Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mrs. Maxey

Rosa Stearns and Bessie Maxey
Pavillion, WY
approximately 1982
Mrs. Maxey was one of my mother's best friends, and for some reason they called each other by their last names.

Mrs. Maxey was disabled (she had club feet), but that did not slow her down. For years she and her husband Roy lived behind the school where they farmed. She had a garden and an orchard. After her husband died, Mrs. Maxey's grandson Wes moved in with her. From time to time, she also took in wayward teens. Eventually, the farm became too much for her, and she and Wes moved into a trailer house on the other side of the school.

The walls of the trailer were lined with photos of students Mrs. Maxey befriended. Seniors would receive a special gift for graduation - a bath towel edged with crochet lace and a crocheted basket attached that held a crochet edged washcloth. She also crocheted hot pads for special gifts.

Mrs. Maxey collected plates (some seen in the photo above) from various states, and they also adorned the walls of the trailer. One item on her wall always intrigued me: a framed collection of angel crowns. I haven't seen anything like it since.

It was common for my mother, my brother and me to visit Mrs. Maxey's after evening chores, and it didn't take long for someone to suggest playing a game of WaHoo. Wes had made the game board for up to eight players out of plywood. Instead of the traditional marbles, the game pieces were two-inch sections of pencils. The games were cut-throat and usually took more than an hour or two to complete.

Of course, during the game we enjoyed coffee and homemade pie, cake, or cookies. I loved Mrs. Maxey's lemon pie. She mixed the lemon filling with Cool Whip, creating a chiffon-type pie that was simply delicious. Her apple cake recipe can be found here.

When her health failed, Mrs. Maxey moved into a nursing home, and my mother and I visited often.


  1. Great memories! I've never heard of angel crowns. The story behind them is very interesting.

  2. Aren't we grateful for our memories...they keep us warm in heart.

  3. Wonderful memories of a much simpler time.

  4. Sounds like very good times indeed. Do you still keep in touch with Mrs. Maxley's grandson? I'm going to have to look at this game, sounds fun. g

  5. What a fun glimpse into your life, and those in your community. Mrs. Maxey sounds like a truly wonderful, special person.

  6. What nice pictures of your mom and Mrs. Maxey. I really enjoyed this post about her farm, her collections, her cooking, and her many friends. Oh, what warm memories.

  7. What a wonderful way to meet her!!! I loved seeing the pictures and hearing her little story...so cute that she GAVE to graduates......

    I want some of the lemon pie

  8. Beautiful story about two friends. It reminds me of my Mother and her close friends. Together they so many good things for others in need! Where has that kind of love gone?

    Angel crowns--I've never heard of them so I looked them up and WOW I am amazed!!

  9. Mmmm, homemade pie, those sound like some warm memories. I hope to still be that close to some of my friends when I've been around that long. Also, sorry but I'm a scientist so I have to ask, what do you mean by club feet? Elephantitis?

  10. Sounds like she was a wonderful woman, with so much generosity. It takes a special kind of person to take in wayward teens. What great memories you have of her. And I've never heard of angel crowns, but the link was very interesting! Thanks! And I'm gonna make that apple cake! Yum!

  11. Thanks for sharing about Mrs. Maxey. My great-grandmother (she was from South Dakota) made towel and face cloth sets like that with the crocheted basket and edging. I still have one that she made. She always had them hanging in her bathroom. I appreciate the trip down memory lane.


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