Barbara With
Dr. E. Stanley Jones
Barbara Tells Of India
By James E. McEldowney
The School Party Stories - Table of Contents In Memory Of Kent Schulz and Christy Conard

Barbara lived in India while she grew up. She had lots of fun because she liked to go to interesting places and see Indian people dressed in all their beautiful clothes. The world is full of wonderful places and people who are different. I hope you will be able to have some of the fun Barbara had.

Barbara is grown up now and has three children of her own. She often tells them stories about India and has often gone to schools and other places to tell what she did when she was little. I thought you might want to know what she remembers about India. So I asked her to put it in a letter. Here is what she wrote.

"You asked whether I thought it was a good experience growing up overseas in India like we did . . . I have always felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow up in India. I have so many good memories of happy times in both Jabalpur and Landour. (Jabalpur is the city in central India which we called home. Landour is 700 miles away in the Himalaya mountains where she went to Woodstock school.)

"I especially remember the beauty of both places. Mountains have a special meaning in my life as a result of the Himalayas. The landscape there and throughout India is still a thrilling memory for me . . .

"Life at Leonard, (the college where I taught) the activities at Christmas time, the students, faculty and their families (and she names them) . . . our different homes on the campus - each a very special memory, our servants: Ayah, cooks Hari, Darbari - I remember them well. The mali (gardener) how I loved the flowers, trees, fruits, garlands and such. We enjoyed our bikes so much, riding bicycles around the campus, to town, to the movies, even to Madan Mahal and Marble Rocks. When I give talks on India to school children I tell favorite snake stories, how we were forbidden to put our hands in the water when boating at Marble Rocks because of crocodiles, etc.!

"Trains were such an adventure and I wrote some good papers in college about our train rides to and from Woodstock! The fun we had in anticipation and the excitement of it all -- the people, the venders, food, noise, voices -- it's a great and powerful memory. (++Page 104) "I especially recall with pride the radio programs, film strips, photos and movies you made in Jabalpur - it was quite an adventure.

"I remember Mom teaching at Leonard - how her students would laugh and tell me stories and examples she had given in her class - her enthusiasm, her laugh, her loving and pleasant way with everyone . . .

"We had so many good memories of Mom in Landour, inviting friends for tea, her friendly interest and concern, making delicious homemade doughnuts, fudge, etc. Just her zeal for everything is something I'll always treasure and appreciate. it was fun to have both experiences of Landour and Jabalpur and they exemplified some of the very contrasts in India.

"The trips we made are still very vivid to me. The sights sounds, and of course, the smells! A feeling that is difficult to explain - the quietness, the beauty, peacefulness and tranquility in the midst of much of the turmoil existing in India . . .

"Hiking in the Himalayas - even to Witches Hill, or out on Tehri road, Kemptee Falls, watching the sunset, sunrise, the monsoons, and leeches, etc. etc. Perhaps a different feeling toward 'time' or a quality of time is what I'm trying to capture. The time without the rush of the western world's noise and scheduling or always having to do something at an exact time. organization, rush, the constant blare of radios, TV - our days at Eastwood were such a contrast - the fun of playing after school and on weekends - kick the can, swinging, roller skating on the porch of the Big House, picnics like on the 4th of July, visiting, talking, and I could go on and on!

"Our visits to New Delhi, the, Red Fort, the Taj Mahal (the most beautiful building in the world) - her parentheses - Ajanta and Ellora Caves, the Katub Minar, Madras, Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc.

"Woodstock was for me a good and positive experience. Good teachers, friends, sports, music, activities in drama, student government and Christian Endeavor were all enriching experiences.

"I have to mention how much it always meant to me to have Betty and Phil checking on me at Woodstock and later at Simpson. I always appreciated their interest and concern and it always was a help. The letters from you and Mom were always wonderful. The constant communication a joy! I've often felt we communicated more than those who lived together daily. We perhaps expressed more of our feelings and thoughts! enjoyed our time together.

"And wasn't Mom a good hostess? She enjoyed entertaining so much. She was in her element. Remember the fun she had playing [++Page105] spoons and planning teas? Remember her favorite meal she trained Victor (the cook) to fix; salad, rolls, and her peanut brittle ice cream? Another favorite story - our first refrigerator traded for a tiger skin -- is that right? ice cream was such a treat - no wonder I still enjoy it so much.

"Our trips to and from the USA -- each a very special memory and I could just about write a book on each trip! It was such an opportunity we enjoyed so much - the trips by ocean liner - what a fabulous experience! For years I thought you swayed when playing ping pong - because the only time I'd played it was on an ocean liner!

"There are so many times and memories I didn't include but I guess I just wanted to tell you what a wealth of experience we were lucky enough to have in growing up in India and especially in our family - that made the difference.

"I'm almost overwhelmed when I think of the experiences you had in going to India the filth and poverty existing there but the way you both saw through to the dignity and worth of each person and to the beauty of India. I always felt it was a privilege to be there and it was not a sacrifice, and I obviously learned that from you and Mother.

"I guess what I'm saying is, Thanks for the memories, Mother and Dad, and thank you for everything."

What a letter! Thanks, Barbara. our world is so full of wonderful places and interesting people. Learn all you can about them and I hope your life will be as exciting and happy as Barbara's was in India. [by James E. McEldowney, August1997]

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