Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Great Thou Art:
In Memory of Jo Rojem ...
... And The King

Jo Rojem with my sister Eileen and my mother, Christmas 1976, at the Gladstone house.

Thirty five (!) years ago today, I woke up to my mother kissing my forehead and giving me a hug.

"Richard, Josie died last night."

Jo Rojem was the wife of Bob the Plumber, and mother of Young Bob, Phyllis and Christopher. Throughout the twelve years we were next door neighbors, she was the peacemaker between our two families (as a bit of a rivalry had arisen over the years between the children of each household). I can remember the hundreds of times Josie would come to our home, open the door without knocking, and call out "MAAAARTHAAAA!" for my Mom--whether to discuss their respective misbehaving offspring, a recipe, a news event--and she would always be welcome.

Word came in late 1975 that she had contracted some serious long term illness--whether muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or something else, after almost four decades I cannot, alas, remember. Her vibrant voice was no longer heard and she emerged from her home more and more rarely until, finally, she was gone.

She was good people. I mourn her still.

One thing to be remembered about Josie was her great love for Elvis Presley--she was his biggest fan, and I can remember hearing Elvis's voice come from a record player in her living room and filling the neighborhood. It was the strangest of ironies that the King died the very same day, at 42.

This is dedicated to Josie's memory.

1 comment:

  1. What touching words about her. So nice to know that folks outside the family remember. A very kind and thoughtful gesture.
    Gina Morfino


Keep it clean for gene.