Saturday, April 26, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: W is for Ward

My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.”  I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways. 

is for Ward.  Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” Ward.

Red hair.  Big smile and a laugh to match.  “Dahling” said with the proper measure of sarcasm.  That’s what I remember about my mother’s best friend from high school, a woman who shoulda woulda coulda been a friend for life except for a brief period when they just drifted apart but were reunited in the worst of circumstances. 

They reconnected as both were receiving chemo treatments for ovarian cancer.  What were the odds?

But in their youth, they must have been something to behold! 

The pretty girls at Cradock High School, class of 1946. 

Mary Eleanor Davis 1946
Momma 1946
Elizabeth Ann Betsy Ward 1946
Betsy 1946


Cradock High School Cheerleaders 1945
Betsy is the 1st girl front on the right.
Momma is 3rd girl back on the left.

Steady girlfriends of the popular boys

Dickie Blanks and Mary Davis
Dickie was Senior Class president
and captain of 3 sports teams
Tommy Watson and Betsy Ward
Tommy was president of the Student Council,
played 4 sports, and was an officer in numerous
clubs including the Debate Team

Beauties on the beach

Christine Wisehart, Betsy Ward, Mary Eleanor Davis
Christine Wisehart, Betsy Ward, Mary Eleanor Davis
Elizabeth Ann Betsy Ward
I LOVE this picture.  I'm sure
Betsy thought this pose was funny.

Party girls in the BEST sense of the word

Palomar 1945
At the Palomar dance club Virginia Beach 1945
Tommy Watson, Betsy Ward,
Mary Eleanor Davis, Dickie Blanks

At the Frolic dance club probably 1947
I guess Tommy and Dickie had been kicked to the curb.

Elizabeth Ann Betsy Ward 1947
Betsy's freshman photo
Longwood College 1946-47
What Betsy wrote on the back of her photo

If you have withstood my wily and whimsical wheedling, then wallow in the wanderlust of more waggish writings and witticisms wafting your way at the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Wow. What a way to reconnect.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

    1. I know -- so weird for them to have cancer, the same kind of cancer.

  2. Pretty isn't a good enough word! She's more like, fabulous!

  3. You have the most interesting stories and photos. The dynamic duo!

  4. Love those High school portraits - we just don't have anything like that over here.

  5. Your mom's best friend Elizabeth sounds like a dahling. Your momma and Besty were gorgeous women.

  6. W is also for WOW! You have some great pictures to share of these two women. It's too bad that they reunited as a result of ovarian cancer - I have a young friend (32) who just had a full hysterectomy because both of her ovaries had cancerous tumors in them. Anyway, thanks for your post - it did make me smile! :D

    1. 32! I hope all goes well for your friend.

  7. Your writings are so unique! Your familly is going to love you more for the family history you provide. Your W was intriguing! Thoroughly enjoyed my visit here! Thanks for visiting me or I might not have found you!
    Sharon from

  8. WoW! Those bikinis were awesome! What a the note on the high school photo :)
    So sad about the cancer...makes you wonder what they both had in common to get the same thing. I hate cancer...
    On a lighter note, lovely post for W!

    1. Yeah that note! Some irony - some humor - some love. I like the triple underline of "but" ~

  9. What a sad way to reconnect but maybe it was good that they could be there for each other. Looks like they had a lot of fun together in high school!

    1. I like to think it was a happy "reunion" despite the timing of it.
      Fun in high school - oh yes! They had some stories to tell.

  10. I always thought Betsy was related to us when I was little. Momma and Betsy were tied together in many many ways. As we have said numerous times, so strange they both died from Ovarian Cancer. Christmas mornings at Betsy's was always fun.

    1. I remember going there but don't remember anything specific -- just being totally wiped out after visiting EVERYBODY.

  11. I love the yearbook photograph of the couple on the swing. It seems so childlike and I wonder if girls and guys these days would be photographed in that setting. And yet, the seniors of that time looked so much more mature than the girls of our time (in my opinion, at least). I continued to be amazed at all the photos you have of your mom's friends. (And please tell me how you were able to get blogger to publish photos side-by-side! It used to but the most recent blogger won't let me do it. There must be some trick to it, huh?)

    1. I agree those high schoolers look more like college kids. I have a picture of my mom at 14 but she looks 21.

      Oh, Blogger is a pain about those pictures. Horizontals hardly ever work unless they're small or one is paired with a vertical. 2 verticals usually always work regardless of size. Sometimes I have to drag and drag and drag the photo into place to make it "stick."