STATON: They will be missed

There are certain people you meet in your lifetime that for some reason or another you will never forget. That is how I have felt about two people who passed away last week: Jean Brody and Paul Smith.

First I would like to remember Jean Brody, the columnist who Winchester came to love and got to know through her columns.

I first met Jean when she and her husband Gene would come to the Walmart Pharmacy to get their medicine.

I was aware of who she was because of reading her columns in The Winchester Sun. I came to really get to know her and her husband through conversations with them. She always gave me the impression of how nice she was, and when we would see one another in other places, she would always stop to talk.

I would later learn that she also wrote columns in “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” and I had to purchase a book to read what she had written.

About the same time I worked in the pharmacy my granddaughter had written an article that I thought was so good and I wanted to get Jean’s opinion of her writing. Jean told me to come up to her farm and bring her and her article for her to read.

Again, I was impressed with her kindness because, at the time, my granddaughter was very young. Jean critiqued her writing and told her to keep on writing.

That was one of the things I liked about Jean.. No matter who you were, she took time for you.

Even when I was lucky enough to go see her at Littleton Assisted Living place in Colorado she seemed so happy to see me.

Though she was enjoying the sunshine and conversation with her friend out on the porch, she readily got up and went inside to show me her room and her beloved cats. She remarked to me that she could not believe it was “her Sue” there in front of her.

Her cats kept her going longer, along with her positive attitude I think.

I had to laugh when I thought of how she disciplined her cat, Pierre, when he got out of line. She used a spray bottle of water and one quick squirt of water would get his attention and was the key to good behavior.

We got to visit about an hour or more until her exercise class began. I told her goodbye and wondered if I would ever get the opportunity to see her again.

She spoke of how much she missed Winchester, her farm and the animals. She and I wrote letters to one another once she moved to Littleton, Colorado. I have kept almost all her letters.

The last time she wrote me she told me that she was not doing well at all. She mentioned needing oxygen all the time, her eyesight was failing her and that her son-in-law, Steve, had to do her writing for her columns.

I have thought of her often and worried about her declining health.

I have a feeling all who ever met her or knew her will never forget her. I know I won’t. Both humanity and animals have been blessed because of Jean Brody’s life and love of both.

My friend Paul Smith passed away last week also. I was so saddened by his death.

The last time I spoke to him he begged me to come and see him and his wife, Jane.

Paul adored his beautiful wife. She was my Latin teacher and one of my favorite school teachers. Her health is failing also.

When I first saw that Paul had died I became angry with myself. I had kept putting off going to see them and now it was to late to get to visit.

Paul was a true friend. I am going to miss talking on the phone with him. I will miss his country-sounding voice. He was one person I always thought fit the saying, “You can take the boy out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the boy.” The sound of his voice alone exuded country to me.

I guess the first time I remembered anything about Paul was when Clark County was in the high school basketball tournament. My family had listened on the radio with my Daddy to all the basketball games. Someway, somehow, our team survived the games.

It got down to the final game and it was such a close game. If I can remember correctly, the score was 51-50. Clark County lost the game by only one point.

I remember a gloom was over our house for a day or two.

The next day in the Lexington Herald it showed the cheerleaders from Clark County crying. A write up of the game was in the paper, and from that time on, I remembered the names of that team.

I would get to know Paul better through Jane. I decided to invite them to my house to eat and play cards as a young bride. From that time on, we were friends.

Paul was always so easy to talk to. It seemed no matter the subject he was a good conversationalist. Of course he could easily talk about farm life or basketball.

However, he was up on about any subject that arose and seemed to be knowledgeable.

He would play basketball at Kentucky and Georgetown but it was a cheerleader at Georgetown that would capture his eye and his heart — a beautiful lady named Jane from Texas. At first she thought he was a little too country for her but his charm won her over.  Paul would speak so lovingly of his wife that it was easy to see how much he loved her and their daughter, Renee.

When Paul’s death was announced on Facebook some one put how Pilot View had lost a good one. They surely did. Paul Smith was a good one.

Though the farm became too much work and he and Jane had moved to a new location, Paul would often return to eat with his friends at the Pilot View grocery. He never forgot Pilot View, and the people of Clark County who knew him will never forget him.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.