I met and married my husband in England during World War II. I was one of thousands known as “British war brides."
My year-old daughter and I arrived in America and Crestview in April 1946. I am not an outgoing person and knew no one except for my in-laws, so I was very lost in this strange place, and missed my family and home.
One day, this elderly lady drove up to my home, on her old model T car; she introduced herself as Miss Bertha Henry, and asked if I would like to borrow some English magazines. Every week she came with new magazines, bringing me a little bit of home.
My family grew and the children started school; we would go to visit Miss Henry at her home on Pine Avenue to borrow books.
My children loved to visit her. Her little house was surrounded by woods and the trees, and bushes were full of birds, all singing and chirping. When my daughter read the piece in your paper, she remembered going up the wooden steps and said it was like going into a wonderful magic place.
Her walls were stacked with books from the floor to ceiling, and she enjoyed showing them to us as much as we enjoyed seeing and hearing about them.
Sadly, after her death her house was torn down and all the lovely trees and bushes were destroyed.
Her books, I’m sure, went to the library, which was hit by a tornado in the early years of 1960. I don’t know if any of the books survived, but I often wondered why they named the then-new library, which is now the college, the Bob Sikes Library.
I felt it should have been named after Miss Bertha Henry — to me one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known.
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