Sunday, January 12, 2014

In Case Anything Should Ever Happen


If you’ve been reading along with me on these letters sent from Lummie Davis Moore to her younger brother Jack, you probably thought Lummie had brought the second letter to a close yesterday, when she signed off—unless you picked up a hint from her additional comment, post script, that “Friends and neighbors are taking care of everything at home.”

She wasn’t done there. In fact, it seemed hard for her to bring herself to a close, as she continued for two more pages. After all the confidence, the boasting of the certainty of faithful friends, and even the spunky spirit bemoaning the captivity of hospital confinement after hip surgery for an unfortunate fall, the fa├žade began to crumble at the point of signing off her second letter in May, 1962.

Somehow, so far removed from family in her retirement location in Phoenix, Arizona, perhaps in all those hours of solitude, Lummie had begun to wonder if all her doctor’s promises would indeed come to pass. She began to write doubtful phrases like, “in case anything should happen ever,” and to share contact information for people who “will always know” how she was doing.

Perhaps the Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Finly Lummie referred to were retirees, just as Lummie was. One for certain—Mrs. Finly—was a snowbird from, coincidentally, Columbus, where Lummie’s brother Jack and his wife were planning to return.

Jack’s return to Columbus seemed imminent at this point. Did Lummie fear losing contact with her brother just when her own health might turn for the worst? Of course, there was always her own daughter, Sarah Martha—whom I’m presuming she referred to in this letter, using the nickname “Babe”—but somehow, Lummie seemed to have a hesitation about being a “nuisance” to her own daughter. How much reading between the lines here might yield in further family information is hard to tell on this point.

With one last plea for her brother to remember to keep her posted on his new address, Lummie put the final close on her letter.

Jack am sending you an address + Telephone no—whom you can call at any time to find out about me in case anything should happen ever—She in turn has your name and will give her your new address—She is my near neighbor—and will always know just how things are with me.
            Mrs. O. K. Cook
            532 W. Georgia Ave.
            Tel AM 5-4605
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            Mrs. L. L. Finly
            3406 N. 38th St.
            Tel AM 5-2727
You met this lady in Columbus (Minnie)

Friends have been wonderful—One has wheel chair for me, another brought me adjustable crutches and cane at least ½ doz[en]—have been offered—So am fine don’t worry—Did I send you Brochure of this place where I am—If not let me know and I will send you one—I sent Babe one and just don’t remember if I sent you one or not—but will—Let me know of your move—
                                    Love
                                                Lumie

9 comments:

  1. It is interesting (to me) that the Roanoke address is on the river next to a couple nice looking parks and two HUGE rail yards!!!!

    http://goo.gl/maps/WoHgK

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    1. That's interesting, Iggy. I guess once a "Railroad Man," always a railroad man.

      I wonder if the address was part of a retirement complex that is no longer in existence. I can see my grandmother choosing to move to some place that can be characterized by "nice"--but not near rail yards!

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  2. I kind of chuckled at the name O K Cook. So I looked it up, Orlando K and Henrietta C Cook were long time residents of Arizona (he was a salesman of oil products).

    I didn't see L L Finly though.

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  3. Luther L and Minnie Finly (Finley in the US census) were from Missouri. I'm not sure how they met Jack in Ohio. :)

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    1. My only guess would be through rodeo??? Maybe Minnie had some of the ol' stage mom in her...

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  4. A museum exhibit for the sons of Luther L and Minnie Finley:

    http://www.westernmuseum.org/The-Finley-Boys-Arizonas-Royal-Family-of-Rodeo-W50.aspx

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    1. That's just fantastic, Iggy! And now you've got me on a roll! There's some more info on their sons here.

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  5. Just crossing her T's and dotting the i's...older people do that:)

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    1. Maybe so. But with that kind of set-up, I couldn't help but wonder, premonition?

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