By Ralphine Major
She is a lady of many talents. Focus readers first met her in “What’s in the Bag?” on 12-23-13. The little blue and white teddy bear my brother gave me for Christmas in 1964 is one gift I have kept all these years. It was only when I was writing the story that I found out who made it. Her name is Lois Zachary.
Last summer we saw one of the Zachary sons, Tim, outside Gibbs Center. I did not know him. But, my brother did. Tim mentioned that his mother is a faithful Focus reader. She had seen my Memorial Day column with our father in his United States Army uniform. Lois and our father were in the same class at Gibbs High School. Tim told us his mother had the original newspaper clipping of Ralph in his Army uniform when he went to service.
Visiting her home is like walking into a community library. A room is filled with scrapbooks that document important events in the community and the lives of its people—engagement announcements, wedding photos, and even the newspaper account when Gibbs School burned many years ago. There is no fancy computer system to catalog and file this vast collection of documents. You flip through the pages of our history one book at a time.
This lady shared another piece of history that she has kept for many years. In the 1940s, Lois entered a contest by sending a letter and her picture to a group of sailors. The winner’s picture would be painted on the side of an airplane. Lois won the contest! She still has the letter from the group of sailors telling her that she was the winner. A picture of the sailors and plane was included, though her picture was not on it at the time. Recently, her grandson found information about the plane named “Lovely Lois” on the internet.
(To be continued.)