Murdo Girl…Living the dream, 36, Painful days

“I’m so sorry, Jack. I never thought about the cafe closing. We should have called ahead and explained the circumstances.” Kat knew how panicked Jack must be.

“I wonder where Annette has gone.” Jack said. He was clearly devastated.

“I’ll contact the police,” Jack heard Agent Stedman say as he watched him pull out his phone. Thankfully, he had service. “They’re aware of the whole situation, but the storm probably stopped any kind of investigation in it’s tracks.”

Jack was trying to reach Annette but either the call wasn’t going through, or she was choosing not to pick up.

***************

“Pretty ironic isn’t it?” Dr. Clark said. “We have two young girls who were on the verge of freezing to death and a woman who has been badly burned in a fire. I wonder if there is somehow a connection. Is there any word from the police concerning their identity?”

“No Dr., but the cell service is still spotty in some areas and the police are trying to put out fires of their own. I’m sure there are a lot of people stranded.”

The nurse and doctor heard a voice come over the intercome. “Dr. Clark, please come to the nurse’s station.”

“I’ll be back. Keep a close eye on these girls. Especially the younger one.”

Dr. Clark hurried to the nurse’s station where he noticed two men were waiting for him. They pulled out their FBI identification and introduced themselves before asking if an older woman and two young girls had by chance been admitted.

“Two policemen brought them all here a couple of hours ago. The woman and the youngest girl are unconscious and in pretty bad shape. The older girl is in a lot of pain. We’re treating that now, but she’s pretty confused and hasn’t been able to tell us much.”

Blake Stedman was anxious to call his friend, Jack to tell him the news. “Dr. Clark…have you heard from someone by the name of Annette Morris?”

“No one by that name has been here, as far as I know. The two policemen who brought the woman and two girls here said they were headed over to the Roadside Cafe to talk to a young lady who was waiting for news on her mother and two girls. Could that be her? They were going to tell her all three were here.

I guess she left the cafe thinking the police hadn’t found them. The girl had given Sandy, who works at the cafe, her name and number. I placed a call, and I thought someone answered, but then it went dead.”

“Thank you, Dr.. We’ll let you get back to your patients. The girl’s father is waiting at the cafe now. We’ll be bringing him here…and Dr. Clark, if you should hear from Miss Morris, please call me. Here’s my card.”

Annette hadn’t recognized the voice on the other end of the call before she lost the connection. She was still a little over halfway between Danfield and the cabin site…and she was stuck. Thankfully, she had some warm clothes in the trunk. She also had a shovel and began to start digging herself out. Periodically, she stopped to check on her phone service.

Edith Morris was beginning to come around and the pain from her burned body was excrutiating. Where is my Jennifer? Where has she gone? She was remembering the day Jennifer had been badly burned by a campfire that had gotten out of hand.

In the process of grabbing each of her little girls to get them out of harm’s way, Jennifer’s pretty summer dress had become engulfed in flames. Edith had stood and watched, unable to move as she saw her daughter lose her balance and fall back into the fire. The screams brought Annette, who had gone back to the house, running to the spot where they had all been having a picnic.

Annette was exhausted from shoveling and decided to take a break and warm up in the car. The battery on her cell had died so she started up the car and plugged her phone in.

Her thoughts also went back to the day Jennifer died.

Her older sister and her two little girls had come for a visit. It was the first time Annette had seen her little nieces and it had been ten years since she had seen her sister, Jennifer.

They were up in the mountains when the terrible accident happened, and the fastest way to get Jennifer to the hospital was to put her in the car and drive her there. The little girls stayed behind with Annette while her mother and stepfather rushed a badly burned and mercifully unconscious Jennifer to the hospital. Edith’s husband later drove back to the cabin to get the little girls and bring them to the hospital so they would be there when their father arrived.

Neither of the girls talked about the fire or their mother. They sang songs all the way to the hospital. Annette stayed back at the cabin. She had no desire to witness what was happening to her sister.

When Jack and Kat arrived at the hospital, Dr. Clark informed them that Vanessa would need to be in the hospital for a few days, but she would fully recover.

Jack allowed himself to take a deep breath. “What about Alice?” He asked. How is she?

Dr. Clark motioned for Jack and Kat to sit down. “We’re doing everything we can, but it’s not looking good.”

Jack reached into his shirt pocket and brought out a picture that he had obviously looked at many times. “Oh, Jen he said. “I am so sorry.”

Murdo Girl…Living the dream, 35, Where did they go?

