Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.



I have one girl cousin in the Spess family who’s just a few months older than me. There’s a whole flock of them younger than me. One, in particular, always kept the world on its toes.

Joanee was born the year after me, and from the time she got here, kept everyone hopping. Maybe it was because she had three older brothers. Maybe it was because she didn’t want to be lost in the crowd. Maybe it was just her personality, but Joanie (Joan-ie was the way she liked to spell her name) was never just one of the bunch.

She never met a stranger, and was absolutely certain that anyone Sister Debbie and I were related belonged to her, too. She called my Grandma and Granddad Reeves were HER grandparents, too.

Once she went with Deb and Me to Grandma Reeves house. On the way there, she sat directly behind Granddad, who was driving. As we neared the West Side School, she popped up out of the seat and put her hands over Granddad’s eyes. “Guess who, Granddad!”

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