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Mendola Colson met her husband, Jess, when his sister introduced them.
“I went to school with her and she just brought him along one day so I could meet him,” Mendola said.
She was 17 and knew a little about baking cakes.
They married on April 25, 1942.
Now, 70 years later, she puts a spread on the table for most every meal.
Shortly after they married, Jess’s mother sent over some dried beans for Mendola to cook. Mendola said she cooked them but didn’t know how to cook them and she didn’t want to ask her mother-in-law so she just kept on cooking them.
“They just didn’t taste right, so I poured them out over the hill, where she couldn’t see me,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.
The couple married at Bro. Hutchison’s house in Williamstown.
“I’d never even seen the preacher before,” she said. “Jess just took care of everything.”
The couple made their home in Keefer, where they still live today.
They have seven children: Jesse Dean Jr., Terry, Ronald, Sharon Beach, Bobby, Otha Robin and Angie McClafferty, as well as 17 granchildren, 29 great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.
“Whew!” Mendola said, when asked if marriage was hard.
“It was a different world,” she said. “We worked in the fields and still took care of the children.”
As far as the secret to a good marriage, Mendola said she didn’t have a magic formula but believed God had blessed her family.
“You’ve got to just believe in God and have faith. All marriages have ups and downs,” she said.
For Jess, Mendola is still his girl.
“I’ve got the sweetest wife that ever was,” he said.
Robin and Terry agree.
“They taught us to be good,” Robin said.
“We had a wonderful childhood,” Terry added.
When she can, Mendola enjoys fishing and going to church at Antioch Church of Christ.
“I came to Keefer where Jess was from and here I am. I guess when it’s time I’ll be buried here at Keefer,” she said.