A good number to stop on!

Oct 2, 2023 | 0 comments

My Great Grandfather R.H. Espy 

I’ve been giving my great-grandfather, Robert Hamilton Espy,  a bit of thought these last few days, primarily because I’ll be talking about him at the History Forum on Wednesday.  I do wish I “knew” him better.  Unlike my grandfather (Harry, or “Papa” as his family all called him) and my great Aunt Dora, old R.H. Espy was not a talker.  He was one of the “silent Espys” and most of his children were much the same.  Thank goodness for Papa and Aunt Dora, or my information about “the olden days” in Oysterville would be meager, indeed.

My grandmother did have one or two stories about R.H, though.  One occurred when he was well into his eighties and was using two canes.  He always sat in the front pew at church, the better to hear the preacher, but he often left early — especially if the sermon was not to his liking.  Of course, when he stumped up the aisle with his two canes, everything came to a halt until he left and peace and quiet reigned once more.

On the occasion that my grandmother remembered, R.H. stopped by the back pew in his exiting process  where Mrs. Sargant sat nursing her baby, surrounded by several others of her large family.  “What number is this?” bellowed R.H. (for, of course, he spoke loudly as deaf folks often do.}

“E-e-eleven, sir,” responded Mrs. Sargant, no doubt mortified at being singled out by the village patriarch..

“Eleven, is it?” R.H. said.  “Good number to stop on!  Good number to stop on!”  And she did!  (The babe’s name was Alice, a life-long friend of my mother’s.)


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