“This is Peggy Barbour Straughen and I am on my way back to Ohio from a family reunion and I thought I would report some of my childhood memories of my grandparents. As I am speaking of this, I am now 60 years old. Let’s see…”
My grandmother grew up in south-central Pennsylvania, living for a time in Shippensburg but growing up mostly in Chambersburg. In 1997 she recorded a tape recounting memories from her childhood and transcribed it. These are some of Peggy’s memories in her own words.
Part X: Peggy’s Father
Now my Dad [Robert Ritchie Barbour (1908-1987)] met my Mother [Pauline Coleman (1908-2003)] in high school and he also went to Shippensburg, but his degree was a 4 year degree. He got the short end of the stick in his family: His brothers, George and John, both went to the University of PA in Philadelphia and by the time my Dad came along and was ready for college, there was no money left for him. So he had no choice but to go to college locally and live at home, however his mother, my grandmother, was also a graduate of this school.
My Dad was not much of a scholar; he often laughed at how he had flunked French and couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. But he surely made up for it in being able to deal with people, to interact with them. He was really good around them.
As I may have mentioned, when I was in high school, my Mother and Father took up the game of golf. About that time, they looked around for places to buy at Caledonia State Park. Of course, they were members of the Chambersburg Country Club, but Caledonia had this wonderful 18 hole golf course there at the mountain.
So they found a place – I forget which hole it is off of. It is not the cottage that you children remember in later years – not the last cottage, but the prior one which was up the same driveway, right back against the woods, behind Putch’s. They bought that when I was in high school, probably my freshman year.
Because that is State land, you can only lease the land the cottage sat on for ninety nine years, but you own the buildings. That is the way it works. But my dad just loved that spot! It was only fifteen miles or less from town, so that if my Dad needed to go to town on business, he could do that.
He had deer and wild turkeys come down from the mountain, which he would feed. My dad thought of himself as a hunter. He belonged to a hunting camp at ‘Three Square Hollow”, had buddies that were hunters and they would go deer hunting every year, but in all his life, he never killed a deer of his own. But he did think of himself as a hunter.
Every year he hunted squirrels and pheasants. I remember, more than once, growing up and eating squirrel potpie, because that was what my dad had killed out hunting. It was OK; I did not mind that at all. He would also kill some rabbits and I loved rabbit meat – still do.