The two FBI Agents, followed by Kat, and Jack headed for Danfield. It was a two hour trip under the best of conditions, but the bad weather was sure to delay them.

f24b706184ed037b4e81dcf97f077a93.jpg

“You didn’t stay in touch with Jennifer’s family after she died, Jack? And the girls never mentioned their Aunt Annette?” Kat was curious as to how this could have happened.

“No, Kat. The girls were only four and six. I guess seeing their mother so badly burned and then learning she didn’t survive, traumatized them so much they blocked it all out. They didn’t remember anything about the trip or the fire. I didn’t realize that until I tried to question them after the funeral. I was grateful none of Jennifer’s family came or tried to reach us later. I didn’t even know about Annette. That’s why the whole time I worked with her, I didn’t know anything about her being Jennifer’s sister.”

“I hope Annette is still at the cafe when we get there. What did the police say when you called them, Jack?” They didn’t even know for sure if Mrs. Morris and the girls were at the cabin that was burning, Kat thought. The other scary thought was Vanessa and Alice were with a woman who was living in the past. Was she reliving the events that led up to her daughter’s death?“They said they had two policemen in the area and would let me know if they were able to find them… or anyone else in distress. The firetruck came back down a while ago. They found the cabin, but no one was there.”

It was going to be a very long drive.

Annette wanted to run! She didn’t want to be at the cafe when Jack arrived. Would Kat be with him? Where were the policemen who promised to come back and tell her when they found her mother and the girls?

The waitress, Sandy, looked over at the poor distraught young woman. What was her story, she wondered. She made a sandwich and took it to Annette’s table.

wp-15795743259583567264660956004074.jpg

“Here, eat this. You have been waiting here for hours. You must be hungry and even if you aren’t, eat it anyway.”

“Thank you.” Annette took a bite, but it stuck in her throat. She took a sip of water, and gave up trying to eat.

“I heard Pete and Carl, those two policemen who were in here tell you they would come back if they found your mother and the girls. I’ve known those two for years. They will find them, and they will be back. You can be sure of that. Now, eat that sandwich. It looks like the storm has let up.”

Sandy walked over to look out the window. “I told you they would be back.”

Annette rushed to the window. She saw the policemen, but there was no one with them. “They didn’t find my mother and the girls.” Annette rushed out to her car, started it up, and headed toward the road before the policeman could stop her.wp-15795738142308294075020442881849.jpg

“She must have gotten the word that her mother and the two girls are in the hospital. I guess we can go home, Carl,” Pete said,  “I’m ready for a hot meal.”

wp-15795748726394849185450239016805.jpg

Annette had made it within a few miles of the cabin when she got bogged down in the snow. She had hoped she would see her mother and the two girls in her mother’s car or walking. She couldn’t think about the possibility of them being injured in a fire.

She was about to get out of the car and continue to walk up the the mountain, when her phone rang. Surprised she had cell service now, it took her a minute to answer.

“I’m looking for an Annette Morris,” the voice on the other end said. “Do I have the right number?”

wp-15795739436612609388289050555411.jpg

Jack, and Kat pulled into the Roadside Cafe behind the two FBI agents.

The cafe was closed…

 

 

 

 

Murdo Girl…Living the dream, 33, A long night

Jack continued to stare at the three photographs on the coffee table. He had just learned that Annette had been his wife, Jennifer’s younger sister.

Jack would never forget the day he got the call telling him that Jennifer had been badly burned in a fire and was in grave condition in a little hospital in Danfield. Jennifer’s mother and stepfather were at the hospital with the girls. By the time Jack got there, Jennifer was gone. The police said it had been a terrible accident involving a fire that got out of hand at a picnic.

Jack had quickly made the arrangements to have his wife’s body brought back to Brewster and then he took his distraught daughters home.

As soon as the funeral arrangements had been made, Jack called Jennifer’s mother, but she was so consumed with grief, she couldn’t come to the phone. He asked the stepfather about the aunt Jennifer had lived with in Seattle and was told she was out of the country and couldn’t be reached.

Jack had always wondered why Jennifer, after all those years, had decided to take the girls to see her mother and stepfather. She hadn’t even mentioned Annette who hadn’t been at the hospital or the funeral.

Maybe he should have helped the girls remember. The truth is, he did want them to.

Jack was brought back to the present by something Kat was saying.

“Where does this leave us?” Kat asked. “I can’t think about what all these family connections might mean right now. The fact is we’re no closer to finding the girls.”

Jack’s phone was sitting on the coffee table near the photographs. Suddenly it rang, startling everyone in the room.

