Origins of Jeannine Tour (3): Republic, Kansas City

  • Mom at the gas station in Republic, Kansas, where her father told her she had a new baby brother.

This summer we took Mom in The Epic Van on a tour of all her old Kansas haunts. We’re calling it the Origins of Jeannine Tour.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8

We stopped at the gas station in Republic, Kansas, where Mom remembers, when she was 4 years old, Grandpa sitting sideways in the car and telling her, “You have a new baby brother.” She was thrilled with the idea of a new playmate. But when they brought him home and set him on the library table in a basket, all she could see was his little fists waving as he cried, and she said, “You should take him back.”

Later, we had a lovely dinner and visit with Aunt Fran, my late father’s sister, and her husband, Gary. We talked about weddings, births, deaths, and, especially, my Uncle Billy, Fran’s brother, who had Down syndrome, and my amazing, strong, independent grandmother, Mollie, who refused to institutionalize him when he was born in 1925, and took him home and cared for him his entire life, even moving with him into a nursing home.

We capped the evening watching Mom’s great-nephew, Bryce Prichard, 17, rocking it, singing and playing guitar at Knuckleheads Saloon.

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