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By James A. Marples
Just a few days ago,  It would have been the 100th birthday of my late mother Gloria (Riedl) Marples and her twin-sister Dolores (Riedl) Myers. On this milestone moment, I think back to their momentous lives. They were the first generation in their family to have been born in a hospital in Great Bend, Kansas on November 5, 1922.Their parents (my grandparents) were hoping for boy babies, so they picked-out masculine given names. Needless to say, they were surprised by the arrival of twin girls and had to scramble for female names. The inspiration for my mom’s name “Gloria” was due to the popular actress of the time, Gloria Swanson. The inspiration for my aunt Dolores’s name was that of another well-known actress Dolores del Rio.   The sight of twins was then (and still is now) an amazing event. However, there is something else that makes that birth significant.  My mom was a twin. Her mother ahead of her was a twin. And her mother ahead of her was a twin.  Three straight generations of twins is an astounding thing. I broke the mold, since I am not a twin; but I have lots of cousins. Mom worked hard all her life. Her family had survived the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression. Plus, she worked seventeen years as a waitress at the glamorous “Hotel Lassen” and twenty years helping with student meals at the Rose Hill, Kansas, public schools lunchroom and cafeteria. Plus, she devoted many years as a wife and mother. Mom was devoted to the YWCA, the Catholic altar society,  “Mother Singers” and “Rosettes” singing groups. My mom loved to sell cookbooks by the hundreds for charitable causes. She also belonged to the Rebekah ladies circle. Mom was age 41 when I came along; my dad was 53.  I brought my mom to East Texas and we attended Mass at the Catholic Church and also visited Greggton Methodist Church. I wish that Mom was still alive to see the changes in the local area in the nineteen years since her passing.    She would be amazed. There are times when I wish I could ask her a question. I also have similar emotions of wanting to talk to my dad, Bill Marples, as well. The one comforting thought is that I still have my MEMORIES to hold onto. Memories are a precious thing.

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