It was a pleasant surprise when Marlyn Atkinson, son of my schoolmate Veryl Pare, called and said he would like to meet me at the Historium. My daughter Kris brought me in, and I enjoyed visiting with him. He and my son Marlyn are about the same age, and so were Veryl and I. We graduated from Gainesville High School in 1939, and in 1942, we had our boys and spelled their names Marlyn with a “y” after a young man we went to school with, Marlyn Herd. He was a good friend and schoolmate. Marlyn’s wife had an album of pictures they brought with them to the Historium, and we enjoyed sharing memories and seeing the photos. Marlyn’s mother married an Atkinson from Bakersfield. I’m looking forward to reading the story Janet Taber has written about the Marlyns in this week’s Times.
Watch out if your youngest daughter comes to clean off your table! Kris is a good cleaner-outer, but I have to keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t throw out any of my “treasures.”
Thanks to another family member, my granddaughter Dana, I can see outside much better now after she washed my windows recently.
Kris is still staying busy keeping my bird feeders full. She buys large sacks of seed at the farm store. Many birds are hungry this time of year, and those big red birds are still the pigs of the bunch. The feeder by my kitchen is emptied repeatedly.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all who read these items. I still have favorite Valentines from my school days, including one that was made for me by my brother-in-law Lloyd Adamson’s younger brother John in the 1930s. It’s still a treasure of mine because it is so pretty. The Adamsons were a family of artists who moved here from Oklahoma and lived in the Hardenville community. The Valentine John made for me all those years ago has a picture of a deck of cards on it with the queen of hearts on display. I think I was in the seventh grade when I received it. After Christmas was over, through January and early February, we kids were busy making Valentines. Exchanging those handmade greetings was a big item for us.
Monday we observe the Presidents Day holiday. Back in my day, we celebrated Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays separately, but we didn’t get the days off.
Growing up in Gainesville, I remember my mother talking about a group of people exploring the Bear Caves with kerosene lanterns on Sunday afternoons. I went in with a kerosene lantern myself once – after others had gone ahead of me to look out for the bats that clung to the ceiling and to crevices in the rocks. It was still scary, and best I remember, we only had one lantern. My, my!