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Winibee.  [2 kb]

Winibee -- Girl of the Heartland

Winibee portrait 1960.  [24 kb]

Win's portrait of Winibee in September 1960.

Winibee was living in Iowa a long time before Maureen and I wound up there. The first time we came across the country, in August 1968, we stopped in to see her and Shery and their sons, Dave and Jay. They were living in Perry, which is twenty or thirty miles north of Des Moines. I remember the huge trees lining the streets, and I remember the wonderful Iowa repast Winibee set out for Maureen and me, probably around eleven at night -- one of those hot midwestern nights. I remember the buttery corn on the cob and the thick slices of juicy ripe tomatoes.

Mmm! What a good dinner!

California was still ahead of us then. Who could ever have predicted, then, that Maureen and I would wind up in Iowa too? That I would live there for seventeen years and that Maureen would be there still?

Winibee portrait 1970?  [16 kb]

Another of Win's portraits, this one from 1970. "Win was visiting in Perry," Jay says, "and painted all of us but my father (who refused to sit still that long)." Winibee remembers sitting in the kitchen in their upstairs apartment at Willis Avenue, trying not to fall asleep while Win painted her.

Joel and Winibee and me and Chester.  [24 kb]

      Maureen was already with Harold when I moved into the house on Kimball road in July 1982, and their son Alex was seven months old.
      Our cat Chester was probably about that old too. I picked up Chester and his sister, Iris, out at Oakdale, during one of the walks Carole Singleton and I used to take around the campus. Joel named Chester after the hero of A Cricket in Times Square -- who was, I believe, a cricket.
      Winibee, who was living in Clarinda (Glenn Miller's birthplace, way in the west of Iowa -- and briefly Johnny Carson's hometown, Jay interjects) at the time, came for a visit in August, while Shery was at some sort of doctors' gathering in Iowa City.
      The photo above was taken by Jay, who was pushing through law school and at the same time getting his MBA at the University of Iowa, and Joel is cracking up over something Jay has just said.
      Probably "Time flies like an arrow -- but fruit flies like a banana."
      Or maybe "Did you hear about the indian who drank too much Lipton's and drowned in his own tea pee?"
      Jay has always been big on puns.

Winibee with surly brother, 1986 or 1987.  [30 kb]

      Another photo of me, looking particularly mean and intense, with Winibee. This is four or five years later, inside the house she and Shery had bought in Perry -- but it looks as though twenty winters or so have passed within the dark Siberia of my soul.
      But most likely I'm just reacting to another of Jay's puns.

      Winibee is always so cheery. Imagine being so cheery when you have a brother who -- in the photo above, at least -- looks like an escapee from a chain gang!
      (In the other photos taken on that day -- which I don't have access to right now -- I actually look quite cheery myself. It was a day when Dave and Carrie were visiting, too, and, between the two of them and Jay and Winibee, I don't believe I ever laughed so hard in my life.)

      In July 1994 Shery, Winibee's husband of 43 years, went into the hospital, and when the doctors looked at his heart they told Dave and Jay, "Your dad isn't going to leave the hospital alive." Half an hour after they took him off the respirator he died.
      Jay transported his remains down to Perry, where years before Shery had made his first real- estate purchase -- four plots in the cemetery. He'd made it clear that that was where he wanted to be buried.

      This is nine months after Shery's death, while Winibee was still living in her Atlantic Street house near Lake Phelan -- waiting for her new "seniors'" cottage to be completed. I had had a bouquet delivered for her birthday, and she sent me this photo so I could see what it looked like.
      On the wall behind her you can see a couple of Win's quick portraits -- on the left a very hasty sketch of Dave at about eighteen, during that brief window of leanness that comes upon one in college, and on the right Jay at fifteen.

Winibee with birthday bouquet, 1995.  [21 kb]

      After Shery's death Jackie -- who had at that time no inkling of the deteriorating condition of her own heart -- invited Winibee to come live with her in Kensington, but Winibee didn't think that would work and opted instead to move into a cottage in a "seniors'" development, where she'd have a closer pool of neighbors than she and Shery had had on Atlantic Street.
      Winibee did go east in August 1995 to visit her sisters. She housesat for Julie when she went to Europe with Julie Lynn and her kids and for Jackie when she went down to Cape Hatteras.
      With Jackie. With Jackie. [3 kb]       With Jan and her kids. With Jan and kids. [3 kb]
      The cottage in Maplewood wasn't ready for her till a year later -- a few months after she'd traveled east for Jackie's memorial service.

Winibee at the Chesapeake, July 1996.  [37 kb]

Winibee at the Chesapeake in July 1996, the day Jackie's daughters took her ashes out to scatter them on the water. (For some other photos of that day, see Jackie's daughters.)

[Nota bene: This page, like all the others in this site, is in progress. Please let me know if you find anything false, misleading, offensive, or intrusive to your privacy. Let me know too if there's a photo or something in the text that should be removed or something that should be added. I have not set up this site primarily for my own sake but for my family and friends -- and I welcome all corrections, additions, and suggestions about how to improve it!]

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Copyright 1999 T. N. R. Rogers. All rights reserved. Last revised 31 oct 99.