy had just turned twenty. He didn't want her to work so she quit her job at Hooks Drugstore, stayed home and with not much to do, slept most of the day. In a little over a year that all began to change with a new baby in the house and by the time she was twenty-five there were five children to take care of. Carolyn was born when she was thirty-seven years old.

I was the first born. Daddy said that when Mother went into labor, the doctor came to the house and stayed for over three hours, sitting on the porch talking to him, waiting for me to be born. The charge for this was $25. Can you imagine a doctor doing that today?

Mother and Daddy bought their first car, an Overland Roadster, for $40 when Paul, the second child, was a baby. Baby Paul loved to ride in that car and wouldn't go to sleep at night until they took him for a ride. I don't know whether it was this car but one of their early cars had a door that was broken and needed a replacement. Since the doors were made of wood, Daddy got some lumber and built a new one. Was he a mechanic or a carpenter?

When Paul started talking he called me "Sister" only it came out "Dodo". I have been "Dodo" (pronounced "Doo-doo") ever since, not only to my brothers and sisters but I'm also "Aunt Dodo" to my nieces and nephews and I love it.

In 1929 there was a great depression. A lot of people committed suicide because they lost all of their money and sometimes their homes. Our parents didn't have anything to lose but times were hard for them. The only work our dad could find was at a coal company shoveling and delivering coal. Most homes were heated with coal stoves back then. He was paid 40 cents for each ton of coal he delivered. Since the company's truck only held a half-ton it took two truckloads to make 40 cents. He would come home so tired and dirty, Mother would wash his hands and face. Mother was pregnant with Ray during this time.

Grandma and Grandpa sold their house in Indianapolis and bought a forty-acre farm in the spring of 1929. They bought and planted seed in the fields with high expectations of making money from the crop. When the crash came in the fall they had to sell their crops for just a little more than they had paid for the seed. In the twelve or thirteen years that they lived there, they were only able to eke out a meager living. We got produce from their farm for Mother to can for the winter so we didn't go hungry during this time as so many others did.

Four Kids, 1933 My earliest memories were of living on Spann Avenue across from a small park called Finch Park. Even though Paul and I were only four and five years old, next to Ray two years old and Fran a baby, we were "big" kids and allowed to go over to the park and play. Shirley Temple was all the rage at this time. We met a little girl at the park who looked like her, was an only child, and had every toy you could imagine. It was a real treat to be invited to her house to play. The funny part was that her mother acted like it was a treat for her to be able to play with us. At that time, we didn't realize that our brothers and sisters were more important than toys.

Finch Park closed at dusk. Occasionally people didn't leave when it closed and the police had to come and make them leave. We would sit on the front steps and watch, wondering if there was going to be trouble. Daddy walked through this park to work every day at Gansberg-Shirk Lumber Company.

People helped each other during the depression. Sometimes Aunt Pauline lived with us and sometimes Uncle Harold lived with us. In fact, Uncle Harold fell in love with the girl who lived next door to us and she became our Aunt Jean. Uncle Harold's friend also lived with us briefly. I don't remember his name but I do remember that once when I was in first grade, it had snowed through the night and since I didn't have any boots he carried me to school and called me a princess. Of course, I felt like one and he was my knight in shining armor.

Aunt Pauline married Uncle Mike when I was five years old. I loved to go stay with them for a few days. They lived downtown in an apartment and rode the streetcar everywhere they went. The streetcars came about every five minutes so you never had to wait long for one. They were fun to ride. They went clickety-clack down the street sort of swaying from side to side and since the seats were higher you looked down on the cars on the street.

One time Aunt Pauline and I went to the theater and stood in line a long time waiting for the movie about the Dionne Quintuplets to open just so I could be one of the first 10 (maybe it was 25) kids to get a little doctor set. Another time, we went to the Claypool Hotel and watched a couple dance on a little round platform extended high above the hotel. Sometimes we went to see vaudeville at the old Keith Theater. I liked watching the acrobatic dancers and decided that's what I wanted to be when I grew up.

When Aunt Pauline and Uncle Mike moved to another apartment a few blocks away, they didn't use a moving van. They just carried stuff down the sidewalks of Indianapolis to their new home. Their clothes were still hanging on the clothes rod and they were laughing all the way. It was such a happy, crazy, carefree time. They didn't have much money but it didn't seem to bother them. Even though I was young I caught the spirit and thought it was great fun. A popular song at that time was ...

"Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money.
Maybe we're ragged and funny.
But we're travelin' along, singin' a song, side by side."

