Saturday, May 29, 2010
Jessie and Vivian
When my Grandmother Vivian and her sister, Jessie, were teens, Jessie tied my grandmother to a bedpost and then went downstairs to tell her (Vivian's) date that she was going to be late? Jessie visited with him and visited with him. Grandma couldn't get loose. FINALLY, Jessie went upstairs and let her go. THEN she wondered why Vivian was angry because she was just having fun. It ended up being OK, probably right away, but for certain 40 years later when they were all laughing about it one evening. That's how I heard the story. They did love each other a lot.
Jessie also had a little teasing streak with her father. They lived in a house next to the girl's gym in Provo. (The building still stands across the street from what was once the BYU Accademy but is now Provo City Library.) The house they lived in is no longer there. Now it is an apartment building. But BYU held dances in the gym. The students were allowed to waltz but they could not fox trot. Grandpa Pritchett liked to watch the dancers from his upstairs bedroom window which faced the girl's gym. Aunt Jessie, knowing he was watching, would take her dance partner over along the edge of the floor so Grandpa P. could see them and do a few steps of the scandalous fox trot just to tease him. After the dance, he would scold her and she would laugh.
Grandmother Smith chose Jessie's name. She said that when Jessie was born, they lived in Sanpete County. Down the street from their home a young woman lived. She had the most beautiful read hair. Her name was Jessie. So when the parents, Mina Ericksen and Frank Pritchett, asked Vivian what she would like her sister to be named, she suggested "Jessie." They honored her request.
The day that Jessie was born, the doctor was sent for and Vivian was sent outside to wait. When the doctor came back out of the house, he told Vivian that she could go back inside and see the baby. "Where did she come from?" Vivian asked. "We found her under a rose bush," the doctor replied. Hmm, well, we all know the truth of that story. Aunt Jessie said, in later years, "Well, after they found me they hung me on a clothesline to dry and I fell off into a mud puddle. That's why I have all these freckles."
We all remember what a quick wit Aunt Jessie had and what fun she was. In all of her snapshots she is laughing. I wish we could hear what she was saying. I think that we would laugh also.
In the above photo: Left to Right, Mina Ericksen Pritchett, Minetta Black Pritchett, Vivian Christene Pritchett Smith, Toni Fexer (Jessie's granddaughter), Myrna (Me), Jessie Pritchett Brighton.