Company's Comin'

  I will now write something about company coming to our house and to my Bowser grandparents's. Ours came for a day, but theirs came for a week or more. Of course when they came to visit my grandfather and grandmother the visitors spent some time with us. These were pleasant time for me, to listen to the stories and other news.

  I will talk of our visitors first. There was "Duck Ray", an itinerant wanderer in the community, and who knows where else. He would drop by singing, and visit for a while. I was scared of him because he had only one arm. And that can be frightening to a four-year-old.

  Then there was Harry Smith who seemed to be a real hobo. He would leave Grammy Nofsker's house telling them that he was headed for Harrisburg or some other point, only to come to our house and have another breakfast. (More about Grammy Nofsker later.) Harry was a distant relative of my dad. He had a lot of stories to tell but I can remember only one. It seems that he was in Hollidaysburg and started home over what we called "the ridge". He got sleepy and decided to lay down on the grass alongside the road and take a nap. He got awake later in the morning and could not see anything, then he stirred around and found it had snowed six inches while he was asleep. Tall story? You are the judge, I'm only telling the story of what I heard.

  So much for our visitors. The Bowsers had a different type. As I mentioned before, their visitors usually stayed for a week or more. There was Elmer Ebersole. Everyone called him Uncle Elmer, whether or not they were related to him. He worked up on Sproul Mountain on a little narrow gauge railroad that hauled stone down to the brickyard. The stone was ground into dust in order to make bricks. Uncle Elmer was an interesting person to me because he seemed to be ageless. He would walk from his little house in "Flitchville" to our house, a distance of about fifteen miles. He would spend several days with us, and mother would make special meals when he was there. He would soon say, " I guess it is time to go back to Flitch". He would walk back home. In later years, he came and stayed with us, but he did not walk. He would call, and Dollie would go and get him. Then we'd take him back home when he wanted to go. He always took a lot of medicine. He kept all the pills in one big jar and would go by the color to know which ones to take. One time Dollie went after Uncle Elmer, and everything seemed to be in readiness. But when they got down to our house, Uncle Elmer suddenly remembered that he forgot his pill bottle, so they had to turn around and go back out to his house for his pills.

  I spoke before about Olive Ebersole and her children coming to visit my grandparents for a week or two. Leora was about my age and Donald was younger. We cleaned out an old chicken coop that was not used any longer, so that we would have a playhouse. We scrubbed and scrubbed, but the chicken manure smell never did leave. My grandfather got a big laugh out of that. Albert had a friend, Gerald Patton, that was interested in antiques and he bought several from my grandparents. Later on, he became a successful dealer in Duncansville. Albert was usually with him because he was older than we kids were. The Ebersoles would also visit my family for a few hours when they made a visit to my grandparents'.

  Then there was Aunt Tillie. Her Christian name was Matilda Albright. She rarely came to visit us, but spent most of her time with my grandmother helping her to make quilts and other things. I remember her as a very prim person with whom you would not want to joke. In later years she became a housekeeper for a gentleman in Newry.