This seemed to be the theme for young people in those days.

When you are part of a large family, you learn to help at an early age. After I started school, Paul's job was to do the lunch dishes. He started them when I left for school after lunch and got finished about the time I came home at 3:30. This at least gave him something to do while the little ones were taking a nap.

Little Franny wouldn't stay out of the street so we moved to the country on Iowa Street where we lived the rest of our childhood years. Even though we were only a mile outside of the city limits, it seemed like country because there were only a few houses. An open field across the street went all of the way back to the creek and woods. At first, our parents just rented the house from Mrs. Tarpenny in Irvington. When they had a chance to buy it for $1800, Aunt Julie gave them $100 for the down payment.

House on Iowa Street, 1937 This was a bungalow type house with a living room, dining room, kitchen, two large bedrooms, and a small room for a bathroom. Since there was no running water, thus no fixtures, the bathroom was my bedroom. One of the bedrooms was large enough that two double beds fit easily and it had a large walk-in closet. The boys slept in one bed and the girls in the other. There was an outside toilet, a two-holer, that Daddy called "the box". We did have electricity but no phone. An old pitcher pump in the kitchen had to be "primed" sometimes to get water from the well so we always had to leave an extra glass of water nearby.

Our mother tended to have frequent throat infections called "quincy". Three or four months after we moved we were sent back behind to the Smoot's house because the doctor was coming. We were sad because we thought she had that old "quincy" again but so happy when we got home to find that the nice doctor brought her a baby to make her feel better and that baby was Dottie.

There are many, many happy memories of Iowa Street. We had chickens and a cow with no tail. Daddy tied some rags on her tail so she could swish the flies off. We named one of our cows, Suzie. Another time we named one Hattie. Sometimes, there would be a newborn baby calf, so cute, trying to stand on wobbly legs. We had lots of milk to drink, good fried chicken, and good vegetables that Mother canned from her big garden. This contributed to our good health as we were growing up. However, someone started the rumor that castor oil was good for you so every Friday night we each had to take a spoonful of castor oil. Yuck. It was horrible tasting stuff even when mixed in grape juice. Fortunately this idea was short lived.

Kids and Dog, 1936 We also had a faithful dog that went everywhere with us and protected us. His name was Jack. Norma Smoot was trying to teach Paul to ride a bike and Jack bit her, thinking she was harming Paul. Jack wouldn't let any other dogs come in the yard and he got into some vicious fights mostly with a chow dog, named "Ching" that lived down the street. We would yell for Mother and she would throw a bucket of water on the fighting dogs. I think they would have fought to the death if she hadn't done that. Poor old Jack would sometimes be bleeding. Our mother taught us love by being so loving. She had that rare quality of loving each of us for just who we were and making each of us feel very special. She had pet names for us. I was "Sis", Paul was "Paudy", Ray was "Raymie", Fran was "Frannie", and Dot was "Dorsey Mae" and she wanted us to love each other. I guess we did love each other but that didn't stop us from disliking each other sometimes. One time Ray got mad at me and threw a rock and hit me. Mother made him kiss me. Well, at that moment he hated me so much that to have to kiss me was the worst punishment he could have got. He would much rather had a beating.

Most of the punishments fit the crime. We occasionally did get spankings but usually were able to avoid them because we could tell when Mother's temper was starting to flare. Her black eyes would flash and we immediately "straightened up and flew right". Sometimes, though, those black eyes showed humor when she was trying to reprimand us, such as the time Ray said applesauce backwards and it came out "sapple ass". Tsk tsk, a bad word. All eyes watched her reaction. She tried but couldn't keep from laughing so we all laughed. We learned to read those beautiful dark eyes.

It kept Mother hopping to keep us on the straight and narrow. "Any job worth doing is worth doing well.", "Even if we don't have money, we can at least be clean", "Always help people whenever you can." She made sure we knew right from wrong and she did it with bushels of love. She wanted us to have good table manners, too, so Daddy made a chart with all of our names on it and we got a check mark for every time we didn't do right at the table. Some of the rules were; No elbows on the table, left hand in your lap, saying please and thank you, no scraping sound with your silverware. I don't remember all of the rules and I don't remember the reward but it was like a game for us. We never ate out but we were ready if we had the chance. When we got older and did eat out, we were glad for this training.

Cars had running boards in that day. We would run down the street to meet Daddy coming home from work and ride on the running board of the car all the way home. Our dad was so much fun. He'd wrestle all five of us at the same time, think up games to play, some of them math games and we played lotto which was a lot like scrabble. He loved checkers. We couldn't beat him but kept trying thinking sure we would the next time.

