I just wonder how many times in the past few years that I have made the statement, “I sure do miss Jasper.” Jasper Meeker was the person the Hughart family depended on any time anything went wrong with any of our appliances. I always had a lot of respect for the late Jasper and the late Donna Meeker. The Meekers came to Greenwood when the Norge plant in Fort Smith opened. It was located where the Whirlpool plant is now. Jasper had worked at the Norge plant in Michigan. When they moved the plant to Fort Smith he and Donna loaded up their family and what they could get into their car and moved to Arkansas. On the first day they were here they ended up for church at the Methodist Church. The church welcomed them with open arms. In fact they took them under their wing. By night fall they had a roof over their head. I will say they hit the town running. Donna became a Cub Scout Leader almost immediately. The church was in need of a nursery worker and Sunday school teacher, she was ready to do her part. One could bet on the fact that the Meeker family would be in Sunday School and Church on Sunday.
In later years Jasper and Donna were members of the Joy Sunday School Class and the Prime Timers Group that went out to eat once a month.
I think just about everyone picked on Jasper in a friendly way. He loved it. Jasper especially loved pot luck dinners. I don’t know who enjoyed them the most Jasper or Hubert Curry.
The Meekers loved music so many a Saturday night they opened their home to those who enjoyed playing. I never had the privilege of attending one of the musicals although I did hear they had some mighty good picking and grinning, as Kermit McNabb used to call the Musical at Jenny Lind.
The Meekers raised a good family giving back to the community. Just before Donna’s death from cancer I had a nice visit with her. She expressed her thanks to her church for the help they received when they decided to make Greenwood their home. Jasper was lost without his Donna. He had gone camping with his boys when he left us. I know that was what he would have wanted.
I guess when something around my house breaks down I will always say, “I sure do miss Jasper.” I think he retired several times and even after having had heart surgery came out of retirement when a friend needed a little maintenance work on an appliance. It was not until I moved to Fort Smith and my dryer went kaput that I really realized how fortunate I had been all the years when I could just call Jasper. It seemed like Mama was fortunate to have a handyman as a neighbor who was ready to help her when she needed a job done.
Ladies, if your husband is a handyman count your blessings. I hate to say it but Frank Hughart wasn’t much of a fixer but he was an excellent cook. I guess that makes up for not being a fixer but he sure knew how to add water to my beans!
Note: Last week in re-typing Drucilla’s column, an important sentence was accidentally left out. As was mentioned Don Williams gave Ann a box of Cracker Jacks for a wedding gift. “From that day on, on the 27th of EACH MONTH he gave her a box of Cracker Jacks.”