The Fondest Memories

A beautiful woman.

Always with a smile.

Always knew me.

Always friendly.

Always seemingly to want to talk to me and interested in what I was doing.

Always an immaculate home sweet home.

Always delicious food that a picky eater wanted, liked and ate, specifically, memorable breakfast coffee cake.

Although perhaps living in a higher stage of society than what I was as I got older, she never forgot her roots and her heritage. Often reminiscing about where she’d come from and appreciative of where she had been, crediting those who had been part of her life getting where she was now.

One quote said nearly 50 years ago, and she didn’t remember it when I asked her, although I remember it distinctly: “When you’re born, God knows what’s going to happen to you, and the day when you’ll die.” Perhaps nobody else heard her say it, or remembers, but it was in the kitchen at Scott City, when we were there pheasant hunting.

That’s Freda Fisher as I fondly and affectionately remember my aunt, my mother Laura Mae (Davis) Buchman’s little sister.

Yes, it’s easy to say nice things about somebody when they’re gone, but heartfelt honestly that’s my lifetime opinion, never changing from when I stayed a number of times on the farm at Beman, to visiting her in recent life, changed prosperously, becoming uptown affluent.

As one to always be judging, and often critical of others, I have only good memories of Aunt Freda Fisher.

There was still that beautiful woman with a beautiful truly caring smile, even if there were those “Davis teeth,” as I describe them, colored and shaped like my mother’s and their sister, aunt Marie Davis Borkert Garretson.

First real memories are of Freda and Ted living over on Eleventh Street in a little gray home across from Oscar Copple’s house, playing there then with Brad, with big sister Judy around, but too good for the little ornery boys.

Big deal to a little town kid who wanted to be a cowboy, when the Fisher family moved to the farm. They had a horse, Sandy, and there was a creek nearby to go fishing; that was the best life anybody could have. I always wanted to visit them, stayed overnight in Brad’s upstairs bedroom, and that delicious breakfast was ready when we came down.

Next, Ted and Freda moved back to Council Grove and lived in a house (now torn down) south of the high school. I reflect staying all night with Brad, when election returns were coming in, and Ted was defeated in his campaign for Morris County Sheriff. Perhaps then one of the saddest times ever for Freda and Ted, they and all would now agree, it was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Ted Fisher became a highway patrolman, Freda was a meter maid, and then a beautician, and their life changed always happy, adventurous and for the better with friends throughout the state and the world.

Boarding the train on Saturday nights and traveling to Wellington, El Dorado and Scott City many times with Mom are reflections like last night. Every time Freda was waiting at the depot to take us to their home, and we lived with the Fishers for a day, one happy family. Freda and all seemed anxious for us to come again, as she’d take us back to the train for our return home.

There are a few remembrances of the different homes the Fishers lived in, and the different trailer houses. But specifically, I recall for some reason they asked me, their backward grocery story nephew to take a summer vacation with them to a cabin owned by their preacher in Colorado. I don’t know why, but I’m so glad they did.

Then, I became an adult, and sadly didn’t have as much communication with Ted and Freda. I do remember them being at my wedding to Margaret Mary at Newton. Then, Ted became a pilot, and his highway patrolmen job moved them to Topeka. Freda’s beauty shop business expanded in leaps and bounds.

My folks remained close to Ted and Freda, and visited them often, but I was again sadly “too busy making a living, raising a family and riding horses. I didn’t see them often, and now apologetically didn’t make any effort to visit them.

Freda was there assisting when her parents, my grandparents, Fred and Alma Davis, passed away, and most importantly when my dad Clarence Buchman died.

Thankfully, Freda, Ted and Judy were at Mom’s bedside throughout her terrible cancer sickness. I am eternally grateful, as I’m sure my Mom Laura Mae is, that Freda and Judy were beside her when she passed away.

We were not extremely close in the past 30 years, but did keep some contact. Ted and Freda visited our home occasionally, and came to our field day sale several times, always with big smiles and seemingly glad to be there. We were very happy and pleased they cared enough for their peon nephew to come.

It has been a pleasant time for the past few years as we’ve visited Ted and Freda a few times in their Topeka home, always greeted with the most congeniality.

Then, it was so sad as Freda’s sickness became worse, but she always had a smile for me. And still very beautiful.

Freda Fisher: a truly beautiful woman in every way.

From my heart,
Frank J. Buchman