she met her husband in england. she was going to school at oxford.
he was an artist for the bone china that staffordshire in england produced.
they married. and when she became a widow later, she moved back to
she went west alone and helped to build a “normal” school in the deep
piney woods. and then she taught in the school she built. children came
to school barefoot. they were poor. she always made sure they all ate
lunch. even if she had to provide it herself.
when i would go back to new york to visit my gram, we always had a
luncheon in mrs hancock’s one room apartment in an old victorian house.
the apartment had floor to ceiling gabled windows that looked out upon
the village street. her reading chair and a floor lamp were by one of those
windows. a little antique table stood nearby to hold her books and tea.
we ate the special lunch that was in my honor always, on tv trays that
had been a christmas gift one year from her sister jessie.
jessie came once a week on a bus from the city to visit mrs hancock.
they would play card games and eat and chatter until the bus came back.
mrs hancock served the delicious lunch on staffordshire bone china and the
tv trays with the pictures of flowers on them were set with sterling silver.
you had to ask mrs hancock to tell you about her past. she lived very much
in the present. she was interested in everything that was happening in the
world. she took two local papers and the weekend edition of the new york
times. she loved working the crossword puzzles! and she always checked
out what was on the bestseller lists of books and then ordered them from
the library to read. she read most all of them. all different kinds.
one day she was little. she was playing with her doll in the front yard.
a man appeared walking far up the lane. he got closer and closer.
she got scared. she ran and called her mama to come out.
the man got closer. he had a very bad limp. and he was carrying a
small trunk on his shoulder. suddenly she heard him call out . . .
“my little sweet potato! i’m home!”
the man was a union officer in the civil war. he was mrs hancock’s
my lovely beautiful wonderful ordinary friend, mrs anna hancock, was
105 years old when i met her.
a good one.