Memories Bring Us Together, Death Can't Tear Us Apart
Pat Torrance follows up on some past columns, and remembers Eloise Messenger Mosley, who died on Oct. 1, shortly after her 100th birthday.
Since the following stories first appeared in this column, some interesting things have happened:
Several people were prompted to write and express their nostalgia for those simpler times and the music of their youth. A few months after the article appeared, Julie Goodwick, a granddaughter of Harold (Bub) Goodwick, sent me a nice note. She had run across the article somewhere, and said her grandfather would have loved it. I didn’t ask how she had found it, but perhaps someone told her about it.
Not long after that I had an email from another person who read the article wrote wondering if there was a CD of Bub’s music. After a similar note came from a relative of one of the band members, Jack Curran, I contacted Julie again and asked her if there was a CD available.
Julie got busy and found a couple of CDs for me. They are simply a collection of the music that the band played over the years, with none of the professional techniques used in the production of today’s commercial CDs, but listening to them brings back great memories of a long ago era. Music has a magic way of doing that. (You can listen to Bub and His Boys by clicking on the video above.)
A few weeks ago I heard from a man who had been researching the Internet to find where his great grandmother was buried. Using Google to search for Riverside Cemetery, he found the Patch article about the cemetery.
The article contained some key information that he had been looking for regarding when the mausoleum was torn down, and where the bodies were buried. I was able to put him in touch with a man who has researched the cemetery, and printed a book about it. Armed with that information, the two of them were able to locate the grave.
He visited the cemetery and ordered a grave marker for the newly discovered grave. His next question was, what happened to the original marker that was on the wall in front of the tomb? To make this happy ending complete, he would like to know. If anyone reading this has information about what happened to the markers, let me know and I will pass the information on to him.
This story touched everyone who knew Eloise. She celebrated her 100th birthday on September 11, and died on October 1, 2011. On the final day of her life, the nurse heard her whisper, “Oh, I’m so excited.” If you read the story, you know that she lived her life as though her late husband would be coming back to her any day.
She met her one true love when she was a teenager, perhaps only 15 years old. There was never anyone else for her. After a 10-year courtship, she finally married her fiancé Richard Mosley. They had almost two blissful years together before he was drafted into the army during World War II.
When he was sent to Texas to serve as a medic, he wrote to her whenever he could. She treasured his letters, saving and reading them until they were memorized. While a malaria epidemic raged among the returning soldiers, he contracted pneumonia. Suffering from high fevers and exhaustion, his own illness was ignored for weeks, and when treatment finally came, it was too late. He died less than two years after being drafted.
The day Eloise died, she walked to the dining room as she did every day. After lunch she returned to her room, and reached up and arranged her hair as though she expected company, and climbed into bed. She closed her eyes and peacefully drifted away to meet her beloved. The long wait was finally over.
She was laid to rest on October 4, beside her husband. Their double headstone is inscribed with names and dates of death. When the double headstone was engraved with both names and dates 67 years ago, no one expected she would live into the next century. Now the year 19__ must be replaced with 2011. Her nephew, Rich Messenger, will be taking care of that final task, as he always has since he took on the role of caretaker.
In response to other stories triggering memories, some of the messages have come in from former Montgomery residents living in other states. Often a person will have additional information about a local business where someone worked. Riverview/Fox River amusement park created a buzz. Since there is an option to email the articles to a friend, sometimes relatives send the article this way. Others have run across the story while doing a Google search. It’s always exciting to hear from them.
I had no idea the reach this column would have. Thank you for responding. And contact me any time.