We didn't have any money but for entertainment we would go for a ride in the car and see where different roads went or pick a car and follow it. Once we followed a car down the road only it turned out to be a long lane going to his house. This nurtured my love of an adventure that I still have, and the math and word games helped make school easier. Mother and Daddy both played hide-and-go seek, softball, and other games with us. Sometimes they would put out five little dishes of candy for us to find in the morning when we got up. Of course, we always counted each piece of candy to make sure they were even and they always were. I don't know how they did it, but our parents parenting skills seemed just right.

Mother's grandmother, who had hardening of the arteries, lived with us briefly. Daddy was her favorite person and if we had company she would pack a bag and start walking down the highway saying she was going to Carl Alexander's house. When someone knocked on the door, we didn't know whether our cow, that was staked in the field across the road, had got loose or our grandmother had run off. We must have seemed like the Beverly Hillbillies or something to our neighbors. However, neighborhood kids loved to come to our house to play. Seven year old Marty Lou lived next door. When she got a bag of candy, she always came running over to share it with us. The saddest thing happened one day. A boy down the street accidentally shot her. Her mother carried her over to our house and she died on our kitchen floor. Her blood was there and it was just awful

Paul talked early and was ready for first grade at five years old. However, being smaller than most of the kids he wasn't very good in athletics so he decided he would try to get good grades. Thus he turned out to be pretty smart and made a name for himself with the teachers. His younger siblings got pretty tired of teachers expecting so much of them because they were Paul Alexander's brother or sister. Paul was just one year behind me in school and even though I made good grades, "A"s and a few "B"s, he did much better. We all made good grades and liked school.

We were always told that if we got in trouble at school, we would get a spanking when we got home. Paul and Ray got spanked once at school for fighting. Someone picked on Ray and Paul helped him. Mother told the principal that she was proud of them for helping each other. That was what she had taught them to do. One time Fran and Dot were late for school and got in trouble but instead of a spanking, Mother defended them by sending a note to Mr. Plummer, saying they had to do chores before school. Mr. Plummer then complimented them for doing chores before school. Our grade school was just up the road, maybe two blocks. It had eight grades with about twenty kids in each grade. Mr. Plummer, the principal, and most of the teachers were the same for all of us.

Ray had the prettiest dark brown eyes that would get so big when he was being serious or they would just sparkle when he was trying to be funny. As he got a little older he would do most anything to get us to laugh at him, eat the core of an apple, make his stomach pooch way out, tell jokes. He was the entertainer.

Fran liked her home so much that if she tried to stay all night with someone they would have to bring her home in the middle of the night because she was homesick. Another curious thing about Fran was that she liked to eat dirt. Yuk!

Dottie was the baby for twelve years and we all thought she was so cute and liked to "mother" her. I remember holding her hand when we went to the store and thinking she had the tiniest hands even though I was only nine or ten at the time. We called her "Dottie Honey" most of the time. She had mastoid surgery when she was six and we catered to her every whim. She was just adorable enough that if she was spoiled, we never knew it. However, her memories are that sometimes we called her "Dot, the snot". Fran tells about the time she tattled on Dottie about some misdeed, thinking that neither parent would ever spank her. This time Daddy did spank her and Fran cried harder than Dot. Being only two years apart in age, Fran and Dot were each other's best friend.

I remember one time we had a violent electrical storm. Lightning seemed to be crackling all around the house and of course we were scared. I even think Mother was scared. Anyway, she got all five of us on her bed and we sat there real close and she comforted us until it was over. Then there was a gentle rain and we went out and played in it. We did that many times.

The only time I ever saw a doctor was when I was about eleven years old. I had a rash that Mother didn't recognize so she had the doctor come to the house to check it out. (They did that in those days.) It was a disease he called "scarletina", something like a mild case of scarlet fever. So we were "quarantined". A sign was put on the house stating that fact. We couldn't leave, even the ones who didn't have the disease, and nobody was supposed to come in. By the time the disease went through all of us it took awhile to get that sign removed. When I graduated from high school the family was quarantined again with some childhood disease so I had to stay at Aunt Pauline's house in order to go to graduation. The thinking behind this law was to keep contagious diseases from spreading. The dad was allowed to go to work but that was all.

Many times Mother asked me to entertain my siblings and we played lots of "rock school" on the front porch steps. This was a game where you guessed which hand the rock was hidden in. A correct guess moved you up a step to the next grade. We usually played this game after getting cleaned up to go somewhere. It wasn't easy to keep the first one clean while waiting on the last one to get ready. Even though I was frequently in charge, I was never allowed to spank or hit the little ones no matter what they did. I was supposed to tattle on them.

