Memories from Mary Anne Zeitler
Mom was shopping in Butler and jay-walked at the main intersection where there was a police officer standing in the middle directing traffic. He blew his whistle at her. Mom said, “I hope you choke on that God-damn whistle”. He then wrote her up and she had to pay a fine. She often told this story and laughed every time!
As John wrote in the biography, Mom was very concerned about our education. She loved to play Scrabble and would set up the game on the kitchen table and play with us as kids as she ironed. I remember the plastic laundry basket filled with dampened and rolled clothes and how she would stop ironing when it was her turn. She wanted us to always spell words correctly and would make up spelling games. I remember her offering a quarter to the first one of the four us who spelled “squirrel” correctly. Den won!
Mom read to us long before the importance of reading to children was confirmed. She would sit on the step into our room and read a chapter every night to Dennis and me. I remember her reading Heidi, The Little Prince, etc. She had an old book of poetry she read to us, too. Her favorite was “Abou Ben Adhem” and we memorized it and would recite it to each other. She also made certain I had a library card when I was very young and I walked to the library every week. I remember reading “Little Black Sambo” (now banned, but my favorite and read repeatedly because it was about pancakes!) while she was reading whatever new book I would bring home for her. Once I returned my books late – library was open very limited hours – and I had to pay a 50 cent fine. Dad said I couldn’t go to the library anymore because I couldn’t remember to return my books. Mom said, “Don’t you EVER stop going to the library!”….and I’m still going! Thanks, Mom!