Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Small World

How can an 85 year old person have childhood memories?

You’d be surprised!

I guess I wondered about that too, until I began writing down these thoughts for the last 7 months, posting them here, (85 of them now) and then, “running into” someone from my past.

Well, not really MY past, but someone who KNEW someone I knew in the past, and………well, let me elucidate.

I mentioned previously that Jean and I first moved into The Grand Court here in 2005. We lived here until the end of September 2007, when Jean’s health suggested to John and Tonya that we should move in with them in Northwest Indiana.

We did.

Shortly before we moved, there was a lady who moved in here, who had actually returned after a previous stay. I never learned her name, and I doubt if she knew ours. I just saw her in the hallways and the dining room. I guess we spoke as we passed, but no further contact. After all, there are more than 70 residents here.

Fast forward to this past February.

When Jean passed away last October, events at that time encouraged me to consider going out on my own, and returning to Springfield, and The Grand Court. On last February 21, I moved in.

I shortly saw this same lady in the hallway, who was moving from one room/apartment to another - down the hall from me. I said “hello”, I guess.

Since I’m such a loud mouth, I’ve mentioned at different times (to no one in particular), that I was not originally from Springfield, but rather, from the rather nondescript little village of Mechanicsburg. At times also, my name became known among the residents. (Who wouldn’t know the name of the local “blabbermouth”?)

After being here about 3 months this time, and then after one of the daily Exercise programs one morning, this lady came up to me and said,

“You’re from Mechanicsburg?”

“Sure enough”, I said.

“Well, I knew your dad who owned the Hardware Store there.”

What?!! She knew my dad? (And about a dozen or more OTHER people that I had also known, I found out.)

“Amazing!”, I said. “Actually, my dad WORKED in the Hardware Store for Will Hunter, at $25 a week. Whom else do you know? And, do we actually know each other?”

I found out that her name is Lora Damewood, and her maiden name was McQuirt. Still couldn’t remember her. And, she couldn’t actually remember me, but she knew people I knew.

“Did you attend Mechanicsburg High School?”, I said.

“No, I went to the Catawba schools.”

“Did you know Harvey Haddix?”, I replied.

“Yes I did.”

“I remember when he was in High School at Catawba that I saw him pitch baseball, and his brother Ben was his catcher”, I bragged.

“I knew his other brother. I think he’s still living, in southern Ohio.”

Why didn’t I remember her? I could almost remember her maiden name, but couldn’t put a handle on who she was.

“Where did you live?”, I said.

“On Davidson road, just southwest of Mechanicsburg.”

(I later found out from my sister-in-law Doris that Lora's house on Davidson Road was just BARELY out of the Mechanicsburg School District.)

I think the “kicker” on why we didn’t actually know each other is that she is about 7 years older than I. We traveled in different “circles”. And, she didn’t know my sister-in-law (twice removed), since Doris was 12 years younger than Lora.

“Did you know Kenny Davisson”, I said.

“Sure. He lived nearly across the road from us.”

I ventured further - “His wife was a Griffin, I believe.”

“Yes. Her name was VonCella.”

“Right. Her brother Bob Griffin was a class mate of mine, and friend.” (I knew he had since passed away.)

“Bob was married to my sister.”

She added, “Their dad, Foster Griffin, had a Barber Shop down under the Anderson Hotel in Mechanicsburg.”


Small world?

“How about the Lucketts?”, I said.

“Yes, I knew Earl and Mrs. Luckett, as well as their oldest daughter, Ola.”

“You knew that Earl was killed on a curve on SR 187, not far from John T. Brown’s house?”


“My wife’s brother - George Anderson - married Doris Luckett, and they went to housekeeping on Davidson Road, just south of the Luckett house”, I added.

Lora - “I saw Ola, the oldest Luckett girl in the Champaign County Hospital in Urbana one time, when she brought in her mother, Mrs. Luckett. I was a Nurse there. But I don‘t remember Doris.”

(Doris later told me that she remembered Lora Damewood and her husband when they used to come in the office of Dr. R.K. Smith, where she was the receptionist.)

Me - “I conducted Mrs. Luckett’s funeral a few years ago.”

Small world?

She couldn’t place THIS Anderson clan, but knew Dick Anderson, at the Farmers Bank in the “Burg”. (No relation to Jean’s family.) And, Wallace McCoy, his father-in-law, who was the head of the Bank for many years. She also remembered Wallace drove a Chevrolet Convertible, when I asked her.

“Dick Anderson was in my 1942 graduating class at Mechanicsburg”, I added.

I ventured further: “Did you know the Goodfellows?”


“How about Philip Bumgardner?”

She replied, “Yes. They lived on the Catawba Road, as did Gene Goodfellow.”

“Gene Goodfellow was in my graduating class.”

I had another thought:

“Philip Bumgardner married Nellie Marie Bean, whose dad had the meat shop across the alley from the Farmers Bank.”

“I remember”, she said. “I was thinking it was a grocery.”

“How about Smith’s Drugstore, run by Roscoe Smith.”


I bragged, “Roscoe had a twin brother named Ross, and they played High School basketball at Tipp City.”

Glory be! She didn’t know that.

This went on and on, and is STILL going on. I don’t think we have exhausted the names we both knew. She and I - as well as Doris - think it’s a good thing for us old timers to reminisce this way. It’s good for our brains.

But………we’d NEVER even heard of each other - until just now.


It’s a small world after all.

Hey. That would make for a good song title, I think.

Oh………..there IS a song with that title?



kelly said...

85 posts already? Wow, Grandpa!
I'm so thankful that you are documenting all of your memories. Thank you for sharing with us!

Jill said...

I bet you might know my dad, Richard Silvers, or his brother, Bill, or sister, Dorothy. They all went to Catawba. My uncle, Harold Westfall, was from Mechanicsburg. Dad lived on Davidson Road, too. He played ball with Harv and his brothers. They had a really good team back in the mid-40's.

Grandpa Mike said...


Thanks for your posting.

I knew Harold Middleton, and his mother, who owned a creamery in the 'Burg.

Lora McQuirt Damewood saw your picture, and read your note. She knew your dad, uncle and aunt. You read about her on "Small World".

Grandpa Mike said...


Thanks for your posting.

I knew Harold Middleton, and his mother, who owned a creamery in the 'Burg.

Lora McQuirt Damewood saw your picture, and read your note. She knew your dad, uncle and aunt. You read about her on "Small World".