Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cindy’s Grandparents Johnson

Cindy’s grandparents lived in a small white house near Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Her grandfather’s name was Truman Johnson. He was a short statured man, built much like my granddad Miner. Truman’s nickname was King and that’ the name by which most people knew him. He loved to laugh, loved his garden, and loved to get his grandkids to comb his hair. He would pay them a nickel to do it. I believe that he worked in the coal mines and was retired by the time that I met him. He came from a large family, but supposedly the family moved west leaving him and his brother behind. His brother, Henry, was a carnival man and lived near Columbus Ohio. Cindy and her mom would make a trek out to visit him and his family as well as making a “school-clothes shopping run” to the J.C. Penny outlet.

Cindy’s grandmother, Mabel Agnes, had been a Hiltabitel. Her grandmother was Amanda, and that is where we got the name for our older daughter Amanda. (One of my great-grandmother’s name was Amanda as well.) Mabel also warned us if we used either of her names to name one of our girls that she’d be upset. She was a slender woman who kept her house spotless, but always welcomed people to visit, very friendly and pleasant. She had a candy dish on her dining room table that was filled with those pink, wintergreen flavored lozenges. One thing I never could understand. My wife said that Pepto Bismol made her sick, but she could suck on those wintergreen candies and enjoy them. She had Forsythia bushes that lined her driveway and she would tease my wife that they were named For-Cynthia bushes.
Her house was not very far from where my father-in-law Bud and Retha lived. Bud always teased that his Mabel snooped on them and he was glad their bedroom was on the opposite side of the house. After Mabel moved to a nursing home, Bud found a pair of binoculars in her kitchen, near the window with the best view of Bud’s place and said that confirmed that she watched them. In her defense, there were birds and animals that frequented her backyard. Now the funniest part of this “snooping” story is that when Bud died, he was laid to rest in the cemetery plot right next to Mabel Agnes and his body will spend eternity beside her.

Mabel passed away at the ripe-old age of ninety-three, still loving to have her hair curled and done just-so. We have photos of her with a party hat and a birthday cake of her and her cake on her 90th birthday.

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