Winnie Kelley - Wedding in Bluemont Village

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

Winifred Irene Osburn married William (Bill) Arthur Kelley on May 30, 1962, at the home of Winifred Osburn Foerster in Bluemont.  Bill Kelley was a dairy farmer for much of his career.  About 37 people attended, including several children.  Judy Anderson, whose name appears more than once in Winnie’s narrative, signed the guest list with her husband Buddy.  Robert H. Garner officiated and Winifred O. Foerster signed as one of the witnesses.

Winnie: It was the hottest day, May 30, 1962.  Traditional Memorial Day.  It was so hot that day, oh my gosh.

Susan: But in these pictures you look cool as a cucumber.

Winnie: We did.  But I don’t know how. I know it was hot.


What happened first?  How did you arrive at the house?

Winnie: Oh my gosh.  I guess I came from Hillsboro that morning.  I don’t think I spent the night there.  At that time Daddy was in the hospital — happened in, like 1961.  They called it hardening of the arteries then. It was something like Alzheimer’s, but maybe not quite as severe.

Susan: Do you remember what time of day the wedding was?

Winnie: It was afternoon, probably 2:00.  Don’t know why we decided to get married in Aunt Freddie’s house.

When we got married Bill’s family lived in Airmont.  But he grew up, andwent to school in Richmond.

Susan: Did Aunt Freddie play wedding music?

Winnie: No, she didn’t.  I don’t think we had any music.  I’m trying to remember.  You know she had her piano sitting right there as you come down the stairs.  There’s enough room?  That’s where she had her piano.

Mother ordered the cake from Schmidt’s Bakery, the bread company.  It had three layers with little bride and groom on top.

Susan: Your husband looks so young.

Winnie: He gained a little bit of weight after we got married.  He was very thin when we got married.

Susan: This is Aunt Freddie, here with the corsage, sitting on the settee.

Winnie: She loved to get dressed up.  I think she kind of rearranged the house a little bit for the wedding.  We were married in that front room there where the double windows are.  This is the dining room with the china closet.


Was your mother able to be there?

Winnie: Yes she was.  My Daddy couldn’t be there but my mother was.  And this is her mother [Winnie’s grandmother].  And this is Bill’s mother.  She had pretty much gottenthe use back of her left side.  Only her speech was a little impaired.  Really when you think about it, not having any medicine or anything, it was remarkable that she lived.


And did you have children?

Winnie: One. A son, Lance Foerster Kelley, he works in Leesburg.  He lives in Round Hill, divorced.  We see his daughter Lauren Kelley every other weekend.  She is very much of a joy, I’ll tell you.  She is a neat kid.  She is 11.

Susan: So when would you have known Bluemont best?  In the mid- to late-1950s?

Winnie: From ’50 on to about when I got out of high school.  Every other weekend.

Is there still an old chicken house behind your house?  That’s where the girls in Bluemont, that’s where we had our club house.  A chicken house.  There weren’t any chickens in it.  I think there were just had four members.  We probably had a name, but I couldn’t tell you what it was.

[Current Bluemont resident] Judy Anderson was one of them.   She lived in the first house on Rail Road Street.  One of the girls — Bonnie Smith — is deceased.  She lived across the road with grandparents Frank and Mary Kerrick.  He was a mail carrier when mother was  postmistress.

 Bonnie was a Smith, and she married a Reid.  Connie Smith was Bonnie’s sister.

And maybe Emily Reid — not real sure about Emily.  She lived next door to Judy, who lived in the first house up from the EE Lake store.

I can’t remember how often our club met.  Probably just when we wanted to get away.  And I think we probably had a password and all that.  You know, you didn’t want any boys in. (laughs)

Susan: How old were you?

Winnie: Probably we were in grade school.

I went to work for the Department of Agriculture in 1960. I was recruited at high school.  I was so thrilled to have a job like that, right out of high school.

Judy Anderson worked for USDA also.  She commuted most of the time.  She worked two years, riding with a husband and wife who worked at Agriculture.  They were assigned a parking place, which made it pretty nice.   That makes a difference.

We picked up somebody in Falls Church.  Judy went to DC with me to live and left before I did.  For six months I lived at 1616  16th street with roommates from Tennessee.  One was named Sue Horstkamp and we still correspond.  She lives in Annandale.

I got married after 2 years of working for at USDA.

Susan: Did Bluemont look a lot like it still does?

Winnie: Yes.  To me it does, anyway.  Where Cochran’s Lumber Company was, that’s all changed.  Not the original building, but the new sheds that were put up beside it.  And then the new post office, of course. 

Mother went from the EE Lake store to the little building.  In fact Judy Anderson’s mother  was post mistress for years.  I’m not sure when she started either.  I don’t know if it was right after Mother or if there was somebody in between there.

Susan: And of course the church was there.

Winnie: Aunt Freddie was the organist at the [Bluemont United Methodist] church, or rather the piano player.  She didn’t take piano lessons until she was 40 years old, but she did play piano at church.

Daddy didn’t go to church much, but Aunt Freddie always saw that I went.  And then when I was at Hillsboro, I went to Hillsboro Methodist Church.

Susan: Were there many relatives in Bluemont?

Winnie: Of mine?  Not really. Aunt Freddie, and Daddy, and Mother.  My grandmother, you know, had moved to Hillsboro — that was in 1933 or whenever they lost the farm.

My aunt & uncle worked for Mr. Pierot, his place was on the hill above Great Country Farm.  Wesley worked for him for years and years.  And when he retired that’s when he built that house there [in Bluemont].  It was on the foundation of another house that had burned down.  The “Pink House.”  Most of ‘em not very far away, Purcellville, etc., Loudoun or Berryville.  Someplace close.

Susan: So there’s still something of an Osburn clan here.

Winnie: Probably.  Sad to say I don’t know any of ‘em.  So I guess they are distant relatives.  The ones I knew are all deceased.  Daddy doesn’t have anyone left on [on his side)].  Just this one niece, Geraldine James. And she’s not an Osburn — she’s married to Robert James whose mother was an Osburn.