Archive for the ‘People’ Category

On this day 62 years ago, Ralph Lloyd Jones, Hazel’s uncle, was taking his family out to the Macon lake to celebrate his oldest daughter’s birthday. Shirley Jones was turning 22 years old on this day.

In the car was the entire Jones family: Ralph and his wife, Ruth, their three children, Shirley, Margaret, and Ralph, Jr., and also my mother, Hazel. (Ruth Jones is Hazel’s aunt, Mildred’s sister.)

The Jones family lived north of Bevier, just north of Ruth’s parents, out in the country. They had a cake and were carrying along birthday party provisions, including a knife with which to cut the cake.

Ralph, Jr., Shirley, and Margaret Jones

As they approached the turn-off to the lake, Ralph made the fatal mistake of turning left, from the wrong lane, into the path of a tanker semi that was trying to pass them.

The tanker broadsided the Jones vehicle, killing Ralph instantly, and injuring his five passengers, though not critically, thank goodness. This was well before the time of required seatbelts in vehicles. The knife meant for cutting the cake was responsible for some of the injuries, as it flew around on impact. Ralph was only 46 years old.

The next day, the local paper had three large photos of the accident on the front page, along with this article:

Ralph L. Jones of Bevier Dies in Collision Here

Ralph Lloyd Jones, 46, of Bevier was killed instantly, the Patrol said, when the car which he was driving was involved in an accident with a gasoline transport. The accident occurred at 5:30 p.m. yesterday in front of the Bowzer Service Station on Route 36 west of Macon.

Jones, driving a ’49 model sedan was east bound and attempted a left turn off the highway in front of the gasoline transport, driven by Arbie Hogan of Kennett, Mo., which was trying to pass. The truck apparently hit the Jones car in the side, the Patrol said.

Mrs. Ruth Jones, Mrs. Hazel Pagliai, Miss Shirley Jones, Miss Margaret Jones, and Ralph Jones, Jr., were all passengers in the Jones car, and were all taken to  . . . . (this part of the article is illegible — it’s a really old newspaper!) . . . the Edwards Funeral Home in Bevier, where it will remain until  . . . . (another illegible part) . . .

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow at the First Baptist Church in Bevier, conducted by the pastor, the Rev. Esra Coppin. Burial will be in the Richardsdale Cemetery.

Mr. Jones was born Feb. 11, 1911, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Jones of North Bevier.

He was married to Miss Ruth Rector of Bevier, who survives. In addition to his wife he leaves three children, Shirley of Macon and Margaret and Ralph Lloyd, Jr., both of the home; two sisters, Mrs. Elmer Thomas of New Cambria and Miss Jennie Jones of Bevier; and five brothers, Daniel E. of Moline, Ill., Dewey of Brookfield, and David L., George R., and Thomas W., all of Bevier.

It’s so sad and tragic when a silly mistake ends a life, and changes the course of so many other lives. And still, it could have been so much worse.

And to have your birthday permanently marked with such a tragic event would make it hard to celebrate in future years. Poor Shirley.

Ruth did eventually remarry; I’m not sure exactly how much later, and the man she married was Dale’s uncle, Alexander Louis Britt! Alex was a barber and a painter (as in house painting), and they lived in a little house in Macon before moving to a different neighborhood in Macon upon Alex’s retirement.

Today, the scene of the accident looks like this:

Exits have been changed to make driving safer, and local traffic is routed on outer roads to avoid the highway altogether. Left turns, from any lane, are no longer allowed in this area.


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For awhile now, I’ve been following this wonderful account on Instagram, and wow! The eye candy is amazing!

Her name is Mary Corbet and her website is needlenthread.com.

There is so much stuff over there for you to browse through if you love embroidery like I do.

She has eBooks to download, instructions and tutorials for all sorts of embroidery stitches, lots of inspiration, tips, and gorgeous photography. Please go have a look — if you’re doing the embroidered version of the Vintage Christmas Ornaments Quilt-Along, it might give you some more stitch ideas to use on your ornaments!

