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Centennial Stories
"Taught Us Girls to Cook and Sew"

Wesley House, Elizabeth Russell, and Marcus Lindsay Memorial Methodist Church introduced me to my Lord and Savior, Jesus. My name is Alice Funk Canterbury. I am 84 years old, handicapped, and live with my daughter in Bloomfield, Kentucky.

My family moved to Washington Street, a block east of Wesley House in 1926. I became active at that time and was in the third grade. Miss Gaines and Miss Elizabeth Russell were the deaconesses. Miss Gaines was in charge, and Miss Russell was the counselor.

At that time, there was no gym, and several of us children played handball between two homes. I watched the gym being built behind these homes. After the gym was built, we played basketball, softball, and volleyball inside the facility. Every summer, Vacation Bible School was held at Wesley House.

Miss Russell taught us girls to cook and sew. When Miss Gaines had surgery, Miss Russell took a group of up to visit her at old Methodist Hospital (which was located downtown around 7th or 8th Street). Also, Miss Russell had us perform plays during the year. She was very strict in a loving manner.

When I was in junior high school, Miss Russell took a group of girls and boys (there was a man counselor) to Lake Louisvilla for the summer. Also, the cook for Wesley House came with us. The girls stayed upstairs above the dining hall, and the boys stayed in tents. When camp ended, it was clean-up time. To clean the stove and pans, we had to use sand for a cleanser.

One fall, Miss Russell took some of us girls for a weekend retreat to Lake Louisvilla. That evening, she asked what we wanted to drink for breakfast; all of us said hot chocolate. Miss Russell made sure we had hot chocolate, but I'll never forget she drank a cup of hot water with sugar in it. When Miss Russell went on a leave, Miss Margaret Thatcher came.

Our family was very poor, and Wesley House sent my sister, Dardanella, and I on a vacation to Lancaster, Kentucky. I was 11 years old, and it was my first train ride.

The Shively United Methodist Church, where I am a member, cooked lunch for the senior citizens group and took it to Wesley House. When I got there, many fond memories came to my mind.

Alice Canterbury
Bloomfield, KY


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