by Erma Lorraine Ashby Drummond
Memories of Uncle Joe give me such a warm feeling. My first ones are when I was quite small and mother took us to Utah in the summer so she could can peaches for Grandma. When Joe came in from the fields with the work horses he always stopped at the house and threw us upon the horses backs and let us ride to the barn. That was a big event to us and we looked forward to it each day.
Joe always played with us and teased a lot. He must really have loved children and should have had a dozen of his own. He never seemed to find us a nuisance and always had time for us.
Later when I was nine years old I went to live with Joe and Grandma. He was always so kind and loving to me. He never seemed to change and was always happy to lucky about life. He loved to tease Grandma as well as me. I remember when he brought her the R.C.A. radio that always sat on the sewing machine in front of the kitchen window. Grandma was enthralled with the radio and used to pull her rocker in front of it to listen. She was hesitant about turning the dials and once asked Joe to get S.O.L. for her. She meant K.S.L. of course and she really got teased about the S.O.L.
Uncle Joe was always so sweet and loving to Grandma - he brought her a cup of coffee every morning when he awakened her. I can still hear him say, "Ma, it's 6 o'clock." Grandma would sit up in bed and enjoy that first coffee before starting her day. Grandma’s death was hard on him. After her funeral he cam to California and spent a week with Gorden and I in Pacific Grove. How he enjoyed the beautiful Coast on the Monterey Peninsula. He loved listening to the sea lions Everyday we drove up Caramel Valley to a bakery and had rolls and coffee outside under huge spreading oak trees. he told me that when he died he'd like to be buried in a place like that.
I once asked him why he never married and he replied that on his father’s death bed he'd promised to always stay home and look after Grandma. He felt it was Grandmas house and he couldn't ask her to share it with another woman. He was truly a unique person and a great role model. Always cheerful, faithful and dedicated. I hope every child can have an Uncle Joe as I did.
I visited Uncle Joe in the hospital in Salt Lake City shortly before he passed away. He said his room was filled with smiling faces and he wasn't afraid. We would all be so lucky.