Monday, December 14, 2009


My mother has been gone for several years now. Yet every year on December 14 her daughters remember that cold day in December when she died.

On my birthday in 1996, the year we lost my father, Mom gave sent a journal to me that was to be one of two. The second was never written. I want to share her memories with you. It is a story of another day and age, of a young Ruth who was different than the woman most knew. It was a time of children losing parents and parents losing babies. The events that lead partially to the woman I am began on the other side of the block from Neff Road. It began in 1912.

She wrote:

June 16, 1996
This is not a diary as I tried to jot down happenings. I was having a hard time writing. So I decided as things popped into my mind then I would write it as I remembered it. Some of it might be hard to piece together.

Neff Road July 30, 1912
I was told it was a very hot day and on my Pop and Mom's 58 acre farm near Red River, Ohio, I was born. The neighbors were there threshing wheat. The whole neighborhood always said to me, “I saw you the day you was born.” I never asked whether they dressed me before they showed me to everyone. Perhaps not!

My father is John Johnson, son of James S. and Paralee Langston Johnson, my grandmother. She died of blood poison before I was born. James S. died of old age.

My mother was Mettie Salley Besecker and her father was George Besecker who died when my mother was 4 years old. He liked his liquor to well. My grandmother Sara Steffy (Ernest, 2nd marriage) and my mother’s 2 sisters, Julie Eberwein, Pearl Kreider, her brother Clarence Besecker lived all their childhood with 3 bachelor uncles at Painter Creek, John, David and Mose Steffy. I loved to go to Steffy’s. Their the only ones I knew who took a newspaper with comics.

I’m sure I was terribly spoiled as two years before I was born my parents lost a little boy. His name was Emerson and died of meningitis at six months. My Aunt Pearl had two children to die soon after. Aunt Pearl was like a 2nd mother to me always keeping me and buying me things.

to be continued…………

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