Jim O'Leary

Waverly Star

By Jim O'Leary

An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site.

April 8, 2002

Last year, when an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was felt that she had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. This little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give the world, is now the authoress of this poem winging across the Internet.

I got it from Dr. James W. Presley in Texarkana, who forwarded it from Joe Forgy.

An Old Lady's Poem

What do you see, nurses?

What do you see?

What are you thinking when you're looking at me?

A crabby old woman,

not very wise,

Uncertain of habit,

with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food

and makes no reply

When you say in a loud voice,

"I do wish you'd try!"

Who seems not to notice

the things that you do,

And forever is losing

a stocking or shoe;

Who, resisting or not,

lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding,

the long day to fill.

Is that what you're thinking?

Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse;

you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am,

as I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding,

as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of 10,

with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters

who love one another.

A young girl of 16,

with wings on her feet,

Dreaming that soon now

a lover she'll meet.

A bride soon at 20

­ my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows

that I promised to keep.

At 25 now,

I have young of my own,

Who need me to guide

and a secure happy home.

A woman of 30,

my young now grown fast,

Bound to each other

with ties that should last.

At 40, my young sons

have grown and are gone,

But my man's beside me

to see I don't mourn.

At 50, once more,

babies play around my knee,

Again we know children,

my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me,

my husband is dead;

I look at the future,

I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years

and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman,

and nature is cruel;

'Tis jest to make old age

look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles,

grace and vigor depart,

There is now a stone,

where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass

a young girl still dwells,

I remember the joys,

I remember the pain.

And I'm loving and living

life over again.

I think of the years,

all too few, gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact

that nothing can last.

So open your eyes,

nurses, open and see,

Not a crabby old woman;

look closer, see me.

Travel tips

1. If you go by bus, bring your own food. Brown bags are just fine on buses. The reason for this is that bus depots around the country are no longer places you want to hang around in, even to gulp down a cup of coffee.

They aren't like the good old days when the Minneapolis Greyhound Bus Depot on Seventh and Hennepin had all the amenities, including a nice diner. The same goes for train travel.

The US government has put all its eggs in one basket, the airline industry. The rich travel by plane, the poor travel by bus - and it shows.

2. If you go by airplane, bring your own food. Brown bags are out of place in airports and on airliners, but bring them anyway. Unless you have struck it rich, you can't afford to eat in an airport. On airplanes nowadays, you will get, if you are lucky, a half-ounce bag of chips.

3. If you want to check your e-mail from anywhere in the world, and from any computer in the world, just click mail2web.com and up pops a screen that asks for your e-mail address and your password. Then click "check mail" and there you are. You can also send

e-mail through mail2web.com.

4. There is an 800 number you can use to call collect at 10 cents a minute. As you know, collect calls are very expensive otherwise. The number is: 1-800-968-7283, and phone cards are going down in price even as we speak.

The grave of the Chatelaine

It was a great pleasure to hear from my friend, Dr. Kenneth Chatelaine, a Minnesota boy who now lives and teaches in Maryland. He wants to know if I can be of any help in locating the burial place of his ancestors.

"Both of my great-grandparents on my father's side came from (or settled in) Waverly. Their names were Chatelaine and LeBrie.

"Each family received 100 acres of government land grants when my grandfather Chatelaine married my grandmother, whose maiden name was LeBrie.

"The family owned 320 acres in the Waverly area. The stipulation of the land grant was that the land be cleared. My father said they worked from morning until night and, eventually, cleared the land for farming.

"My father and I drove around the Waverly area more than once looking for our grandparents' graves because they were said to have been buried on that land.

"I have a picture of my grandfather, Francois LeBrie, in his uniform of the First Minnesota Regiment. It is said that he fought against the Indians during the Sioux uprising near New Ulm, which was the beginning of the infamous New Ulm Massacre.

"Supposedly, he caught an arrow in the ear, which caused his deafness in later life. My father said that the LeBries and the Chatelaines of Marysville Township would get together every day after work and there was a great deal of shouting because of the deafness of Francois.

"I don't think they are buried in Marysville Cemetery, and certainly not in St. Mary's Cemetery.

"Thank you for any information you can shed on the LeBrie or Chatelaine Waverly history."

Ken Chatelaine.

More history

If you think the Waverly Star for the year 1933 is interesting, the St. Joseph, Miss., Star for 1860 is also a treasure trove for history buffs.

The following is an advertisement for pony express riders. For you non-historians who wouldn't know, the Pony Express was a uniquely American institution, which was in existence for 19 months in 1860 and 1861.

Its mission was to deliver the mail between St. Joseph, Miss. and Sacramento, Calif., and it didn't end until the newly completed transcontinental telegraph line began flashing instant mail.

The Pony Express was a relay when men on horseback galloped over 2,000 miles and went faster than a speeding stagecoach could go.


Young skinny wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert riders who are willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week.

Apply Central Overland Express, Alta Building, Montgomery Street

Fun, fun, fun

Back in 1933, in the middle of the Depression, Waverlyites still had fun. They were lured by advertisements in the Waverly Star to such exciting places as Excelsior Amusement Park on Lake Minnetonka and the Big State Fair in St. Paul.

The admission to the State Fair in 1933 was reduced to 25 cents, so that people could afford to go. It was, of course, on the same grounds it is now. Thrill Day there in 1933 featured a train collision. It is still the best State Fair in the United States, but they have given up train collisions.

Excelsior Amusement Park cut its entrance fee to 3 cents per day. They, too, offered thrills, including parachute jumps over Lake Minnetonka:

Who is the mystery girl?

See her attempt a daring, thrilling, and sensational parachute jump into Lake Minnetonka at 4 p.m. Sunday

Bring the whole family. Come early. Plan to spend the day. Acres of amusements.

(Side note: People my age, in the 1940s and 1950s used to hitchhike to Excelsior Amusement Park for the same reason, more or less, our young now go to the mall - girls, girls, girls, or boys, boys, boys. Marion Borrell and I hitchhiked there once, but we ran out of money after the first half-hour.)

Learn Chinese in five minutes

1. That's not right

­ Sum Ting Wong

2. Small horse

­ Ti Ni Po Ni

3. Your body odor is offensive

­ Yu Stin Ki Pu

4. Chinese/Yiddish observation

­ Sum Dum Goi

(I have inflicted these on you so you would realize how desperate I am for material. Please send me some copy - on anything, preferably on or about Waverly. )

Jim O'Leary
461 Claremore
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
(361) 992-2618

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