“Hello Jack. This is Annette. I know where the girls are. Oh Jack…I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. The girls are with my mother at our cabin nine miles from Danfield. At least they were. Jack, the police were following a fire truck up there. They said there is a cabin on fire in that location and there is a terrible storm that is getting worse. I have to go. Please get here as soon as you can. Come to the Roadside Cafe.”

With that, the phone went dead.

Vanessa was doing her best to keep moving. Poor Alice was moments from collapsing. She desperately wanted to lie down in the snow and sleep. The girls were both getting disoriented, but the lights were getting closer. It had to be Danfield. They surely had gone five miles since they saw the sign.

“Keep walking, Alice,” she said. “The lights are getting closer. We’re almost there.”

But it wasn’t Danfield they saw. It was a car. The driver rolled down the window and Vanessa could feel the warm air coming from the inside.

“Get in the car,” a voice said. “It’s nice and warm in here. I’ll help you both get in.”

The last thing Vanessa noticed before she drifted off to sleep is the smell of smoke. The last thing she heard was a voice whisper. “Why did you leave me?”

The policemen turned on their siren and headed for the Danfield Hospital.

Murdo Girl…Living the dream, 32. Can it be?

Stella stared at the photographs in front of her. The only people she thought she recognized were the two little girls in the white dresses. They looked like Jack’s daughters when they were younger. Then she looked more closely at the photograph that, because of the way the two ladies were dressed, must have been taken in the 50’s.

She was sure the one on the right was Miss Claire. She had no idea who the other lady was nor did she recognize the girls in the fancy dresses… though the one on the right looked familiar. Stella decided to put the photos in the “keep” box.

Maybe she should call Kat. Something didn’t seem right.

Annette was finishing up her third cup of coffee when two policemen walked into the cafe. The waitress met them at a table with two cups and a pot of coffee.

“What are you two doing up this way? You’re not going to try to make it any further up the mountain are you? The road must be getting pretty bad by now.”

“Well, Sandy, as a matter of fact, we’re just stopping by to fill our thermoses. A fire truck is on it’s way. A couple who live close to the top of the mountain were able to get through on their short-wave radio. They saw a lot of smoke coming from a cabin down below them. They seemed to think the cabin isn’t occupied by anyone, but we need to make sure.

The two men took their full thermoses, thanked the waitress, and headed to their car, just as the firetruck went by.

Annette threw some money on the table and ran out to try to catch the policemen.

“Stop! You have to take me with you! My mother and two young girls are in a cabin up there. What if it’s the one on fire?”

“I’m sorry lady,” the policeman said before he hopped in the car. “You’ll have to wait here. If it’s them, we’ll come back here to let you know the status. We might not be able to get that far, anyway…good thing we have chains on the tires.”

For a minute, Annette thought about getting in her car and trying to make it, but then thought better if it and went back inside. She had another thought.

“Do you have phone service?” She asked the waitress.

Vanessa and Alice could see lights ahead of them. They had walked so far and they were beyond cold. “Please, God help us make it to the lights,” Vanessa whispered. “Keep walking toward the lights, Alice.”

“I need to go to sleep, Vanessa. I can’t go any further. Please let me lie down and sleep.”

Back at Jack’s house, he and Kat were trying to pull the Truth or Consequences team together. They wanted each of them to fill everyone else in on what they knew about Annette Morris and her family. They had just gotten started when Kat got a phone call. It was Stella.

“I don’t know what it could possibly mean, but I’ve been up in the attic looking through some boxes. Your mother had a photograph of Jack’s daughters. I would say it was taken four or five years ago. There are some other pictures you might want to see as well.

“Okay, Stella. I’ll send someone to pick them up…thank you.”

When Kat got off the phone, she heard Carolyn say that Annette’s mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimers.

“That was a few years back,” Carolyn said. “I would be surprised if she’s still able to function alone.”

“Did you work with her, Carolyn, in your capacity as an Alzheimer’s advocate and volunteer?” Kat asked.

“No, but I met her once. She was with Annette and your mother. They were having lunch together.”

The doorbell rang and Jack went to answer it. Agent Black had gone to Kat’s and picked up the photographs from Stella. Jack took them and walked over to the coffee table so he could put them where everyone could see them.

“That looks like Annette’s mother,” Carolyn said. “And that’s your mother standing next to her isn’t it, Kat? It sure looks like a younger Claire.”

All the blood had drained from Jack’s face. “Those two little girls are my daughters. Why would Claire have this picture? She barely knew them.

