May 15, 2009

After Dad passed away Mother kept a loaded pistol in her bedside table.  She was fully capable of using it as Dad had taught her how to shoot, clean and care for it.  One night a guy who was living with a neighbor called the sheriff and told him Mother had been shooting at him.  Mother was in her 80s at the time and not in the habit of using the gun at all.  However, she had told her family that if anyone came into the house at night not to come into her bedroom without knocking if they didn’t want to be shot.

On this night two police cars came up the drive and knocked on her door at 9:30. When she answered it they asked if she owned and gun and could they inspect it.  She showed them the drawer, they removed the gun, dismantled it, determined there had been no shots fired recently and left, with the gun still dismantled in the middle of her bed.  My sister, Janet, who lived next door, saw the ruckus and came over just in time to see the cars leave.  Mother told her what happened and Janet stormed into her bedroom expecting to see the gun still dismantled on the bed.  Instead, Mother had calmly reassembled it and put it back in the drawer.  Not bad for an old woman.  Needless to say, the Sheriff’s department got a call from a very indignant daughter.

Even though Mother had four first names, her nickname was Bobbie.  That name stuck with her all her life.  She was on the baseball team with Dad and was reputed to be the best catcher they ever had.  She could put two fingers in her mouth and whistle so loud she could be heard across an 80-acre field and the kids knew that whistle meant we were wanted in the house.  She was a voracious reader and kept a prayer list in her Bible and she sometimes threatened to take a Preacher off that list if she disagreed with him.

One day Mother was reading the Lafayette paper and saw an article about the death of the last daughter of a civil war veteran in Indiana.  “Hmph!” was Mother’s reaction. “She was not!” and she sat down and wrote to the paper informing them she was still living and her father had, indeed, served in the Civil war.  The paper sent out a reporter and she got her own story in the paper.  You didn’t mess with Bobbie.