We all had jobs to do. Ray chose to do the outside work such as milking the cow, bringing in the coal for the stove, and other outdoor jobs. Paul's and my jobs were doing the dishes, on laundry days emptying the wash water when we came home from school and cleaning house. I also gave Fran and Dot their baths most of the time when they were little. Since we didn't have a bathtub, we used a big galvanized wash tub filled with warm water heated on the stove. After washing their hair, I sometimes curled it by putting it up on rags. We had strips of cloth about an inch wide that you wrapped the hair around and then wrapped the cloth around the hair and tied it at the top. Fran's hair tended to be curly anyway and was easy to do but poor Dottie's hair was straight and kept poking out. I would just fuss and fuss about it. She probably still has a complex about her hair.

We were good kids and had a good reputation in the neighborhood. However, we didn't exactly sit around twiddling our thumbs. When our parents went shopping and left us home alone all kinds of things seemed to happen. There was a swinging door between the kitchen and dining room that would somehow get knocked off its hinges; the stovepipe got knocked down one time - what a mess; a lamp was broken - we really didn't know how that happened. After one of these "accidents" happened Dottie would sit on the window seat watching for our parents while the rest of us were frantically trying to fix the "accident" and getting in agreement with our stories of how it happened. If we had been fighting we immediately started calling each other Honey.

We had fun but it couldn't have been easy for our parents. I remember one time when they were gone, Ray locked me out of the house and I was so angry that when I pounded on the door for him to let me in, my fist accidentally went through one of the glass panes. When Mother and Daddy came home I knew I was practically a dead duck but all they said was I could have cut an artery. I felt bad because I knew I deserved much worse punishment.

Since we raised chickens, we had fried chicken almost every Sunday for dinner. Mother was an expert at killing them by putting a broom handle across their neck and yanking hard on their legs. Fran tells that Mother tried to teach her and Dot how to do this when they got a little older. But, alas, they were so afraid of hurting the chicken that they only got the job half done and the poor chicken squawked and squawked. To put it out of its misery, Mother grabbed it by the neck, twirled it round and round, wringing its neck and finished the job. I have seen her kill chickens this way many times. Farm people always raised chickens so killing a chicken was probably a skill Mother learned when young.

Since our Grandpa on Mother's side lived in Kentucky, we didn't really know him but we loved to go to Grandma and Grandpa Alexander's house in the country near Coatesville. We went every two weeks, rain or shine. One time it was so foggy that Daddy had to drive with his head out the window to see. Another time on the way home the police pulled us over and gave Daddy a traffic ticket. This scared us kids because we thought he was going to have to go to jail. He got the ticket because he drove on the streetcar tracks in front of people waiting for the streetcar. The streetcar tracks ran down the center of streets and at each stop there was a concrete walk for people to stand on while waiting for a streetcar. It was o.k. for people to drive on the tracks everywhere else, but not where the passenger stops were.

Coatsville, 1931 Grandma and Grandpa's house was on a hill with a creek at the bottom of the hill. It was a perfect place for kids. There were cow paths on the sides of the hills and these were like trails in state parks. The creek was just right to wade in. We usually stayed all night and since they didn't have electricity the flickering light of the kerosene (or coal oil as they called it in those days) lamps could be kind of spooky back in the corners. At least you stayed a little closer to your parents. We slept on soft, sink down in the middle, feather beds. An old player-piano was in the living room. There was an opening above the piano keys where you put the roll of music with words on it and at the bottom there were pedals you pumped with your feet to make it go. We spent lots of time, sitting on the piano bench, playing and singing "Ain't She Sweet", "Baby Face, you've got the cutest baby face", "Let me call you sweetheart", and many other old songs. Great fun!

Sometimes we got to ride one of the horses bareback. We weren't supposed to, but sometimes we jumped in the hayloft in the barn. Fran was temporarily knocked out once when she jumped from one level to another. We thought it was so fortunate that she came to before our parents and grandparents found out about it. It never entered our head that she might be seriously hurt. You just know God loves children and takes care of them or most of us would never make it to adulthood. This must be especially true in families where the children outnumber the parents.

Grandpa was a little gruff and didn't want us to bother him so we kept our distance. However, this story wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention what a wonderful Grandma we had. She was kind of quiet almost a shy type person, but witty and joked with us, sympathetic if we had a problem, never scolded us and I don't think I ever saw her angry. She was perfect in our eyes. I remember being so impressed because she and Daddy could talk "piglatin" so fast I couldn't understand them. You know, "ig-pay atin-lay".

