Othelia’s Gift
My mother wanted to go to college to become a librarian, but after high school she had to work to help her family.  I received an email in 2013 from my cousin, Ken Stambaugh, that described an event that took place in the 1940s between my mother and her nephew, Ken. “Once upon a time in a life far behind, my parents and I visited you and your parents in Findlay for a day. They were raising collies, which were beautiful animals. I think I remember your mother asking me what books I read (this could be selective memory), a question to which I had no answer as I had yet to read a real book, there being none in my house and I in the fourth grade was unaware that I was suppose to read books. A few weeks later there arrived in the mail a package addressed to me. This in itself was a major event in my life; however, it was the contents of that package that changed my life. Inside were two books, well bound and thick. The titles were Lochinvar Luck and Lad of Sunny Bank by Albert Payson Terhune. I opened the cover and began to read...I loved it. Later I received Lassie Come Home, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, and Ivanhoe. Thus I began my love affair with books, which led me to college and a Social Science/English Literature Degree, which then propelled me on to Graduate School and later a career in publishing. During the last fifteen years I have been teaching college courses to the navy aboard ships all over the world, so that brings it full circle and if it hadn't been for your mother’s interest, and taking the time to send me something of value, I may and probably would have never experienced the adventures this journey has afforded. I also remember the clever and fun letters your mother used to send to my parents, who would laugh and laugh, so my aunt also brought joy to our house.”
Othelia’s Gift - Part 2
Below is a second email I received in 2016 from another cousin, Nola Stambaugh Weber, describing her “gift” from my mother in the 1950s. Again, I was unaware of this. We always had lots of books in our house. I was always reading, and my farorite was Heidi, a book I still have…….Marilyn “I, like Ken, was also the recipient of hand-me-down books from Othelia:  all the girl's classics of the time: Lad, A Dog; Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; the Elsie Dinsmore series (a very old-fashioned, moralistic series); and joy-of- joys--the Nancy Drew series.  So, although Othelia never became a working librarian, she influenced her daughters, Ken and me to become readers, and also my two younger Boatright cousins, Betty and Monalu Rainwater (born in 1953 and 1957), whom I passed the "Marilyn and Nancy" books on to. About once a year, or every 18 months, Mom, Dad, and I would drive from Bay City to Atlanta to visit Mom's sister Maxine and family, which was a long three-day trip.  Our first night on the road was at your house in Findlay.  That is when I received my "installments" of the Marilyn-and -Nancy books, thus saving Othelia some postage.  But the next morning we would get up early and have breakfast, and your Grandma would have packed us a wonderful lunch for the car, often including Girl Scout "Thin Mint" cookies, which I believe that she bought by the case because she couldn't say "no" to little girls in green uniforms, and which she kept in the freezer. So, truly, Othelia-the-librarian influenced a bunch of the cousins to become readers, and thus Nola Stambaugh Weber - 2016

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