Pat Greer Remebers her Mother, Hiedi

Prescott - Hassayampa Country Club - the Stone house

We moved from Mt. Vernon Street to the Country Club in 19??. I think I was in the third grade. I remember the house a being a bit smaller, but wow!! The neighborhood was great. We went to the school on Park Avenue and rode the bus out to the Country Club - at least that was the plan. I remember being held after school quite often and had to walk home. I’m not sure how far it really is, but to a somewhat lazy kid it seemed like forever!!! And always either too hot or too cold to walk.

I also had to walk home from Piano lessons. The piano teacher lived right by the school, and I went for lessons right after school. I apparently had a tin ear, she would play a note and ask me what it was…..I never could tell her. After a couple of years I still could not find middle C on the key board (except that it was right under the “t” on the keyboard cover). Mama finally gave up and gave me a record player. I could play it pretty good.

We had a dog while we were there. His name was Toby and he was a pretty, blonde Cocker Spaniel. Mama taught him to chase rocks and bring them back. He decided that the golf balls that bounced along the first fairway in front of our house were more fun than rocks and he used to bring them to the yard and chew on them. I think dad used them for practice balls.

The country club was still sort of on the edge of the town, and still a little bit “country”. One night a skunk decided that their might be some milk (or smell of milk) in the bottom of a glass quart bottle that we had set out for the milk man to pick up. He stuck his head into it and got stuck. Oh, what a smell. Dad finally shot it, put it on the front bumper of the car and drove it across the golf course and got rid of it. Our back step smelled for months.

We had a marvelous playground just to the north of the end of the club property. One spot was a patch of thick shrubs. Wild plums? We burrowed under and into the center of it. Marked out ‘rooms” and played for hours and hours. We always knew when to go home because Mama could make a whistle out of her hollow hands and call us home. We could always hear her call. The other play area was a sort of cave in some large granite rocks. We could hide in there and play. We drug all sorts of “stuff” to the cave. I remember an old typewriter that we used to peck away at.

It used to snow in Prescott occasionally. One Christmas we all got skis. I don’t know how dad stood it. He spent all his time fixing and adjusting the fittings. Sure was fun though. We would ski down the hill into the club and any other little slope we could find.

One day mama had company. A woman and her son. While they visited (or maybe they were playing cards), we went into the bedroom to play with a new chemistry set. Bobbie and I knew very well what we could and could not do with that set, but the visiting boy talked us into some experiments we should not have attempted. We ended up blowing a test tube full of green stuff all over the ceiling of our room. That was the last spanking I ever remember. Dad hardly ever spanked us, but he did a memorable job of it that day.

I came home from school one day and mama wasn’t there. Daddy said that she was having some work done, and our next door neighbor would explain it to us. We were quite frightened. Mama had never been sick (except for occasional migraine headaches). The next door lady told us that she had an operation. I don’t remember if she told us what it was or not, I was just scared. A couple of days later, daddy took us to the hospital and we peeked through the window (children weren’t allowed in the hospital) at mama. It was not hard to tell that she was hurting, and that hurt us. I don’t remember much more, except that the Doctor made her wear a girdle to help where the muscles had been cut. She hated that.

Toby disappeared. We were pretty sure that the Manager of the club had something to do with it, because just after he (and some others) disappeared, there was a new rule that you could not have dogs. Sheila got a rabbit. It was the neatest animal ever. It would follow us up to the bus stop every morning and mama would have to come get it and hold it (it could get out of it’s cage) till after the bus had picked us up.

“Pop” Coury owned the Country Club and was our landlord. We were also members of the club and had all the privileges of membership. “Pop” would throw a Christmas party at the club house every year and every kid who lived out there got a gift. He also paid for dance lessons for anybody who wanted them. I clowned around a little bit too much and got kicked out. Bobbie could dance so well, it always seemed kind of useless for me to even try.

We had lots of good neighbors. I can’t remember most of their names, but I do remember the Bairds. I thought they must be very rich, they had a maid who could cook wonderful things. Mrs. Baird was always my ideal of a “gentle woman”. I baby sat for them quite a lot and when I got married, she gave me a bridal shower.