Winnie Kelley - About "Aunt Freddy"

May 11, 2009, from an interview by Susan Freis Falknor, February 21, 2009


Growing up in Bluemont - 1950s
About "Aunt Freddy"
Wedding in Bluemont Village - 1962
On the merits of donkeys

Winnie: Aunt Freddie—she was a liberated woman long before they invented the word.  She was something, I’ll tell you.  Her husband died in ’32, so she was a widow that whole time.  But she made her own way.  And she never remarried.  She sewed some, and she went to DC.  I think that’s when she was a seamstress.

But she came back.  In fact, she was a practical nurse.  She kept older people in her home, upstairs.  And she always said the men were easier to take care of than the women. (laughs)

Maybe because she had no children of her own, she sort of mothered all the girls in town.

Back then they were so frugal.  You know, they didn’t have anything much extra.  But she was good with a hammer and she fixed things herself.  Of course she didn’t do the plumbing or anything.

Susan: I can picture her doing all that.

Winnie: She was something, I’ll tell you.  And she had the store – but I don’t know the years that she had the store.

Susan: She took the Bluemont Store for a while?

Winnie: Yes.  But probably at the same time that my Daddy had a store right down the road.  You know, where the E.E. Lake building is?  My Daddy had a store there for a little while.  Multiple rooms, I don’t know how many rooms.  It was after the Post Office moved out, I guess, because the Post Office was in there originally.

That’s when my mother was postmistress or whatever they called it back then. Mother’s name was Oneda Carbaugh Osburn.  (“Oneda” does not have an “i” in it.)  Daddy joked we took the easy way when we spelled our name, dropped off the “e” from Osburn.  There are two or three different ways to spell it.

Susan: Well, Osburn is one of the oldest families in Bluemont.

Winnie: Yes, it is.  But you know, sad to say, I didn’t get any of that information from Daddy or Aunt Freddie.  Aunt Freddie was an Osburn — my Daddy’s sister.

As kids, you don’t think about asking questions.