There are a few people who come into your life whose presence creates a good feeling. The memories are often cherished and tend to be forgotten until an event in life will open the book of yester year and the events will again enter your life.
Mrs. Jean Erwin was one of those people. She was mother of my classmate Dorothy and six more beside. The Erwin home was a mixture of warmth, activity, delicious baked goods or a fresh pot of coffee which would fill the air with its aroma. Mr. Erwin was a loving, caring dad who worked at the local mill. They reminded me of the tv Waltons.
One of my first memories of Mrs. Erwin was in 1964. Beatlemania was sweeping the world and Kountze had not managed to elude the craze. One day I rode the bus home with Dorothy – to visit, complete our homework and be kids. As Dorothy, her siblings and I walked toward their home the unforgettable sounds of I Want To Hold Your Hand filled the air. Mrs. Erwin opened the front door. She was wearing a Beatle wig and had the biggest smile on her face. It seems she had purchased the LP Meet The Beatles earlier that day. We were of course thrilled and proved it by dancing around the living room. It was a memorable day for sure.
Mrs. Erwin was also active in our Campfire Girls group. She was a support to our group and frequently provided snacks. She was not much over 30 but I considered her to be one of those ancient adults.
In January 1969 the sounds of my parents hurried foot steps awoke me one night. They urged me to get up and get dressed as Uncle JD had suffered a heart attack and they were driving to Galveston to be with him. I mumbled something about where was I going to go and Mom responded Mrs. Erwin said I could stay with them. A quick drive in the eerie darkness and we soon arrived at the Erwin home. Mrs. Erwin stood outside and waited. Told my parents not to worry. She would take care of me. She urged them to get going and would say a pray for Mr. Bean. I watched my parents drive away with a sense of dread. The couch complete with fresh linens awaited me. I slept that night among friends. I would need them. Later that day after school I called and spoke with my brother who broke the sad news that Uncle JD had died during the night. I braced myself against the wall and wept. Mrs. Erwin’s tender hug reminded me I would not have to face this unwanted grief alone. The cold winter day made my tears sting as they slid down my cheeks.
When I think of these events I realize what an extraordinary woman Mrs. Erwin was and is. She was a rock solid support for her children and a true friend to me and to my family. She had enough on her plate yet she took the time to be a source of comfort and support for my family.
Dorothy and I graduated from school and went our separate ways. I see Mrs. Erwin on occasion, now in her 80s. She still has that pep in her step and that twinkle in her eye. Her children are all grown and the clan has many grandchildren and great grands to fill the heart of even Mrs. Erwin who was born to be a Mother and born to be a good one.