Six weeks before Judy was born, her father died in a car accident. So Judy and her mother moved in with her mother’s parents, Judy’s grandparents. Grandpa was the sheriff, and their home was the official sheriff’s residence. One of Judy’s household chores growing up was to serve meals to the inmates.
As a young boy, John’s grandfather had both legs amputated. His family wanted to put him on the street corner to sell pencils for the rest of his life. Grandfather had another plan. He held a raffle for a gold watch, which he didn’t have. When he made enough money on the raffle, he bought a gold watch — and a train ticket from his home in Arkansas to St. Louis to get prosthetic legs. Soon after, he found employment, starting in the company’s mailroom and working his way up.
Judy is a business acquaintance, and John’s wife is a friend of mine. I happened to hear both of these stories on the same day not long ago. I can only hope Judy and John have written them down with as much detail as they know, to preserve these interesting bits of family history. Even if they know no more than they shared with me, the stories are worth documenting. Stories need not be long to entertain or inspire.