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Mountains of Memories - Judy Gascho

by JANIE LANK - momthepoet@yahoo.com

Judy Lipsett Gascho was born in Anderson on July 31, 1937, as one of the seven children of Hilda and Hugh Lipsett. The family moved to Frankfort when she was four years old. Gascho attended Riley and Kyger grade schools and graduated from Frankfort High School with the class of 1955.

“We lived in a big house on the corner of Armstrong and Main Streets, and Dad managed Schiff’s Shoe Store on the square. Mom and Dad wrote songs, and we all learned the words and sang them together as a family. They gave us love, music, writing and laughter in abundance. If we were poor, we did not know it,” said Gascho.

“George Heddle was a blind man and was a tenant in our home. He played the piano, Dad played the violin, saxophone and piano while we all sang. Dad also played in a band,” she added.

When Gascho was about 10, she was chosen to be the mascot for the high school games, and she was honored to be football and basketball queen her senior year, she said.

“house was a gathering place for all our friends. Every Friday our friends would come to play records and dance. We called it the ‘Open House Night.’ Mom and Dad loved it,” said Gascho. “However, the kids danced so much in our big dining room that Dad had to have the floor jacked up.”

Another gathering place after school was Aughts Drug Store on the square. She and her friends would pile as many kids as they could in one booth.

Other fond memories include the Friday night dances at the school after the ball games.

“What fun! Even county kids came to the dances,” she said.

Judy Lipsett met her future husband, Jay Gascho, the summer after graduation. After a dance, he followed her home in a car. A friend of his introduced them, and they began to date.

“From that first date, I knew he was the one for me,” she recounted. “We were married in 1956 and lived in Frankfort for a year and then moved to Mulberry.”

Jay Gascho worked for Standard Oil and then Ag-max, delivering petroleum products, and the couple raised five children in Mulberry, which was the perfect place to raise children at that time, she reported.

“We felt safe and I was a stay-at-home Mom until I opened ‘The Mulberry Bush,’ which was a flower shop. Our house was so big we were able to turn part of it into the shop. My mom and dad were part of this business. Dad kept the books, and Mom and I did the flowers. I did this for 19 years until my health caused me to retire.”

Some of her favorite times with Jay were when they went dancing at the Elks in Frankfort during their early married years.

“If I could have a wish granted, I would want to be able to dance one more time,” Gascho revealed. “I loved Frankfort, but Mulberry has my heart. I have been blessed with a happy life and a great family - and then I married into another great family. I admired my mother most of all for all that she did for us and for the love we always felt from her.

“However, when she felt one of us girls were a little full of ourselves she would say, ‘Pretty is as pretty does.’”

Now that Gascho is retired, she keeps busy making little dolls and fairies from polymer clay that she hand sculpts, and she recycles antique leather gloves to make their clothes. To relax, she also does beading on linen threads and donates them to family and friends.

According to Gascho, “Some things I always told my children were, ‘Oh, would the gifts that God would give us would be to see ourselves as others see us. In other words, don’t get cocky because others see us in different ways.’”

She also would remind them: “Keep your sense of humor, for it can get you through a lot,” and “Self-control is what we all need to practice.”