I know who the other young girls are, too, though the photo must have been taken before Jennifer went to live with her aunt. That was long before I knew her, but it’s her. It’s the girl who became my wife. If you look closely, you’ll recognize the other girl.

“The other girl is Annette isn’t it, Jack? “Three sets of sisters.”

Kat said the words more to herself than to anyone else.

Murdo Girl…A new tailwagger

I might be getting up in years but birthdays never bothered me. As long as I can wag my tail, I’m as happy as can be.

My eyes can’t see you like they used to, but I can smell you anywhere. Have you seen how good I look, since I let them wash my hair?

I bet that I can find a quail and point to where I know he’ll be. When my hunting job is done, I hope that you will play with me.

20200112_125326

I really like my new home. I really liked my old one, too. I’m so grateful to my families… both the old one and the new.

My new humans changed my name. Don’t you think that’s kind of strange? They said it had to end with ie. I’m pretty old to make that change.

 I used to have a hen and a rooster. They both got in my doghouse. I kind of miss them now and then, but not enough to leave my couch.

Yup, I really can’t complain. I’ve had a good life overall. I know I have some good years left. Instead of birds, I’ll chase a ball.

Meet Lilie Dale aka Yipper. She’s a short haired German pointer.

Murdo Girl…Living the Dream, 31, The storm

“I’m cold and I’m scared,” Alice said as she and Vanessa trudged through the growing snow drifts. “How do we even know if we’re on the road? I can’t see anything.”

“We’re on the road,” Vanessa tried to assure her little sister. “I saw a sign about a half mile back that said Danfield is five miles ahead of us. It has to be a town. All we can do is keep going…and Alice…if you see car lights behind us, get off the road and hide. It could be Mrs. Morris.”

What the girls didn’t know was that Mrs. Morris wasn’t going anywhere right now. The loud noise that woke her in the night was from the explosion of a gas cylinder that was sitting just inside the kitchen door. It must have been leaking and a spark from the little heater she had turned on before going to bed, had started a fire.

gasss-696x348

Regardless, the fire was spreading fast and Edith Morris was so stunned, that at that moment, she didn’t have the presence of mind to get out.

Annette was on her way to the cabin and had made it as far as Danfield. She saw a little cafe on the side of the road and decided to pull in and wait out the storm with a hot cup of coffee. It probably wouldn’t be long before they closed the road to the cabin, anyway. She only hoped her mother and the girls were safe inside. It seemed that more and more her mother’s mind drifted back to the past and that was not a good place for her mind to be.

The last thing Annette wanted was to do harm to anyone. She only hoped to bring Jack Stein down a notch. She really didn’t care about Kat one way or the other. And then there was dear Aunt Claire. She died and left a mess for everyone else to clean up.

Jack and Kat left Kat’s house and went back to join the two FBI investigators at Jack’s home. They brought all of the files on the members of Project Truth or Consequences with them just in case. Stella was at her wits end. She was left there to take care of the two dogs and the house. To pass the time, she decided to go up in the attic and start to clean out some of Miss Claire’s boxes. It was a project she had planned to start weeks ago. The first thing she opened was a box of photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

Murdo Girl…Yram helps out Queen E.

Hi…I’m Yram Sicnarf, crack-up reporter from Gun Barrel City. I snagged an interview with Queen E. who has always been Mum, but recently, she’s  been a mum mum where Merry (Megan and Harry) are concerned. You can overeavesdrop on the interview.

Yram: So Queen E, how’s the world been treatin ya? I haven’t seen you since MG ran for Next Pres.

QE: Chip, Chip Cheerio, Yram…Too bad she didn’t get signed up in all fifty states. It could have made a difference. It sure was a fun campaign, though. I guess you know about my monarchy mess. Do you know how old I am Yram?

Yram: Don’t you?

QE: I’m 93…ninety plus three… Meg wants to do a voice-over for Disney. I was offered that part 69 years ago. I sure wish I would have taken it.

106330524-1578663883741gettyimages-1198421581

Yram: I’m pretty sure there’s been more than one. Say…why don’t give Meg a run for her money? You should audition for the part. Never give up on your daydream Queen E.

QE: You mean a run for MY money. I’ll do it. Do you mind if I call my agent?

Yram: Uh, no. When was the last time you talked to him?

QE: 69 years ago but I’m sure he’ll remember me. (Queen E dials the number. Someone answers. We only hear the Queen’s side of the conversation. “What do you mean he’s in the slammer?” The Queen hangs up the phone.) Well, Yram…YOU can get me that part. Cam can run things around here for a while.

images

“BUT I HAVE A HEADACHE!”

