Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mary Was Her Name

Today is my grandmother’s funeral. She passed away last week, Thursday. She died of nothing more than that her earthly body was simply done.

I will miss her. She loved me every moment of my 36 years and I knew it.

Rather than go into all the reasons why I love her, I just want to share with you the biography of her I wrote when I was in 7th grade. I will not make any regretful statements about my 7th grade writing. It is what it is. (I did not change anything except one spelling. The rest: proper noun spelling, punctuation, verb tenses, etc. are all exactly as I wrote them in my final copy.)

“Mary Was Her Name” by Mindy Soash, 1987

In the city of Escondido, California, July 22, 1922, was born a little girl. her parents were a very happy couple because this was their first child. Later on, the young girl would become a sister to Marjorie Algood. Her name is Mary Elenor Zickefoose.

Mary’s parents, Ethel and Clinton Z. were very loving. They gave her and her sister everything they could. Her father worked on farms as a handy man. Mary’s mother washed and ironed mainly. While her parents worked, she and Marjorie would be playing or fighting like “cats and dogs”.

Everyone has a nickname. In her case, she had two. In high school they called her “Zicke”. She just ignored them. Her Uncle Arthur called Mary “Mollie” after her grandmother. Also she had every kind of illness from measles to scarlet fever. That includes chicken pox, whooping cough, poison ivy, everything but the mumps.

Growing up never was and never will be easy. Mary started walking to school at age five. This procedure continued until she was seventeen and graduated in 1942. There was a party but she did not attend. kindergarten through eighth grade were in one school; ninth grade through twelfth were in a school across town. There were approximately twenty to thirty kids in Mary’s class.

Everybody had subject in school. Like everybody else, Mary had no choice in grade school which classes she was going to take. In high school she took art, and Spanish as her extra curricular activities. Mary’s favorite subject was art. She did “average” in school. Her best subjects were reading, history while here arithmetic and spelling were not doing so well. Mary had “tons” of homework.

Most teachers punish their students for doing something bad. Unfortunately so did Mary’s. The kids would stand in the corner, some got hit with a yardstick, and others stayed in for recess or after school for an hour or so. One of Mary’s teachers pinched them. She can remember a time when she was sent to the cloak room. Mary had known that you should never laugh at anyone that had less than you. There were these two orphan boys that never had handkerchiefs. When they wanted to blow their nose they would go to the trash barrel and get some paper. when the boys would blow it sounded like a freight train coming through. Mary could not stop laughing.

Mary’s family would eat mostly staple foods- meat, gravy, potatoes, cornbread, and beans. That was about all they had. Once in a great while they would go out to eat or get a bag of candy.

Money was scarce in those times. Mary thought by getting a nickel she was a millionaire. In those days a dollar bill was a lot of money. The wages were very low. She would get allowances of five cents, one cent or maybe nothing at all. If she went to the county fair, she might get twenty-five cents. Big candy bars might cost a penny or a nickel. For a huge bag of penny candy you would pay five cents. A good pair of shoes cost twenty-five or fifty cents. Mary bought many dresses for a dollar.

Mary had crushes on boys but none was quite like Vernal Juel. They met each other on a blind date, which struck a romance. They were married on March 17, 1946. Their was small. Only their mother and father, the minster and his wife and daughter attended. Later they had two children, Linda Marie Juel Soash Hennings and Robert Juel. Mary didn’t think she raised her children any different except she gave them more freedom. She now has five grandchildren. The good thing about having grandchildren is that you can do for them what you can’t do for your own.


  1. So sorry for your loss. My grandma is gone six years now. I feel your pain. The story you wrote is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings, SusanD

  2. So sorry for your loss... we just lost my grandpa this weekend and understand completely how you are feeling.

  3. I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. I enjoyed reading that, Mindy. Thanks. Mary is missed very much!


Thanks for reading. Kind comments are always welcomed!