Country Roads

This week I attended a memorial service honoring a fellow club member and friend of my mother’s. As her obituary was read, it was said she was a member of the Young Matron’s Club. Chuckles went up from those in attendance as a remark was made about the club continuing on for years. Why did they never change the name of the club as the members aged? I believe this honored woman was probably the last member of the Young Matron’s Club.

My mother was one of the original members of the Young Matron’s Club as I believe the honored one was also one of the original members. The club was formed in my hometown of Burr Oak in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and those who organized it, were wives of WWII Veterans. I’m sure they believed they needed to be in touch with other wives of the WWII Veterans to share their thoughts and feelings. Others who joined the new club were Virginia Johnson, Marjorie Johnson and her sister in law Marceline Platt, Rosie Caldwell, Catherine Byers, Mildred Bausch, Bernice Harris and her sister, Ferne Harris, Mrs. Smullins, Madeline McMains, Mrs. Lewis, Arlene Fearing, Alma Garman, Helen Belt, and of course my mother Jacqueline Boyles. Others who maybe joined later were Marcella Ost, Wanda Howard, and Edythe Francis. I’m probably missing others. They would meet once a month at a member’s home. It was always a highlight of the meetings to have a game that was planned and played, along with prizes for the winners and refreshments. Of course, hosting the event meant extensive house cleaning. Members hardly ever missed attending a meeting. In the early years of the club, leaving their children with babysitters in order to attend the meetings was unheard of so the children came along and would entertain themselves. A husband of a member once told me after those early meetings of the club, he was eager to hear from his wife who had announced at the meeting she was expecting a baby, as that happened quite often in those days. At Christmas time, the club women invited their husbands to a special meeting held in the evening that included a potluck supper and card games. I’m sure a lot of memories were made!

As the Young Matrons aged, the meetings continued. I remember Mother coming home telling all about what went on plus the latest news that was discussed. The meetings were so important to members that when a couple moved, they would make it a point to drive back to attend the meetings. In later years, when Mother would host a club meeting, she’d invite me to attend. Usually the meeting she hosted was held at a local cafe. I’d go if I could as I enjoyed their visiting, giggles, reports on their grandchildren and their shared memories. Those women were special and I’ll never forget them.

I do remember asking my mother why they didn’t change the club name, and was told that it just wouldn’t be the same. They didn’t want to be called the “Old Matron’s Club”.


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