Sam and Bess loaded their six children into the seven passenger Packard for a long drive to the cottage at Munuscong in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Five children were in the back using the jump seats and little Mary Jane sitting in front with mom and dad. In those days gas stations had no indoor plumbing. Outhouses out in back were used instead. I was the last child inline for the outhouse and had just gotten in when I heard the roar of the Packard engine as it pulled away. I flew out of there yelling and screaming as I ran up the road. The woman who owned the station ran after me and catching me brought me back to the station. She had two little boys, a big cat with a lot of baby kittens and was desperate in trying to console and calm me. She picked up a couple of the kittens and put them in my lap. That scared me even more. Mother cat came quickly to me to save her babies. In so doing that, the cat scratched, clawed and cut me until the woman came to get the cat away from me.
My mother had decided after their stop to move into the back and two sisters would come to the front seat with dad. Before too long, father’s comment was had little Mary Jane gone to sleep back there.
“Isn’t she with you? She’s not back here!” Mother yelled.
I shall never forget the Packard sound as it roared and slammed on the brakes pulling into the station.
By this time a couple in a coupe with a rumble seat, same color as my father’s car, asked what was going on. I knew that we were going to a big boat and then drive “up north” as I always called the trip to the cottage. They offered to take me and find my family as they were going to the Straits also.
I learned later that the couple who had made the offer to take me, did appear again on the ferry crossing the Straits.
This happened in the late nineteen-twenties and though it seems like a happy ending, results for this child are affecting her in several ways. She no longer has trust for anyone who is “to meet her or pick her up in a car.” The answer is that she is always EARLY for meeting, appointment, or offers to drive her own car.
The second effect has me very frightened of any cat or kitten. It spills over also toward dogs, but not as seriously.
Now in my nineties, little Mary Jane has become Mary (Mac) Jewett. I believe that I have had a happy and worthwhile life and a career with honors. Just wish that my parents had heard about counsel and counseling for me.