Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
My grandparents, The Richardson’s, started out raising their family in Prairie Center, Kan.
Prairie Center was eventually absorbed by the Sunflower Ammunition Plant when the war efforts ramped up for World War II years and years ago. There is a small cemetery down a back road, behind a farmer’s field, that has many of my Richardson family relatives.
My Grandma and Grandpa moved to a farm north of 175th St. on Four Corners Road. Maybe on 167th St?
This farm is the one I have memories about. Big white farmhouse. Chickens in the coop. And lots of cousins around to play with.
I think after my youngest aunt got married and left home, they moved “into town” – living in a little house on West Park St.
Once again memories of lots of cousins and lots of fun.
My grandfather lost his sight in his 20’s to something they called “night blindness.” He loved to listen to the radio and loved baseball games.
My Grandmother would sit and read the Cappers Weekly to or the newspaper to him. He always knew when someone had entered the room. He also knew by the sound of our footsteps who it was.
I was lucky enough to get his paper cigar bands off his occasional cigar once in a while. I wore it proudly because it was from my grandpa.
My aunt lived with them and cared for them.
Women/daughters did that more in the past than today. I am sure it wasn’t an easy undertaking – watching your parent’s age and providing their care on a daily basis.
We only lived a block away, so once I was old enough, I could cross Main Street and walk over to visit them all by myself. The highlight of the trips by myself, was acquiring a cookie from the cookie jar that sat in their dining room.
Older cousins say on the farm, cookies were in a glass jar in the kitchen. However, the one I remember was shaped like a house. The roof was the lid and when it was lifted it played music.
It is so hard to be a small child and want a cookie knowing my Aunt Florence would hear the music and come to make sure I was careful with the lid. Plus limiting the number of cookies removed. But I remember that cookie jar.
I have recently started looking online to see if I can find a jar that would spark a memory of my grandparents and my aunt. Nothing seems to have jumped out at me so far.
I was right around 10 years old when they passed, so I may remember it incorrectly. I can still see my grandparents sitting in the living room and my aunt in the kitchen doorway. I can very plainly still hear their voices in my memory.
I will keep looking for the cookie jar.