Yram: I’ll get Airy Airhart and Windy Berg to crank up the Cesna. Could you lay a few pounds on us, Queen E? We barely had enough gas to get over the pond, today.

Later

Windy: Well…It looks like we’re almost ready for take-off, Airy. All we have to do is wait for Yram and Queen E. to show up… and I still have to file my nails. Are you ready?”

Airy: I just have to put on my Jr. Pilot pin. I’ve had this thing since third grade. Yram said we’re going to Disneyland. Can we land on the Matterhorn? 

Windy: Sure, sounds like fun.

wp-1579052661865831475277244570008.jpg

We made it! Look! There’s Minnie and Mickey. “Will you get us out of here Mickey and Minnie?”

wp-15790534103293721516110680861009.jpg

“WHEEEEEEE”

 

wp-15790552986224644585803515195731.jpg

Yram: Excuse me sir…Can you please take me to see Walt Disney? He thinks his little Princess Elsa is cool, just wait until he gets a load of Queen E! She’s got this job in the bag. Have fun in Canada Merry!

Hey! What’s Lav doing in that hot-air balloon?

HOLLYWOOD…HERE WE COME!

 

 

Murdo Girl…Living the dream, 30, big news for Jack

While Vanessa and Alice searched in the darkness for the road that would take them to civilization, their father and Kat arrived at Kat’s house. They were trying to get more information about Annette Morris’ family. It was suspected that Annette had something to do with the disappearance of Jack’s two daughters. She appeared to have a grudge against both Jack and Kat and had been acting strange recently.

Kat recalled her mother giving her a folder for each participant in project Truth or Consequences. Until a few days ago, Annette had been a part of the group.

“Here it is,” Kat was holding an envelope with the name Annette Morris on it.

“Do you mind if I take a look at it, Kat? I’ve begun to realize that I know very little about Annette. I’m not even sure what an Art Therapist is. She was the most recent addition to the group, but I will say, she was becoming very effective.

It says here that her father died when she was very young. She was adopted by her mother’s second husband, but her older sister was not. The step-father’s name was Alfred Morris.”

“Wasn’t the older sister raised with Annette?” Kat was trying hard to piece this all together.

“No, she was estranged from her family and lived with an aunt in Seattle, WA.” Other than that, Jennifer isn’t mentioned again in this report.”

“Anything else that stands out to you? We really don’t have much to go on. I hope we’re not wasting our time. Even though Annette lied about her mother’s whereabouts when questioned by the FBI Agents, it doesn’t really confirm any of our suspicions.”

Jack gave the report one last glance and started to hand it back to Kat when something stood out to him. Whatever he saw caused him to look very distressed.

“What is wrong? Kat asked, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Not exactly. I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that Jennifer’s last name is the same as my late wife, Jennifer’s maiden name. It couldn’t be that my wife and the mother of my daughters was Annette Morris’ sister.”

Annette decided she should check on her mother and the girls. She was sure the two agents wouldn’t be back tonight. As she was driving to the cabin, it began to snow.

Mrs. Morris, who had fallen asleep in her room at the cabin, was startled awake by a loud noise. She quickly ran to the girls’ bedroom and discovered they were gone.

Murdo Girl…Living the dream, 29, Be brave

“Can we go back to the cabin?” Alice asked. “That fire is scaring me.”

The wind had come up and instead of letting the fire die down, Mrs. Morris had continued to stoke it and throw more pieces of firewood on it.

“We’re almost out of wood and we haven’t even had our picnic yet,” Vanessa said. “Would you like Alice and me to take the wagon back to the cabin and get some more? The walk isn’t that far.”

“No! Mrs. Morris’ was becoming aggitated. “We’ll eat now. The days are still short and it will be getting dark, soon. We’ll let the fire burn down some and then before we leave, you can help me put it out, Jennifer.”

“My name is not Jennifer, It’s Vanessa, and I’m not your daughter.”

This drew a stern look from Mrs. Morris. “Hush Jennifer, ” she said. By the way, I’ve decided you should go live with your aunt. You were always a daddy’s girl, and now that he’s gone. she can deal with you for a while. Now, let’s unpack this lunch and eat. I’m getting weary, and we should all be heading back to the cabin.”

Later that evening, after they all went to bed, Vanessa left Alice sleeping in their room, and tiptoed to listen at Mrs. Morris’ door. She dared to open it a crack and saw her in what appeared to be a deep sleep.

