|Front, Helen Majnik, Lucille Jones, Back: Lila Nielson, Wilda Jones, Ruby Rowley, Norma Hall, and Reva McKee meet for the Stitch and Chatter luncheon.|
During World War II many women were left behind to keep the homes fires burning. Nineteen women began a club which met every Thursday evening to chat with each other while at the same time doing mending or whatever stitch work they had begun.
The year was 1942, and those 20 ladies, Earlene Black, Marie Grange Cowley, Leah Huff Jones, Wilda Jones, Madge Guymon, LaVon Guymon, Lucille Jones, Norma Hall, Phyllis Heaton, Jean Killpack, Lylas Kofford, Reva Marshall McKee, Helen Majnik, Lila Nielson, Helen Peterson, Viola Palmer, Madaline Story, Ruby Rowley, Beatrice Harrison and Rhoda Kinder, began meeting every week.
During the early years of the club, the ladies began to do other things during their time together than just sew. They began to take small field trips, such as sleigh riding excursions, where they would have chili dinners, and other projects around Huntington. As a soldier was called to the war, the ladies would host a going away party for him. When the war was over, all the husbands came home with the exception of one, Pete Grange was killed in Okinawa.
The club had become such an integral part of the womens lives, they decided to keep meeting. They now invited the husbands to a joint social once a month. The group began to produce Christmas programs, ride in parades, do skits at community celebrations, and go on picnics.
These ladies have spent the past 63 years together, helping and supporting each other through children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren, along with the hard times such as the loss of a spouse. They have become a family to each other. Many have moved away or passed on, but the group continues to meet, although it has become a once a year thing now.
At the meeting on Sept. 14, Wilda Jones, Lucille Jones, Norma Hall, Reva McKee, Helen Majnik, Lila Nielson, and Ruby Rowley met at Critter Country Fixins in Castle Dale. Four husbands were present. They were: Blake Jones, B.L. Jones, Scott Nielson, and Frank Hall.
Each of the ladies at the meeting have a special memory of the 63 years together. Reva McKee said she had lived in Huntington when she joined the group. She has since moved to Price where she volunteers at Castleview Hospital as a Pink Lady. She recently received her 20 year pin. Helen Majnik still lives in Huntington and also volunteers at Castleview Hospital. These two have shared more than the Stitch and Chatter Club, Helen also recently received her 20 year pin.
Lila Nielson said they have done some really fun things together over the years, and the other ladies have become her family. She and her husband Scott have moved away to Salt Lake City. Lila said she would not miss this meeting for anything. Norma Hall originally came to Emery County from Box Elder County. Norma and her husband Frank came here to teach school.
Wilda Jones joined the club and unlike the others was able to go with her husband Blake. She returned to the area following his service and rejoined the ladies. Lucille Jones, who is originally from North Carolina said her husband had come there on a mission for the church. Following his mission, he went back and got her and brought her here. She expressed how happy she was to have come here and made such great friends.
Ruby Rowley, has been with the club since its inception also. She is not only involved in the club, but she is very active in community, church, and family activities. "We originally met to sew and chat, now we meet to chat and eat.
"One of things I remember is how when each of our children were married, all of the ladies in the club would go in together and buy a really nice gift for the one getting married," said Rowley.
The club hopes to keep stitching and chattering far into the future.