Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Mary Memory 2

We lived in Green River until I was five years old.  We shopped for groceries at the West Side Market and I would go there with Mary and Mom.  Mary would give me a nickle and I would hurry back to the meat department and get a slice of cheese with it.  One day, Mary did not have a nickle so she gave me a dollar bill.  Not only did I get my piece of cheese, but I also got change.  From that day on, I didn't want a nickle.  I wanted paper money.

At the same time our Dad Mark was in the hospital in Rock Springs (about 15 miles from Green River).  Now you have to understand that I never recall Mary doing anything wrong....nothing.  But this one day, Mary decided instead of going to school she was going to catch the bus and go to Rock Springs to see Dad.  Mom didn't know about Mary's change of plans.  So Mary went to the bus station, bought her ticket and stepped  into the bus.  It seemed as though every seat was taken.  The bus driver told her to go to the back.....that there was a seat in the rear.  She made her way through the rows of people and found the empty seat.  Sitting in the seat next to it was our Mom. 

When I was eleven, I wanted to get a Christmas gift for Mary.  I went with Mom to the Kress store that used to be on Center street.  (It was also known as the five and dime store.)  Now, being poor, Mom always stressed the point that when we bought anything we needed to be sensible.  So I found a very sensible....very ugly white cotton slip.  The straps were about two inches wide and there was not a bit of lace on it anywhere.....but it was sensible.  Now Mary was beautiful.  She really should have received something more suitable but on Christmas Day I gave her my gift and she assured me it was just what she wanted.  A few days later, I slept over at her house and she let me know she had the slip on I had given her.  She made her eleven year old sister feel pretty wonderful.

Now as I mentioned, Mary seldom did anything wrong but her two twin sisters Emeline and Jearldine made up for it and it was up to Mary to ride herd on them.  One day, they had decided they had taken all they were going to take from a girl who had been bullying them.  Mary found them in an alley with the girl laying on the ground.  Emy had hold of her hands and Jerry had hold of her feet.  They had her stretched across the ally road waiting for a car to come and run over her.  Mary found them and made them let the girl go.  Dad had told Mary that she had a big responsibility because she had so many young sisters who looked up to her, so she had better set a good example.  I was blessed to have her as my sister and our Dad would be happy to know that even today, sixty years later, I still look up to her example.

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