Marlene Muse’s Great Aunt and Uncle.
My great aunt and uncle – Bess and Cec Collins – were like parents to me. They listened, they encouraged, and they nourished me through my childhood. They taught me to read, to garden, to hunt for mushrooms and to gather hickory nuts during our walks in the woods, to identify trees and birds and wildflowers. When they met Bill, they loved him too. And, when Ellen and her sister and brother came along, their Great, Great Aunt Bess told them the same stories of her pioneering family childhood and teaching in one-room schoolhouses and read books to them too. Now, those of us who heard the stories from Aunt Bess are telling them to Henry and Bess, my grandchildren. And, of course, Bess is blessed to for her Great, Great, Great Aunt Bess whose kindness and love are being remembered into this generation.