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Reclaimed Memories

1969 - Beth




roy's appointment book was dropped in the water and the ink, especially in the first half of the book, ran so badly that not much of it can be deciphered.

One event that I am sure Troy would want me to note is that on January 30th of this year Stark and Vera Shomo arrived from Parkersburg. They spent their honeymoon with us in Winter Park. Stark was Troy's best boyhood friend. They graduated in the same class from Belington High School. After his mother's death Troy spent much of the time with the Shomo family. They had eight children but did not seem to mind having another boy to feed frequently. Stark and Vera had both lost their first mates and were active in the same church in Parkersburg. We tried to see that their honeymoon was a happy one.

It was to our house in Vienna that Stark and his first wife came until they could get settled in Parkersburg. There was only three days difference in the ages of Marion and their only child, Joan. The children were two at that time and we have cute kodak pictures of the two of them together.

This was the year that we took Beth with us on our vacation. We did not leave Winter Park until 1:40 in the afternoon of Sunday, July 20th. We kept the radio on all day. We, along with the rest of the world, were keeping track of the progress of Apollo 11, as it flew toward man's first landing on the moon.

We were very anxious to find a motel with a TV in time to witness the exciting event. We stopped at the Hodges Motel in Claxton, Georgia and paid the $10.30 charge for a barely adequate room, but we were afraid to venture farther. We did not want to miss the biggest happening of the year!

After we settled in the room Beth just could not stay awake for any length of time. She was not yet ten years old, but we did not want her to miss the moon walk of Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin. We woke her up before the actual landing took place. I wonder how much she really remembers of that event that sent shivers coursing up and down the spines of millions who watched it, and heard the first words ever uttered by a man on the moon, as Neil Armstrong exclaimed, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

In May of 1961 John Kennedy had challenged the nation to be the first to land a man on the moon. In 1957 there was talk and a lot of speculation going on about what we might be able to accomplish in space, but reaching the moon just seemed too spectacular to ever take place in my lifetime! I made the remark to another fourth grade teacher at Keister School in Harrisonburg, that I hoped I would live long enough to see that event. She said, "Do you really think that will ever happen?" I replied, "Yes, I think it will, but we probably will not live long enough to see it." She said very emphatically, "It will never happen! God would not allow it!" That shut me up. How could I argue with someone who seemed to know so much about what God would allow or not allow!

It was a little after 10:30 p.m. when the "Eagle,' the name of the landing craft sat down on the lunar surface. Edwin Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong down the ladder, about fifteen minutes after Neal sat foot on the moon. It was great seeing the two men bounce around gathering their rock and din samples to bring back to the earth for analysis. They left some of their equipment on the moon, along with "Old Glory," which had been stiffened to fly. Fastened to one leg of the landing gear was a plaque which read "Here men from Planet Earth first set foot on the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

It is sad that President Kennedy was cut down by an assassin's bullet on November 22, 1963, and did not live to see his dream realized. Jonathon was one year old that day.

The moon landing was the eleventh flight of the Apollo space program. It was certainly the greatest adventure of all time. I remember how excited all of us were at Orange Ridge School in Bradenton, Florida, when the principal asked, over the public address system, all teachers to bring their classes to the auditorium to see the splashdown of John Glenn, a much less spectacular feat! The Russians were away ahead of the United States in space exploration. Glenn was the first American to be put in orbit. He had been in his capsule five hours and had orbited the earth three times. The date was February 20, 1962. Mr. Patterson announced to the children after the landing, "You have witnessed history made."

When we reached our home in Singers Glen our neighbors were waiting for us. And before we got into the house they said there was a death message for us, from my sister, Ruby, in Elizabeth, W. Va. We did not get to the Glen until 7:30 p.m. Of course I called Ruby immediately and learned that her little four year old grandson, David Belt, had drowned on the 19th. Her son, Roscoe, was the father of five girls but David was his only biological son. He had an older stepson, whom he regarded as his own. But David's tragic death was very traumatic for all the family. We left the Glen at 5:30 the next morning and arrived at Ruby's at 10:50. The funeral was that afternoon. We stayed with Ruby two more days before returning to the Glen.

On Sunday, July 27th we drove again over the eight mountain ranges between Shenandoah Valley and Elkins, West Virginia, to attend what we ordinarily think of as the "big" Brady reunion. This was a get-together of the descendents of Troy's grandparents, not just those of his father’s family. It was held in the former United Brethren Church in Junior. Aside from visiting, eating and conversation we had fun watching the family moving pictures, taken at a former reunion many years previously. Roy Brady had taken them and it was enjoyable seeing ourselves as we were twenty or twenty-five years ago. Once Beth exclaimed "Look! There's Mother Brady and she has dark hair." Troy preached before we ate, using the subject, "People of God's Delight," from the text in Luke 12:32. We went home with Bland and Helen to Weston and Troy preached for Bland the next morning, in the Broad Street Church. We did not return to the Glen until late the next day.

We worked most of the next three days on the woodwork in the living room and the bedrooms. Zylpha came over the last day of the month and we all went to Endless Caverns. Zylpha left at 3:15 p.m. We had 3.7 inches of rain that day and it flooded our neighbor’s basement. They were not at home and we saw a regular stream running down the outside steps into the excavated area. We were afraid the rain had polluted our water, so the next day we went to the doctor in Dayton and the three of us had typhoid shots. Later that day we went to Martinsburg to visit Louise and Chris Angelo.

We spent a lot of time painting this year; roof, outside trim and some on the inside. We have a picture of Beth painting the big door on the little building, we were then using for storage.

On August 13th we started for Akron, stopping for our usual overnight visit with Jim and Helen Smith. We visited in Akron until the morning of the 17th and arrived home at the Glen that night. We left the next day for Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, so Troy could attend the Board of Evangelism meeting being held there.

We left Lake Junaluska on the 21st and stopped overnight with my niece and her family in Smyrna, Georgia. Cindy was less than a month older than Beth and the two girls enjoyed playing together. Keith teased the little girls, much to their disgust. Timmy was a tiny baby at this time.

We arrived home the next day and resumed our usual routine, happy in the knowledge that we had accomplished so much at the Glen.

In 1969 Troy married our grandson, Lanny, to Sally Ann Miller at Lanny’s parents' home in Titusville on the last day of August. Some of the '60's will have to come under the next segment.


NEXT - THE SEVENTIES


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