I’m putting a link to this site in the sidebar, too, so it will always be easy to find.

I had plans to post the intro for the World War II-inspired Quilt-Along today, but that was before I ran over My Cowboy with my truck (yes, you read that right), and forgot to order one piece of fabric I needed for my sample quilt, so . . . I’ve been waiting on a piece of fabric to arrive, and nursing a man on crutches, all while taking care of the entire farm and everything else around here all by myself because he can’t walk! I promise we’ll get it kicked off next week — I’m so excited for this one!

Edited to add . . .

In the comments, reader Karrin also suggested Sharon Boggan’s Pintangle web site as another great resource. I’ve loved Sharon’s work for years, but I’ve always equated it more with Crazy Quilting than embroidery — however, it’s a fabulous resource for embroidery, so I hope you check it out as well. She has a LOT of stuff to read and learn about over there — prepare to get lost for awhile! I’ll add it to the sidebar for easy access, too.

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The Beginnings of Dale

So far this blog has been all about Hazel . . . and her teenage life . . . and her family . . . and we’ve only heard about Dale when Hazel mentions him in the diary. Since Dale did become Hazel’s husband, and my father, I thought I’d give you a little more information on him and his family.

Dale was born on December 9, 1934, in College Mound, Missouri, on the back side of his parents farm, in a section we’ve always referred to as “The Bett’s Place.”

Dale’s parents were Salvatore Franklin Pagliai, also known as “Rod”, and Lulu Pearl Britt, who was always called “Pearl”.

When Dale was born, Rod’s little sister, Alice, who was just a teenager at the time, came to stay with Pearl to help with the baby while Rod was away working.

As Rod was leaving for work when Dale was only 3 days old, he got up the hill, and for some reason, looked back, and saw the house on fire!

He raced back down the hill, and as he entered the house, he met Alice coming out, carrying the baby all bundled up. He sped into the bedroom, scooped his wife up out of her bed, and as he was carrying her out of the burning house, the roof was caving in behind them.

They lost everything.

And it was winter.

But they were all safe, thankfully.

They did rebuild on the same spot, and a few years later, they had the house moved up from the Bett’s Place to the top of the hill along the main road. Dale, his brother, Damon, and their sister, Patty, grew up there.

Now the farm is owned by my sister, Katy, and just this summer, the old house was torn down because it was falling in on itself. They’re building their new house on the same spot, and trying to save the old barn from falling in, too.

Hazel met Dale and his brother on December 11, 1951. You can read that diary entry HERE.

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Quilters, The Musical

Quilters, The Musical is having a run right now at the Maples Repertory Theater in Macon, Missouri.

Tomorrow, you can come see the musical at 2:00 pm, and right after the musical, I’m doing a trunk show of the quilts from my book, “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s,” and you can get in to see it FREE if you have your ticket stub from the musical!

If you’ve already seen the musical, but still want to see my trunk show at 4:30, tickets for the trunk show by itself are only $10. I hope you’ll come out and see the quilts if you’re in the area. I’d love to see you there!

You can also see not only MY quilts, but over 30 quilts from area quilters that are on display in a quilt show that is running in conjunction with the musical, so you don’t want to miss that, either. And Ben Franklin is having a big fabric sale — just sayin’!

Many of you locals mentioned that you missed my presentation at the museum last summer, so now’s your chance to get to see it, and see a fabulous musical all on the same day!

Give the theater a call at 660-385-2924 for more info and to get your tickets.

We’re doing a workshop in the morning, but it’s all sold out, and I’m really excited to get to share the day with so many quilters tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

If you want to see the musical, but can’t make it this weekend, there is still one more week of the musical, and you can see the schedule HERE. Next weekend, there is also another workshop, with Carl Hentsch of Three Dog Design Company, and he’ll be teaching paper foundation piecing and also doing a trunk show. If you’ve been wanting to learn paper foundation piecing, Carl has a great project for you to learn on in his class, and seriously, you do NOT want to miss his trunk show, because his quilts are spectacular! I’m planning to be there to see his trunk show myself. If you love color and pattern, you’ll want to be there to witness all the eye candy. You can come sit with me!