Back in their room, Vanessa woke her little sister and told her to hurry and dress. “We have to try and find our way to the main road,” she said. “Mrs. Morris won’t be keeping such a close watch on us tonight. The walk in the woods really tired her.”

Finding the road would not be easy. The girls had been blindfolded on the drive there. It was as black as coal outside and they had only been able to find one flashlight.

“Don’t worry, Alice,” Vanessa tried to reassure her little sister. “Daddy is looking for us and I’m sure he’ll find us, soon.”

Murdo Girl…Kitty Reynolds

Do you remember all of the times I wrote about Kitty Reynolds in my little Murdo Girl stories? When I gathered all of those stories about my memories of growing up in Murdo and put them in a book, I didn’t have a single picture of Kitty. Thanks to my cousin, Mark, I now have two. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the envelope and saw her again after fifty-four years. I was only fourteen when Kitty moved away.

My first memories of Kitty go back to before I started first grade. She made all of my Easter dresses, most of my school outfits, my baton twirler outfit, and my long red formal. She made countless dresses for several of the ladies in Murdo, including my mother. She also made clothes for quite a few other children in town.

Of course Kitty made the infamous twinsie skirts for Mom and me, the twirler dresses (I’m pretty sure she made those for the high school twirlers, too) and the long red formal. She made a pleated skirt which I had on in the photo with baby, Karen Lindquist. Under the skirt, I wore the petticoat Kitty made for me to wear under a yellow flower girl gown. I was going to be a flower girl in her granddaughter, Judy’s wedding. We thought I wasn’t going to be able to go, so the dress was given to another little girl, but I got to keep the petticoat, I think she made another one for the girl who replaced me. Lois Lilibridge was also a flower girl for Judy. Mom and I ended up going. I got to keep the white patent leather shoes, too.

I recall standing on a little stool in one of kitty’s upstair’s bedrooms while she pinned patterns on me. I was so excited when later she revealed the dress and I got to try it on right before she completed it. She was an extremely talented seamstress.

One of Judy Dykstra-Brown’s sisters had a costume party when she turned thirteen and Judy remembers the complete southern belle, ruffled, hoop-skirted, costume  (complete with picture hat) that Kitty Reynolds made for a friend, (Cheryl Lilibridge) to wear. It was made out of crepe paper! 

You can see the crepe paper dress second from the right in the background. Judy is Little Bo Peep. Isn’t she a cutie!
Some of the ladies Kitty played bridge with… First picture, from left, Harriet Parish, Mom, Elsa Peck and Florence Murphy…Second picture from left, Harriet Parish, Marce Lilibridge, Florence Murphy, Evie Johnson, and Mom. I believe Irma Sanderson was the photographer. 

Kitty was the first lady from the South I had ever known. I loved how she talked with her southern drawl. She dressed to the nines and wore heels even though one of her legs was shorter than the other. At least I think that’s why she walked with a distinct limp.

Anyway, Kitty was a favorite with all of the ladies in town. Between sewing, bridge playing, and going to their coffees, I’m sure she knew all of the latest gossip. She was a real hoot!

The Reynolds lived down the street from us (south of highway 16) and Kitty was one of the food swap ladies I wrote about. That’s what I called the ladies who traded the left-overs my brother had to take to everyone before we could eat our supper that night. Kitty’s specialty was ham and beans with crusty cornbread. She also made the best peach cobbler I had ever eaten before, or have eaten since. She made it with fresh peaches and homemade flaky pie crust, cut into little strips and layered inside the cobbler so you got a piece of crust with every bite. I can still see the big glass bowl she baked it in coming out of the oven in her little kitchen.

Kitty’s husband, Kelly, had a wooden leg that I was afraid of. Sometimes, when he came home from work, he would take it off and stand it in a corner by the door in the living room. Here I was, staring at this surprisingly real looking, fake leg, with a shoe and sock still on it. It looked to me like it could walk right off at any moment. I made Mom come with me when I had to go by it.

Kelly died very unexpectedly of a heart attack. One of Kitty’s daughters from Vernal, Utah came and took Kitty home to live with her. They left a day or so after the funeral. We went to Utah once to see Kitty and that was the last time we saw her before she died several years later.

The pictures below are the two my cousin, Mark Sanderson, sent to me. They were taken the day before Kitty left for Utah, in July of 1966.

I so fondly remember that lady.

Kitty Reynolds and Mark Sanderson
Kitty Reynolds – taken in July of 1966 at the home of Irma and Jeff Sanderson