Catherine Jane (SHORT) HOWER
Catherine Jane Short was the eldest daughter of Samuel and Rachel Brown Short. She was born in Oberlin, PA, June 30, 1923. She married Donald S. Hower.
Jane and Donald had three children: Steven, Donald, and Catherine.
Jane passed away in Mechanicsburg on April 20, 2016.
At the time of her mother's death, Jane wrote the following about growing up in Port Royal:
The renewal of old friendships recently at my mother's passing has given me pause for reflection on our family's many happy years in Port Royal. My brothers and sisters and I owe a debt of gratitude to this great little town for our early education, for its wholesome influence on our lives and for the peace and comfort that it brought to our parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Short.
We came to Port Royal on June 30, 1934, my birthday (never mind which one). Dad was just beginning his first term as Juniata County Superintendent of Schools. Our first home was the big brick house across the street from the post office, where Cricket Shellenberger now lives. About all that I can remember about living there was that it was difficult to sleep in the front bedroom of the house, the one facing the post office. The reason was that there was a clock in front of the post office (I think it advertised Bashore's Hardware). The clock was surrounded by a bright green light which beamed directly into the eyes of anyone trying to sleep in the front bedroom of the house across the street. My sisters thought that was a great place to live because their friends Teen and Dotes Bell would visit their aunt Irma Rogers across the other street. When the rest of that corner was trying to get some sleep Mabel and May would yell across the street from their bedroom at Irma's house that faced our house. There is one other thing I do remember; during the flood of 1936 Esther Pomeroy was brought to stay with Irma because Pomeroy's home was flooded and because Esther had pneumonia.
It wasn't long till we moved up the street to the house where Paul Smith now lives. This was closer to a lot of things; the fair grounds, for instance. One 4th of July, Muggs Frankhouse, Jr., who lived across the street, broke his leg running away from a firecracker that he had set off in the middle of the street. He still had his leg in a cast at fair time, so we took turns taking him to the fair grounds to run his concession. It was a good way to get into the fair free. This was closer for us to go to high school, too. Bob didn't have so far to go when he visited a certain house in Town Lane. Bill didn't have so far to go to Kep's (Point) Service Station to defend his title as "Champion" Pepsi drinker. He won this title one evening after downing 15 bottles of Pepsi non-stop, before he got sick. We had a ping pong table set up in the room next to the house where Fran and Dean Lindemuth now live (Mr. and Mrs. Frank Robinson, Sr. live there then.) The kids would stop in on their way to Kep's for a fast game of ping-pong. Sometimes Dad would play, and it would be a great source of amusement of us to see his long arms and legs move so quickly around the little room.
By the time we moved to Tuscarora Street, Bill and Bob were in Tennessee at college. None of us knew much about this part of town except Mabel and May. They used to visit Kenyon Walters who lived where Dan Kennedy now lives. When Bill came home from college that spring by way of his thumb he stopped in at Lute Beaver's store and asked, "Where do I live?" Mother was glad that we were finally settled. She had set up housekeeping in Liling, China and had been moving ever since. This last house was to be our home till Mother moved in with me and my family 3 years ago.
Mabel, May and I had quite a walk to go to high school. By the time we made it to old Airy View in the morning, and back home, then back to school at lunch time, we had no need of physical education classes.
This place was close to one thing, though, and that was Moyer's farm. May and Teen Bell used to spend most of their free time in nice weather riding the ponies, Star and Beauty.
This house was close to the summer evening serenade by the first of the great guitar artists Blainey Shover who now lived in the Dan Kennedy house. When Mother and Dad and Gram would be inside listening to the radio in the evening. Mabel and May and Teen, again and probably Dotes, would sit on our front porch and call out requests to Blainey which he was glad to oblige. One of the greatest favorites was, "When I was a lad and Shep was a pup." A real tear jerker.
We weren't very far from our church, the Presbyterian. Dad usually went with us to Sunday School and church, although he maintained his membership at the Mifflin EUB church. That was the church that sent him and Mother to China. Dad taught the men's class for many years, and Mother taught the junior class. During the year she started the Victory class for young women. After the war it was felt there was a need for another young adults class, for married couples or anyone who did not want to go to the Victory class or the old men's class. Helen Beers and I organized the class and tried to get teachers on a rotating basis. Paul McClure was one of our best teachers.
Mother and Dad really felt at home in Port Royal because both had been born and raised in Juniata County. When Dad retired they didn't have to move to a retirement home, they had one. All of the many kind people in town especially their close neighbors, Crimmels, Kennedys, Heckerts, Hendersons, and Mary Towsey gave to Mother and Dad great help and comfort in their last years in Port Royal. We, their children, want you to know that we are grateful.
My brothers and sisters and I will always be grateful, too, for the many kind acts and expressions of sympathy, during the recent loss of our mother, Rachel B. Short. We will always remember our friends and cousins in Port Royal and the many happy years that we lived there. Although we are scattered throughout 3 states, Port Royal and Juniata County will always be home.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/24/22 - Image Year: 1971