During the Phoenix, Arizona years, 1967 to 1969, Mary Beth came to play with me and my brothers Barry and baby Stephen. She was our first real babysitter but more like a big sister, and I miss her to this day.
Upon our first meeting, she sat on the floor with me. I was looking at my new book, Never Tease A Weasel, by Jean Conder Soule. Illustrated by Denman Hampson. NY: Parents’ Magazine Press, 1964. “Read it to me,” she said.
“I can’t read very well.”
“I’ll help you.”
I read one or two words then she helped me sound out the harder ones. Within a minute or two, she took the book and smiled. “I’ll read it to you. But if you keep practicing, you’ll be able to read someday.” She made me feel special.
After reading, we played with my Barbies. We dressed them, combed their hair, and pretended to go shopping until baby Stephen woke up from his nap. She had to take care of him the rest of our time together.
When Momma came home, Mary Beth had to go home. I was sad. “I will come again,” she said, and that made me happy.