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Happy Birthday, Hazel!

Today, Hazel would have turned 81 years old! It’s been 63 years since she was making the last few entries into her little red diary. Sixty-three years since she graduated high school; 63 years since she and Dale were married.

You can read how she celebrated her birthday through her high school years by visiting these posts:

September 19, 1951

September 19, 1952

September 19, 1953

September 19, 1954

By the time she celebrated her 18th birthday in 1954, she was busy planning her wedding, and she and Dale were getting their little rented farmhouse all ready to move into.

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A Sad Tale

Local folks who know our family, and those who have read the book, know that Hazel died unexpectedly at a young age.

Hazel and Dale married in 1954, and Hazel’s main ambition was to be a farmer’s wife and a mother. By 1961, Hazel’s brothers, Donald and Larry, were both married and each had their first child. Hazel was still not even pregnant. And Donald was working on his second one, born in 1961.

Donald and his wife, Ruth Ann, with their sons, Greg and Jeff (the infant):


Larry and his wife, Carole, with their son, Tony:


Here’s Hazel holding Larry’s son, on the left, and Donald’s son, on the right:


Even Dale’s brother, Damon, was married by now and had a daughter, Susan:


So when a little boy came up for adoption in their area, Dale and Hazel decided to adopt.


They named him Gary.



Mildred and Vern were grandparents of four little boys!



And Hazel found out she was pregnant! I was born in 1962, the first girl among the grandchildren on Hazel’s side of the family.

In 1962, Donald and Larry each had another son, making 3 boys for Donald, and 2 boys for Larry. What a group!

After 14 months, I finally learned how to walk. My mother wrote in my baby book: “A slow walker, but a fast talker.” I must get that from my father!


Then I turned three,


and Hazel gave birth to her third child on Christmas Eve, 1965 — Darin:


He was quite the active little fellow, and still is!



Gary, the dutiful big brother:


In 1968, Hazel was pregnant for the third time, with her fourth child, and in early 1969, she contracted the Hong Kong flu. Dale was working full time, and since Hazel was so sick, she and us three kids went to stay with Hazel’s parents, so Hazel would have help and could rest.

The doctor was concerned about Hazel’s weakened state from the flu when she went into labor on February 11th, 1969. Not having enough strength to deliver the baby normally, it was decided to do a C-section, and during that procedure, something went horribly awry.

The baby was saved, a little girl they named Katherine Louise. But due to complications from the procedure, Hazel entered a vegetative state that she never recovered from. She passed away on February 17th, 1969 — 48 years ago today. Katy was only 6 days old.

Hazel’s unexpected passing left the community and all who knew her and Dale in shock, and left Dale with four small children to raise.

Hazel was laid to rest in the Locust Grove Cemetery in Callao, not far from where she lived, and only a few blocks from the school she attended while writing in her little red diary.

And her Happily Ever After with Dale came to an end.

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January 13, 1954

Sixty-three years ago today, a tragic event happened in the quiet little town of Callao.

Mrs. Erven Whitfield, a 71-year-old lady who lived across the street from the schoolhouse, set herself on fire in an attempt to commit suicide. She ran into the schoolyard while school was still in session, and some of the school kids saw her, including my mother, Hazel.

While doctors did not expect her to live past 6:00 pm that day, the poor woman actually hung on for nearly two full days. Such an awful thing. You can read the full story HERE and HERE.

The City of Callao has recently created a park and playground on the site where the Whitfields lived. Whitfield Memorial Park is at the corner of 5th and Pine.


I’m not sure what the sign says, but I’ll be stopping by to find out the next time I’m in town.

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