Last week the column was dedicated to those dear, departed souls to whom the writer feels indebted. May I continue this week? If, in my late teens, I learned to soften my tomboy voice a little, it was because I admired so much the quiet manner and velvet voices of the Robinson brothers, James R. and W.E. Mr. James was the perfect undertaker. When my beloved pupil, Ila Marts, of Nowrytown, died of diphtheria, I was deeply impressed by the unswerving faith of her heartbroken parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Marts. Only true Christians can and do say, "Thy will be done." Again their faith was put to the test, when the nephew they raised as their own, died in an English hospital while he was in the service of his country. Mrs. "Bob" Woodend, the "Colonel's lady," has always been my ideal soldier's wife, accepting the loneliness, the danger, and the suspense like the thoroughbred that she is.
Miss Florence Kiebler exemplifies the perfect nurse. Nursing Cousin Ellis through a serious post-operative illness in our home, she was not only a splendid nurse, but she had (and has) the gift of adapting herself to any condition, putting everyone at ease, giving the whole household a sense of well-being. Minnise Hobaugh McPhilimy taught me to love good literature, and by her patience and conscientious work created in me a desire to be a school-teacher. Bess Walker (now Mrs. Bess Martin), though very young when teaching our country school No. 5, had the vision and the intestinal fortitude to take the money lying idle from former box socials, and buy us an organ, and teach us all the lovely old hymns and folk songs. Some day the law is going to be changed about "age limits" for teachers. I would be willing to wager that Besse Martin, ever young at heart, is at her teaching best right now. My hat is off to a gallant widow! When Anna Atkinson gets to Heaven (and if she behaves herself from here on - I'm sure she will) the angels will give her, not only a star for her teaching, but an orchid for her devotion to her widowed mother. I envy Miss Maude Ewing her wide-spread and lasting influence on little children, now grown, who, as they took their first steps out into the big world away from home, learned from her that this is a beautiful world and also one of law and order. Her sister, Olive (Mrs. Samuel Robinson), would be my very favorite receptionist. I learned, in one golden evening, from the late Mrs. Hugh Jackson, when she and other mothers entertained the Saltsburg teachers, the kind of hostess I would like to be.
The list is endless. Maybe I am being unfair to those I cannot or dare not name. My old pupils, for instance. I learned so much from them. And the close and dear relatives and friends; their love and loyalty are priceless gifts. Looking back over the years, I must make acknowledgment to two of my Sabbath School teachers, Mrs. Jennie Coleman and Miss Margaret Hart, of Conemaugh church, and Miss Margaret's father, Thomas Hart, our incomparable superintendent of the Sabbath School. Rev. W.E. Copeland, of that church, will remain my most helpful minister. In the desire to grow I would draw on the spirituality of the late Mrs. Simon Hine, the graciousness of Mabel Ansley Murphy, the unselfish loyalty of Dell McQuiston Harmon, and her sister Virginia, to Saltsburg and its citizens, and the superb inner strength of those who gave their dearest treasures to the cause for peace.
In closing I would like to give Mr. Walker a medal for his unfailing courtesy, no matter what the request. I am sure we all appreciate his "temperance in all things," so that he keeps physically and mentally fit through the long - and sometimes thankless - grind. Long may he live!
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 1/20/49 - The Vale of Kashmir
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