Stephenson Tales

Several "Ladies"

Lady, the beautiful collieThe most memorable Lady was the collie who gave birth the night before Lucky's wedding to Danny McKeen. We came to Ann Arbor from Kent so George Fearnehough could perform the wedding in our First Congregational Church.

One of my contributions to the wedding was the fact that I made the hoops to hold Lucky's beautiful wedding dress in an open upside down cone shape. I made them out of metal strips that used to be used to bind large cardboard boxes together. I made four hoops - one at the waist, one at the hops, and two more for lower down. I tied the hoop strips together with satin ribbon, and I must admit that it looked gorgeous.

"Mother May's room" at the top of the stairs is where we did the fitting. (This is the same room in which Lucky had thanked God for the thunder about 17 years earlier.) The little room on the other side of the walk-through closet contained a double-decker bunk bed. Roger Wertenberger was living in the house as a general handyman and moocher. His role was to do whatever Lucy Slosson asked him to do.

This night he assisted Evie in the birthing of Lady's puppies as I went back and forth between the two rooms. I vividly remember that Roger and I killed off a half of a fifth of Lauder's Scotch during the evening. On the lower bunk, one after the other, Lady had a litter of 11, and Evie kept the record of the order of their emergence. One died, and Lady made no attempt to resuscitate it but rather completely ignored it, all the rest, including the runt, lived. Evie also wrote down a complete description of each pup: e.g., Snowball, pure white, male, etc.

It was a long night, and my memory of the last part of it is VERY hazy. I think it was because of all those hoops!

Lady on the bedLucky's note: All of us thought this was a marvelous experience - except for Danny's mother, Imogene, who was very proper. She talked in scandalized tones for the rest of her life about the "madhouse" the night before our wedding with everyone hovering around Lady as she gave birth while Dad prepared my lovely dress. Needless to say, she'd never met anyone like our family, and couldn't get over it!

(Evie's and Lucky's note: After Lady was done having all those puppies the mattress was bloody and ruined. Daddy.......TURNED IT OVER!!!!! We were DYING!! And we felt that fun fact simply had to be included!)

The First Lady

The first Lady had a VERY brief career with us. She was a beautiful black, brown, and white miniature collie. We were in Carbondale at SIU, where I was visiting professor for two years. This Lady was smart, affectionate, energetic, docile, and absolutely devoted to Evie. She was stolen from the front yard of our house on South Rawlings, leaving Evie disconsolate. I called the police, the vets, the animal reserve office, and wrote a letter to the paper pleading for her return. I also put an ad in the newspaper asking for her return. We never saw her again, alas.

Composed 20 October 2008; Transcribed by Lucky

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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