Ninety-year-old Margaret was born in January of 1923. Today she lives in a residential home in Missouri. Living in Missouri her whole life, Margaret can still remember the days when she was young, running and playing by Buffalo Creek on the weekends, and on school days, crossing the bridge to reach her first grade schoolhouse, Orange School. When she was released from school, she would make the five-mile walk down and around the woods, then walk through the field and around the timber to avoid the gypsies.
In the 1920s people thought of the gypsies as being drunken men and women looking to stir up trouble. Margaret can still hear the strange noises coming from the woods as she passed by them everyday after school. She would walk fast in order to avoid any contact with the gypsies. Meanwhile, at her home, her younger sister, Ola May, and occasionally her older brother, William, would be doing their best to help their mother around the house. Her father wasn’t around very much because he was working most of the time as a bricklayer.
In the town where Margaret lived there were gatherings on Fridays, called Farmer Day Fridays. It was a party. Margaret said that most people just got drunk and rowdy, so she decided never to attend those parties. Instead, she would sit outside the building waiting for her friends so she could be their “designated driver.”
One night when she was sitting outside, a young man, who the people around town called Junior, started talking to Margaret. He asked, “Would you like to go inside with me?” She replied, “No, thank you.” Junior went inside by himself, but every Friday he would ask her the same question. Finally, she said “yes.” In Margaret’s eyes, this was the best night of her life. It was as if she was Cinderella and Junior was Prince Charming. They danced the night away, talking and laughing as if they were all alone. Come Monday, Margaret returned to high school and Junior went back to work. They continued their meetings on Farmer Day Fridays.
The summer of 1940 was approaching when Junior asked Margaret to run away with him. She was ecstatic but wanted to finish her high school education first. Once she graduated, Junior took her hand in marriage and would spend the rest of his life with her. Together they raised six children: James, Katherine, Steven, Margaret, Grace, and Ann. Junior passed away from cancer in 2006. In her last few years Margaret has also lost a brother and a sister to cancer.
In 2011, Ola May, Margaret’s sister, passed away suddenly in the same residential home in which Margaret resides. They were together when Ola May left this life. Margaret states that she herself is just living out the rest of her days until the good Lord takes her to her home sweet home, home to her family and friends.