Jim Robertson thumbed through one volume of stuff I’d written for our four
grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. Then, looking at the scribbled
title on the front cover, he said, “That’s what we’ll call it: ‘Granny’s
That was 156 Tuesdays ago! As we start the fourth year it seems appropriate
for me to repeat what Jim asked me to do in the first issue, “Sort of
introduce yourself.” Today, I’ll review -- in 600 words or less -- a busy
lifetime of fun and frolic, all spent here in Boone County, east of Columbia.
I was born at home, 16 months after my brother entered the world and that gave
Mom -- Nancy Henry Meyers -- two babies in diapers. Sitters were unknown, and
we went where Mom went. That included Olivet Church, about four miles away,
and Centralia, where Grandma and Grandpa Henry lived. We did that 23 miles in
the 1917 Model T dairy truck. Once a year we went to St. Charles to visit the
My memory is scant about things before fire destroyed our home but reinforced
by a few snapshots. I remember the chickens in the back yard that ran up when
Mom threw potato peelings to them, the blue ceiling of the living room -- blue
was to repel flies! -- and I remember that Dad had cut a hole and made a
“dumb waiter” between the kitchen and dining room so Mom could pass food and
dishes through, to save steps.
A snapshot shows me at age 2 in a dress, holding the driving lines of two big
horses. Dad had gone to get a cold drink and left the team ground hitched so I
grabbed the lines and pretended to be driving. I recall a grumpy Grandpa
Meyers who lived with us while Dad went to Sweeney’s automobile school in
Kansas City for four weeks~.
The big event in my preteen life was that Dad bought me a new Sears and
Roebuck bicycle for the astronomical price of $39.50, and I promised to work
for the rest of my life for no pay. He didn’t hold me to that. About once a
month our family of four went to a movie to see Charlie Chaplin or Fatty
Arbuckle. I learned the joy of accomplishment by rinsing milk bottles daily
for 25 cents per week.
In teen years I recall how awkward I felt in an Easter outfit: a frilly
organdy dress, white shoes and gloves and a wide-brimmed hat. Clothes never
meant much after that. My first boyfriend drove a rattling red and yellow
Model T Ford roadster. Once on a seven mile trip, we patched seven flat tires!
I met an MU engineering student, W.F. Gerard, in 1930, and we were married
seven years later. It was Depression time, and we courted in his broken-down
Pontiac truck. Chub and Dad owned Meyers and Gerard Dairy when milk sold for
eight cents per quart.
While Chub was in the service, I taught at Christian College. We bought land
from Dad and, later, relatives and friends helped us build a house of native
stone. Nancy and Walt were born there.
Along the way I enjoyed swimming, fishing, playing the fiddle for square
dances; working nights at Coronado Restaurant; and volunteering for Red Cross,
4-H, PTA and Olivet Church. I taught water sports, tennis, archery, life
saving and bicycling at the college -- 33 years -- and accompanied students on
three bicycle trips in Europe. With our Columbia Bike Club, I rode 100 miles
in one day -- eight different times.
Then I retired from teaching, discovered clay and met Jim Robertson. Is this a
life of fun and frolic? Absolutely!