>Regardless of your view of the cosmos, we have all experienced magic moments when things just seem ‘to come together.’ This week we enjoyed a return visit from guests, Maggie and Bob Barton, and Maggie’s parents, Sonia and Bill Gaddis. This trip was a holiday present to Sonia and Bill so every aspect was intended to be over-the-top special and meaningful. As a youngster, Bill spent a fair amount of time in Jerome with his grandparents Charles E. “Boney” Hughes and Bertha I. Hughes who were Jerome residents and caretakes at the Douglas Mansion where Bill played pool with his granddad on the pool table that remains today at the mansion.
>While Bill has many vivid memories of Jerome and his time spent here, things fade and opportunities to chat with ANYONE who might remember the same things becomes more and more distant. Bill is a young 86 years with Miss Sonia being the ‘kid’ at 76.
Somewhere in the back of my pea brain those names, Bertha and Boney Hughes, were ringing some distant bells and suddenly my long-term former guests and now neighbors, Don and Kathi Feher, came to mind. Don was born here 76 years ago and has many evolved roots in Jerome. While he has always been interested in his family’s history, nearly 7 years ago they moved back and began their search in earnest with a treasure trove of images and letters, many manually typewritten by his grandmother Hulga Larsen.
On a crazy hunch I emailed Don to inquire if those names sounded familiar and within minutes the phone rang and Don’s voice boomed out the words “Boney and Bertha Hughes?” Bertha and Don’s mother Hulga were best friends. The Barton/Gaddis party were leaving after breakfast the following morning so I asked if Kathi and Don might have time to come over for a reminiscing chat and they enthusiastically agreed.
Don arrived equipped with pictures and letters and TONS OF MEMORIES and what was to be a quick chat developed into a 2 & ½ hour walk down memory lane. Surprisingly, that walk also found common ground between both men and Flagstaff where Don’s father had a music store well-known to both Bill and Sonia. Emails, phone numbers and other contact info were exchanged and what I believe was a heartwarming connection may actually be a friendship to build more and new memories.
Don’t tell me there isn’t MAGIC all around and especially at TSH, perhaps still with a legacy as a place of healing.