Click the second dot below to see this week's Around the County guest!
Click the second dot below to see this week's Around the County guest!
My guest this week hails from Morganfield, Ky. She loved walking the ten blocks to school and the camaraderie it entailed. Church was in the middle of the grandparents and she spent a great deal of time with both sets. She took piano and accordion lessons and had so much fun with her 20 cousins (and get this, there were none on the other side of her family). At one point, she even lived at Camp Breckenridge on Jeep Road. Born four years to the date before the disastrous bombing, she likes to tell, “I’m older than Pearl Harbor!” Remembering that fourth birthday, she said the party plans were nixed as everyone stared into the radio and listened to every word said about the tragedy!
Sometime after the war, her family moved to Evansville and she spent the rest of her growing up years there, but said she never really liked it that well. At least it was only an hour away from Morganfield. Of course, there was one wonderful happening in the city, and that was that she met her husband while living there.
Although the girls had to wear jumpsuits while attending Memorial Catholic High School, she said the boys were allowed to wear regular clothes. Memorial had boys on one floor and girls on the other and the boys got out 15 minutes earlier. We laughed that they were encouraged to wed one of their own faith but didn’t let them even have classes together!
After graduation, she went on to college for a few semesters at the University of Kentucky. “It was a great two years, then I went back home and met my man!” She worked for a time for Meade, Johnson and Company first as a secretary and then as a tour guide showing people around the baby formula plant. Neat job! He had graduated college and was working in a gas station that summer. Friends and relatives would make sure to get her to the gas station often. That’s the real story, but he liked to tell about a party they both went to and he made the comment he was going to kiss all the girls good bye. Then would tell that she got in line twice! Hmmm, you pick the best story to pass down through the family. Technically their first date was to a stock car race and neither one of them liked races. On the next date, he asked her to marry him.
I was thrilled to see her beautiful home and especially excited about viewing their wedding picture. Commenting that the dress was so gorgeous, she said her mother had made it. What a talented lady as she played the piano and gave lessons, too. “Such big recitals she had,” and I even got to see mom’s piano that my gal plays 10 or so times a day for a few minutes. “I can’t play those hard recital pieces anymore,” but just playing the simpler music relaxes her and perhaps takes her back to the old days?
Although they had graduated the same year, she noted that her hubs was from the West side of Evansville. In fact, he had grown up for a few years (after the death of his father and mom couldn’t raise all the kids so he and his younger brother were put in a Catholic children’s home) in an orphanage. She thought that he did a lot of contemplating on just exactly what he wanted in life and went after it. He played football in high school and college. His first job was to coach and teach at Rex Mundi and she told me, “The Nuns adored him!” He coached two great players, Bob Griese and Ron Hess. In fact, Ron would follow him to teach in Montgomery County for several decades. They remained friends for life.
So, on January 17, 1959, they were married and had their first child Ken ten months later. Currently, he does transportation at Pike High School. Then there were twins, Dan and Dave, Dan a retired Spanish teacher at Evansville. Dave at Beech Grove PE and football coach. Jane is a retired teacher (Elkhart) and now is the Athletic Director’s secretary at South and loves it. Mike is at Lithonia Lighting and travels all over the US. Bob was a county policeman for several years but has had kidney transplants and now teaches criminology at South. The youngest, Mary is a counsellor at South. As you can see and probably have guessed this is the Coudret crew and mom Dorothy was so gracious and fun to interview. Besides these kids she brags about all the in-laws, the 10 grandchildren and 10 greats.
When they moved to Montgomery County they lived in New Market and said they had the ultimate neighbors, especially the Sewells, Fulwiders and Surfaces. They were quite active in St. Bernard’s church where she still attends. She doesn’t miss the south as she says, “Crawfordsville’s home!” She loves to walk her adorable Golden Doodle, Lucy that she got for Ken when he was sick. Although a tiny dog then, she’s quite the pooch now. Very adorable. Dorothy Coudret also loves to cook, telling me of her sweet potato chili and Kale pizza. Her kitchen is beautiful. As a coach’s wife, she made Saturday morning breakfast for all the coaches. Once when McDonald’s just came to town Mike Hallis thought she had gone and gotten Egg McMuffins because her meal was similar. Funny!
Dorothy keeps herself quite busy reading WWII novels on her Kindle. While the kids (five at one time) were in college, she worked at the New Market bank. She had never met a farmer before and said the ones in our area were so awesome. She finished-up in town working for the bank.
Note the beautiful quilt done by her sister, Betty. She has a brother Richard and they remain close. Dorothy says, “I live every day as if it were my last!” Great philosophy sweetie and thanks so much for being my ATC guest this week!
Karen Zach is the editor of Montgomery Memories, our monthly magazine all about Montgomery County. Her column, Around the County, appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County.