Webmaster’s Note: This was a comment submitted to a post made in 2014 celebrating 400 years of membership at Hollis. It’s such a wonderful Grange Story I thought it worth telling as a post.
Greetings to Verena Huff from Claire Thorne!?
I was the Hollis Grange Apple Blossom Princess in the summer of 1971! Verena and I worked together at Grant’s Department Store on Congress Street in Portland.
I went apple-picking this afternoon with a friend and was fondly reminiscing about Verena and that summer, how Verena and I became friends at work, and how she asked if I would consider entering the competition for Apple Blossom Princess.
I remember a lovely luncheon before the contest and found a piano in our hostess’s parlor which I briefly played. No one was more surprised than me when I won the contest later that evening!?
Verena graciously put me and my girlfriend up for the night in her home so I would be able to attend the next day’s festivities at the Grange Fair. Oh… how I hardly slept a wink that night because my mom had fixed my hair with dozens of bobby pins, I had no toothbrush, no make up, and the only clothing I had was the blue prom dress I was wearing!!
The next day was a delight of sights, sounds, and tastes… the prize animals, the prize apple pies, and all the festivities of a country fair. I came home to my family later that afternoon exhausted, exhilarated and a stomach filled with all kinds of goodies made from apples! I was also given a huge bushel of apples, a gorgeous, sparkling tiara, and a most special gift I that still treasure to this day….a lovely red, glass brooch pin of an apple with two gold leaves that I have worn on every raincoat I’ve owned since 1971!!
I want to thank the Hollis Grange and Verena Huff for a most wonderful, memorable, and exciting experience that I treasure to this day. Verena’s hospitality and friendship always make me smile. My memories make me a soft cushion in my advancing age!?
I was absolutely delighted to find your website when I came home from my afternoon apple-picking excursion today, and even more delighted to see the wonderful picture honoring Verena and the other members for their years of service. Verena…you look absolutely lovely! And I remember to this day your big smile and hearty laughter that kept us entertained (and often in trouble) at work! It boggles my mind to think how fast the time has flown since that amazing summer of 1971!
I graduated from college in 1975 and became a music teacher. I am still teaching full time, 6th-grade band (virtually) in the town where I live in New Jersey even though, at age 67, I am well past retirement age because I love the students and love what I do. I married my high school sweetheart in 1976, raised a wonderful son who is an officer in the United States Navy, survived breast cancer in 2013, and just became a grandmother in April!
Please give my warmest best wishes to Verena, and thank you again Hollis Grange members for an experience I shall forever cherish!