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Mary and Annie Albers
Ironic how some people of no great renown can tug at your memories. Mary and Annie were two maidens who lived in the neighborhood. To the best of my knowledge, they were full sisters living as old maids. They lived in a time when divorce was first cousin to murder, especially in the church. They were about 62-64 years old when I first knew them. They lived a block and a half from the St. Joe Church, east that is. Why they were old maids is beyond my reason. I do remember them being very quiet and reclusive. This is not to say they were unfriendly.
Life was hard in the thirties; jobs were scarce and money almost non-existent. Everyone had to find a way to make it through life. It would happen that these two ladies owned a milk cow. They had a small barn behind their home and garden. Mary would be the one to milk the cow and take her to pasture – a short two blocks from the barn. Annie would then bottle the milk and put it in her basket for delivery to the neighbors. Again, these ladies seemed to be very reclusive. A block and a half to church and a two-block walk to the little store was just about all the world they knew.
About my only experience with them was in the very wet year of 1935, my brother Donald and I helped them pull a little red wagon loaded with turnips off the muddy bottom. I should say our old pony – Pet did the pulling. Otherwise only when Mary would bring her cow to our place for breeding. The girls were great gardeners. They were experts at growing muskmelons. My brother and I might sell them a gunny sack of corn cobs once in a while, and I do remember them buying Cloverine salve from us time to time.
The Alber girls were the quiet type. They were hardworking people. If they had local relations, I never knew it. I do not know when they passed. It happened after I married and left. As far as I know, the book was closed when they passed. I do know Mary and Anne added a little color and a paragraph in my life, and I’m sure in the lives of others.
-Contributed by Bill Lewis