Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

FRANKly Speaking


When G-Man and I got married, we each had an Uncle Frank. Happily, I still have mine, and yesterday he came to the office.

We all had lunch together, then I pulled out a picture album to remind him how Grandad (his father) looked when he was a young man. That started everything down the road.

UF (so named by my bro who he calls Buck) started telling stories. We talked about Old Mannford. Who lived where. Who married whom and when.

Because we’ve been looking for some family members (or their descendants) I’ve been searching online. I’d found where Grandad’s oldest sister (Laura, but until   recently I’d only known her as Aunt Sis) married the first and second times. Laura’s middle name was Rosetta. In 1915, Laura Rosetta Spess married Bert A. Stone and became (wait for it) Laura Rosetta Stone. Ü Don’t you love it?

UF pointed out how families use the same names over and over whether they knew

the names had been used before or not. (I have a niece named Laura.) But I’ve never heard of anyone with the middle name of Rosetta before or since!

Laura and Bert had one child, Jewel. Laura Rosetta Stone had a daughter named Jewel Stone. Aunt Sis must have had a great sense of humor. LOL.

Uncle Frank reminisced about the time he, Grandmother and Dad went to California. (They were going to see his girlfriend who’d moved out there, but he didn’t mention

that yesterday.) They left their house, drove to the filling station owned by Grandmother’s dad and, while they filled up, told him where they were going.

Grandad Mitchell said, “Hey, just wait a minute. I’ll go with you!”

Five minutes later, Grandad Mitchell was packed and they were heading west. What beautiful memories they must have of those days as they drove to California. Time with an old man I remember as being very old and breakable. I

Screenshot of Tyrone Power from the trailer fo...

Image via Wikipedia

don’t remember him ever saying anything to me, but he was on the school board for years and years, so I know he liked kids. And I’m sure he loved all us lil’uns! 🙂

Frank told how Grandad got the house I remember him and Grandma living in. Frank even lived with those grandparents when his parents moved to Tonkawa to work for a few years.

Frank’s senior picture is in that album, and he looks amazing like a movie star–Tyrone Power. And while it’s been a few (!) days since he was in high school, he still a fine figure of a man.

Uncle Frank is on the right, Paul’s in the middle and my dad is on the left.  Good looking crew, aren’t they? BTW: Their hair wasn’t always white.

Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

16 thoughts on “FRANKly Speaking

  1. Susan, this makes me smile. Didn’t know this story. Yes, good lookin crew, as was Grandad Mitchell, who had a full head of beautiful white hair until his homegoing at (I think) 87. I got to see Linda yesterday, Frank’s daughter.

    • Funny which stories we hear and which ones we don’t as we grow up. There’s so much history we’re going to lose if we don’t get these guys to tell us everything NOW!
      I’m so glad you come by and see me, Paula. I’ll have to tell you sometime about how I idolized you when we were little.
      Linda’s a sweetheart, isn’t she? Her daughter works here at the office, and I just love her and her kids!
      Drop in again when you can!

  2. I haven’t seen Frank in such a long time. Your dad and his brothers were so nice to me. I always enjoyed when Frank would visit the dealership and of course, Paul was there more often. I love seeing a family work together. I remember your Grandpa and Grandma Spess too.

    • Nepotism is hot in this neck of the woods, Terri. Frank has always been such a nice guy and a big tease. Not as big a tease as Paul, but pretty big.
      Great memories!
      Thanks for dropping in here, Terri. I love learning how much alike we are!

  3. Susan, You always have the funniest & most interesting stories to tell. Yes, your Uncle Frank & all the Spess men are handsome guys.

    • I’m just repeating what I’ve heard, Sharon. Working with family, I get to hear the stories sometimes. And if I write them down, I can go back and remember them. LOL.
      BTW: Uncle Frank is the oldest brother, but he has the BEST memory. Dad always says, “I can’t remember, but Frank will!”
      Glad you dropped in!

  4. One of my favorite persons to see was Steve Spess. I always thought he was brilliant. One thing that made an impression on me when I was doing the bookkeeping for Spess Pontiac, Steve walked by and saw that we were using pens in the books and of course the mistakes had to be white-outed. So he said to me, most accountants and bookkeepers use pencils. I never knew anything, I was just doing what Judy or whoever showed me. I quickly went to Cleveland American and bought myself a mechanical pencil and eraser! I loved that pencil and guarded it dearly. Whatever Steve said made an impression on me. 🙂

    • Now Steve is in the office full time, Terri. Since he has a BMA, that makes more sense than having him drive trucks! 🙂 We still run to the Cleveland American when we need something.
      I lose my pencils all the time. I might carry them to other people’s desks, though. They aren’t always swiped by someone.
      I did write my name on my sissors so I could track them down when they grow legs and walk away, which they tend to do from time to time.
      One thing that doesn’t usually get swiped in my experience is the work. Everyone has plenty of their own. LOL.

  5. Susan, I loved this story so very much. I remember Grandad Mitchell very well because we Fisher Kids would walk byhis house on the way home from school on the days that Mom didn’t pick us up in the car. On most all those days, Mom was waiting there on the front porch for us to come by. There was Lena, Grandma and grandad Mitchell and Aunt Ruby and some of the neighbors sitting visiting on the front porch. All the cousins played while they visited before going home. The porch was a wrap-around with a fenced yard. Grandad Mitchell was probably the kindest Godly man I have ever known, he never uttered a bad word about anyone and cautioned us about never doing so. He was very handsome and stately and almost always dressed up. He left all of us a great legacy. Thank you for your writings, we all need to “get together and compile our rememberances” Sue Almy

    • Great idea, Sue! We need to do that so we can pass them to the next generation. If we don’t, they might not learn about their Christian heritage. And that’s very important.
      I remember their house and porch and the swing on the porch. I also remember the reel mower they had because they’d let me push it around the yard while I played.
      There was an old car that sat in their yard–do you remember it? The fender (?) thingy that curved over the front tires looked to me like a slide on a playground, so I’d climb up it and slide down it.
      Guess I was easily amused. LOL.
      I’m so glad you dropped by. Come back again when you can.

  6. Loved the story. What a rich heritage we have. You always make things sound so fun and interesting. Must be why you’re the writer and I’m Mrs. Claus!!!

    • Hey Deb! Glad you came by. We do have a rich heritage, don’t we? And I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to dig very deep! LOL
      I didn’t know you were Mrs. Claus. How’d you get that job?

      • Susan, This is the first time I have had a chance to read this.
        Frank can remember a lot of things about grandad and grandma Mitchell.
        He told me one time that he was their favorite grandchild. lol
        Grandad Mitchell was a very kind, Godly gentleman. Very free hearted.
        I loved his beautiful thick wavy hair. Eldin’s hair is a lot like grandads.

        When he ran the Texaco Service Station, about time to close, he would tell everyone that was there to have a free pop before he closed.

        I remember when mother and daddy were running the station, Frank would stop by there on his way home and visit with mother and daddy. Sometimes they would visit so long that us kids went to sleep on the pop box.
        Mother always really enjoyed visiting with Frank.

        I enjoy reading what you write. keep up the good work.

        • I’m so glad you came by, Judy! UF thinks he’s everyone’s favorite–and he’s probably right! LOL.
          Frank is a fantastic story teller and remembers details that are amazing. We’re so blessed to have him. I’ve got to get a good tape recorder so I won’t lose them.
          Did Granddad Mitchell have two different stations? I get a little confused because I only remember the one that was right next to that last house they lived in.
          Thank you for visiting my world!

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