I decided since the last two blogs on Matrilineal Monday were my great grandmothers on my dad’s side I would continue with the Langston ladies. I hope that’s okay with everyone. Now where do I begin there are so many wonderful things that I’ve learned about my dad mother, both from him and some additional research. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning, as with any introduction. So with that being said I’m happy to introduce to you Lena Katherine Elizabeth HOPPER Langston.
Lena Katherine Elizabeth HOPPER was born 6 December 1913 in Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Her parents were Robert Nathaniel Elmer HOPPER and Emma Josephine HARENBERG both born in Missouri. She had one brother, Robert E. HOPPER. She married James Raymond LANGSTON on 18 December 1938 at the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Together they had five children, four girls, Carolyn LANGSTON, Phyliss LANGSTON, Patricia LANGSTON, Sally LANGSTON and one boy, Raymond LANGSTON. She died 26 October 1963 of cancer, leaving behind all of her children, husband and her mother. Thankfully there are many memories that all of her children have. I focused on my dad and the memories he had of his mother, who left him at a young age of 17.
He remembers her of course being a loving and wonderful mother who did many things for her family. She could cook anything and it would taste great, he remembers knowing that whenever his uncle, from St. Louis, would come to visit coffee cakes were to be made. Mind you not just the regular coffee cakes but she would also make cinnamon cakes and coconut cakes, drizzled with icing. Not many of us get to experience homemade donuts drizzled with icing that taste better then Krispy Kreme’s but my dad, even his sisters would help. When it came to the kitchen she was also pro with canning, everything from beans, tomatoes and even the fall pepper relish, she had help from my dad and his sisters with it came to the canning, I’m sure the eating also. I can’t forget that she would can 40 to 50 quarts of peaches.
There were times of course that he tested her patience as I’m sure many of us have done with our own parents a time or two. He recalled a time he did that and ended up with sore fingers and hands. One day she asked him to go outside and pull the weeds in that were in her Iris flower bed, well he had a different idea on how to pull the weeds. Can you see where I’m going with this? Dad decided the quickest way to get rid of the weeds was to use the mower. That’s right he pulled out the lawn mower and mowed over the weeds and his moms Iris’s. If I remember correctly his punishment was to then weed with yard, so yeah his hands and fingers were sore.
There are many wonderful things he learned from her and remembers about his mother. Just one of those memories that he shared with me seemed strange at first but then again I can picture him sitting and watching her. I know he watched her because he can recite each step till the day. You start with the collar then move to the yoke, sleeves and then the body. He could sit and watch his mom iron the clothes and enjoyed every second of it he would even help her hang the laundry outside. During the time I was talking with my dad about his mom, we were on the phone so I couldn’t actually see his face. But you know when someone is smiling and I know he was as he remembered so many things about his childhood and his mom. He even chuckled as he remembered both his mom and dad watching him and his sisters’ roller skating in the basement.
I’m sure there is more that I can say about Lena Katherine Elizabeth HOPPER, basically I know there is more I can say but this is a blog not a book. So I will leave you with this,