Mary Blandford Goetz recalls: I do remember my maternal grandmother, who died in 1933, and the only thing I remember about my maternal grandfather was that when I was only 1 year old I was standing too close to an open grate and my dress caught on fire. Grandpa was sitting close by and he grabbed me and put out the blaze. I was not burned, thanks to him. I just remember that he had a mustache and a long beard. He died in May of that year, 1921. I never knew my paternal grandparents. My grandmother died in 1888 and my grandfather remarried and moved to Mayfield. We don’t know when he died, but I know it was long before I was born. I know he was a farmer, and his father before him also farmed. In fact, one of Papa’s uncles, Aquila Blandford, donated the land that Mount St.. Joseph is build on to the Ursuline Sisters. Papa’s dad, J.R.II, donated land for the Catholic Cemetery in Mayfield, KY.
I can remember mom telling me about Uncle Aquila donating that land to the Mount most of my life. I guess that’s why most of my life has been tied up with the Mount’s history.
Mary Blandford Goetz: John R., Vird and Leo were the only boys to be drafted into the Army in the early ’40’s. Both John and Vird were cooks. Leo was in the infantry. All three served in Europe during the entire siege. John had cooked at home before going into the army, but I guess Vird learned while there.
Marie Blandford Ward recalls: We went to Mass on Sundays in shifts — too many for one car load. While the first shift of boys were at church someone from the second shift would sew their pants legs together. Leo had Sister Edward for a teacher. She lived with Sister Eulalia (our aunt) and was like family. She was always teasing Leo about his curly hair. One time he wrapped up a real pig tail and gave it to her. One summer afternoon we wanted to make either ice cream or fudge. The boys were working on the farm, so Mary and Eleanor said they would milk the cow. They started out with Mary carrying the bucket and Eleanor carrying a stick, so there was no way a cow was going to let them come near. (Mary has said they chased the cow all around the pasture without any luck and that night it wouldn’t even give any milk!)
Another story I heard mom talk about quite often while I was growing up. To this day she is afraid of being around cows, so I’ve often wondered if they chased the cow or the cow chased them.
Mary Blandford Goetz recalls: As for Marie, the only thing I can think of that wouldn’t embarrass her too much is that she was so short she could easily run right under the dining room table and be out of sight in a flash. We used to call her “Wee Wee” instead of Marie. Since she was so small, the boys often carried her to and from the bus. It was about a two mile walk to the bus stop, which was long for her. And the boys found it easier to carry her than to walk slow at her pace.
Regina Wink Swinford: Uncle Vird told Aunt Marie who told me that when Uncle John was growing up there was a particular rooster who had it in for him. I asked his daughter, Mary, about it. She asked Uncle John. He said he remembered the rooster, but it was mean to all of them. One day he got it back though. When the rooster attacked Uncle John once while he was on his way out to the barn, John took the pail he had and whacked the rooster clear down the driveway. That was the last time the rooster bothered any of them.
Oh, the joys of growing up in the country. I loved it myself, and I’m pretty sure my kids did also. And even though she calls herself Regina now, she’ll always be Gina to me. See you tomorrow.