IF WALLS COULD TALK: Remembering step-grandmother as a caregiver

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, there is so much for you to tell our faithful readers today! Where do you want to start? O.K., we’ll start with what happened to me this noon. First, I’ll say that my step-grandmother, Lucetta Russell, who lived on a farm in Sidney, had lost her first husband in a farm accident and, to earn funds for raising her own family, she offered to take care of state children. She was a wonderful caregiver, teacher, and the Waterville hospitals soon sent the babies to her as they waited to be adopted. Yes, and she and my grandfather, Lewis Whittier Russell, met and married. Along came a little boy named Johnny, who became the newlyweds’ pride. Well, time went on and Johnny became old enough for a haircut. Afterward, he said he had a “new head.”

Now, 75 years later, I had a haircut at Designs this noon and told Angie who cut my hair the story of Johnny and, thanks to her, I had a “new head.” Yes, it had been a long time since my going to Designs, but thank goodness for Angie who knew exactly what to do. She hadn’t forgotten what I liked. Well, that brings me to saying how wonderful Designs has been to me through the years.

Yes, the years since Mary Ellen Carpenter started and named the place where Mr. Merriam had lived. Who was Mr. Merriam? Well, he and his daughter and her son, Robert Hooper, who was in my class in school, lived there, as his name was really Rev. Merriam and that house was the Bethany Baptist Church Parsonage. And there is more, WALLS. Yup, my mom and dad were married by Rev. Merriam in front of the fireplace, which is in the same room that I got my “new head” thanks to Angie. My aunt and uncle, Pat and Birdena Mullen, where also married there. So, faithful readers, that is your history lesson for the day. Thank the owner of Designs for making the house one of fond memories for many reasons.

Oh, and Valentine’s Day is past, but hope yours was a very happy one!


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