April 19 • 03:02 PM

Reminiscing with the Houghs

September 19, 2007
This past Saturday was a great day for reminiscing. Because I have been a neighbor of the Hough family for the past 75 years, I was considered part of the family

and was invited to the Hough Reunion. It was held at the beautiful farm home and yard of Tom and Joan Hough. They are both gifted with the talent of creating a warm, homey and welcoming home both inside and out.

It was great seeing family members I had not seen in several years, especially John, still Johnny to me. He is Carol's age and we used to see him quite often during school days. Our son Lee played the tuba in the band as did Johnny. It was kept at our house during summer vacation. Early in the day it was Lee practicing outside at the picnic table, Oom-pah, Oom-pah, Oom-pah! Later in the day Johnny would come down, Oom-pah, Oom-pah, Oom-pah! In between it was Carol at the picnic table with her clarinet, screechy, screechy, screech and the dog yowling. Oh me! But I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I reminisced about Grandma Hough's pantry, which is now Joan's laundry room. Grandma Hough always kept a large calendar much like the one Dave Bishop gives me each January. On it she kept track of the dates the birds arrived each spring. I copied that little trick and do the same, comparing the dates each year. The swallows, especially, arrive on nearly the same date each year.

Grandpa and Grandma Hough's daughter Eunice Johnson and her daughter Marian lived with them at one time. I loved being invited up there to play and stay for dinner. The plates were all stacked in front of Grandpa at the head of the table and he would serve. I, being the guest, would be served first.

I spied the pretty door that led to the upstairs. Up we would go and it was especially fun to go into Uncle Harold's room where he kept a box of his college memories. He gave us each a dance program. It was the custom for the students to each have a little program book with a tiny pencil attached. In it was dance 1, 2, 3, etc., and when a young man asked for dance 2, 5 or whatever, you would each put it on your program. Wouldn't the kids of today howl at that?

Uncle Harold would load the girls of the neighborhood in his car and take us swimming over to Lakeville. He did that the night my parents' flock of 300 chickens was stolen. I have it written sadly in my five-year diary of high school years. Of course. Uncle Harold was known as "Shim" to the older folk but little girls were not allowed to call older people by their given name so, they were Aunts and Uncles.

Thanks for the memories!

— Country Cousin

Gertie is an Almont native and historian. She has been writing a local column for us for over 30 years. You'll enjoy her friendly and colorful style of writing.
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