In the summer, when spending a week at Grandma's, we would drive into the small town of Coatesville on Saturday nights to see a free movie, usually an old "B" western. Chairs were set up and the movie was shown in the middle of the street. Grandma made us clothespin dolls by painting faces on clothespins and making some clothes for them. She also made delicious caramel corn. Once or twice a week, Freejie and his traveling store called "the huckster wagon" came. Grandma bought groceries from him. Sometimes you could talk him into buying beans or something from the farm, especially if you needed money to spend at the County Fair or some other such reason.

On Sundays we went to Canaan Church, a little country church with only a few people, maybe twenty-five, attending. For the children's Sunday school class there was a table with sand in it, almost like a sandbox on legs with a top that fit over it making it a table. We liked to go to Sunday school there. Grandma was Sunday School Superintendent. She seemed almost too shy to get up in front of people but she did it anyway. These are wonderful memories.

We were always singing especially while riding in the car. A favorite and Mother and Daddy's theme song was:

Help the world to smile and sing
For the glory of the King
Every day you live,
Your best to others give.
Help the world to smile and sing.

One cold, snowy morning on the way to church, we were singing as usual and frosting up the inside of the car until Daddy could hardly see to drive. As we crossed the railroad tracks we looked up and saw a train bearing down on us. We made it but the songs were gone for the rest of the way to church. Instead we were thanking God that we were safe.

Church Our church was Calvary United Brethern, later Calvary United Methodist and every time the doors were open, it seemed, we were there if we were in town. No matter how young we were, we were supposed to stay awake and listen to the preacher. I can remember times when I was so sleepy that the preacher seemed to get real hazy but Fran did even better than that. She remembers that she learned how to stare at his face and make it disappear. Carolyn's memories are that she just couldn't be good in church so she had to spend many Sunday afternoons in the attic bedroom as punishment.

Alexander Family, 1943 As time went on things changed. Daddy finished the attic and put a couple of bedrooms up there. He and the boys dug out a basement under the house. We got running water and an inside bathroom. I was sixteen when we got our first telephone. You couldn't use it too often, though, because it was an eight-party line and people liked to listen in on your conversation.

When I was twenty years old, Carolyn was born. Even though Mother was only thirty-seven, she thought she was too old to be pregnant. I had just started dating Ralph and when he came to pick me up she stayed in another room but peeked around the corner to see what he looked like. Of course he saw her and finally asked me if something was wrong with my mother. I laughingly told him "She's just pregnant" so the next time Ralph came, she and he met.

Carolyn, 1947 We all enjoyed Carolyn. She was so cute, was unusually smart and started talking when she was nine months old (and has been talking ever since -her words, not mine). Carolyn was a planned baby. Daddy loved children. He once said that the happiest time in his life was when his children were young, but we were all growing up. I married Ralph and the boys were away at college. He tried to talk Mother into having another baby after Carolyn, but I'm sure Mother thought "I've been there, done that".

Since Carolyn was a little over eight months old when I got married, I don't know too much about her childhood. She will have to write her own memories. I do know that when she was about three, the grandchildren started coming. I'm sure she would say they came and they came and they came, getting into her things and causing her all kinds of grief.

I'm seventy-two now as I write this. We had a wonderful childhood with too many experiences to write about. What I mostly wanted to put on paper was the love that was in our home. We all have married and have families of our own with many happy experiences at reunions and get-togethers through the years. We put together a "Family Cookbook" a few years ago and made a "Family Quilt" for our parent's seventieth wedding anniversary. Our adorable Mother died two years ago. She would be very happy to know that her "wonderful family", as she called us, still love each other and get along beautifully. Daddy is ninety-four and still has a quick wit. Recently when Dottie was here from Florida and we four sisters had a "slumber party" he stayed up until after midnight playing games and cracking jokes until he had us laughing so hard we were crying. Mother was right. It is a wonderful family and I am grateful to her, Daddy, and God for making it so even on down to our children and grandchildren.

Family Reunion, 1993
Our parents with some of their
70th Anniversary, 1995
70th wedding anniversary,
Daddy and His Kids, 1998
Daddy and his six kids, 1999.
Clockwise from front: Carolyn, Fran,
Ray, Millie, Paul, Dot

More about Millie

More of Millie's writings:
The Early Years
When Grandpa was a Little Boy
Life on the Farm