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~ Kathy M.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A tribute to Mrs. Bentsen:

Mary Jean Bentsen, our neighor of 40 years, died last week and I will remember her always.

I was 10 when we moved from Springfield to our home behind the fairgrounds in Eugene. Right away, Judy Bentsen and I became close friends. Judy was 2 years younger than me, but that didn't matter one bit.

Judy's mom was a wonderful person. She was tall. She had recently gone back to school to complete her education in education and was a subsitute teacher. She taught the neighbor kids how to ride a bike on that special little bike that had a fanbelt for a chain. She loved the Oregon Ducks, especially the football and track teams. She loved to sew and make things. Mary Jean made the huge braided rug in their family room. She helped Judy and I with our sewing projects and let us make scotch shortbread whenever we wanted to. She always had a clean and peaceful home. There were 5 kids still living at their house when we moved next door: Danny, Christine, Lewis, Joey and Judy. She was a wonderful and caring mother and wife. She went to church every Sunday. (But she used to come over to our house to sneak a cigarette with my Mom. I always thought that was out of character! Mom didn't sneak a cigarette, she just smoked.)

Mary was always supportive and shared her time and talents. One time, Judy and I wanted to make a neighborhood library in our shed. The shed was musty, but we cleaned it up the best we could. We used our childhood books and set up library pockets and sign out sheets. Mary let us use the books she had gathered over the years, and so did my Mom. When we finally dismantled the library, the books really smelled musty, but the Mom's never said a word about it.

Mary had a sucessful booth at the Saturday Market for a while. In fact, she made the wall hanging pictured above for me a long time ago. I have hung it up in every house I've lived since I got it. Now I am so glad that I have it. I wish I had a picture of her though.

Mary was a wonderful daughter. She took such good care of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Porter. They lived on Jefferson Street, a few blocks away. Her dad loved pro-wrestling and her mom loved African violets.

Thank you, Mary Jean Bentsen, for enriching my life and the lives of everybody you met.


WoTech-Bend said...

I was so sad to hear that Mrs. Bentsen died. I was 3 when we moved next door, and I remember sitting in her family room having tea with her and my mom for many years. It seemed so formal at the time, like I should use my manners and my inside voice, and I did. I remember the smell of their house - inviting and nice. I will miss her too. Thanks for a nice tribute to my childhood memories! Love, Aunt Julie

Anonymous said...

Aunt Julie,

I will miss her too. Thank you for your comment. Did you learn to ride a bike on that little bike?

Aunt Kathy

No Copying!


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