Yesterday the mail brought an awaited treasure. A couple weeks ago I received an email from Barbara. She introduced herself as the daughter of a friend of my Great-Uncle Fred Bode. She was in the process of cleaning out her father’s effects after his death. She had come across a book of poems by Katharine Brenner Bode entitled “My Victory Garden of Thoughts.” The book was self-published and bore the copyright date of 1943, plus Aunt Katie’s address in Pittsburgh.
Barbara had done a web search for “Katharine Brenner Bode” and discovered the site where our TNG-based family tree is displayed. She contacted me and asked if I would like to have the book of poems. Of course I said “Yes!” Aunt Katie was my paternal grandfather’s sister.
I have fond memories of the Bode family. Uncle Fred was a YMCA secretary and later a High School coach. Son Dana got me started in genealogy over 30 years ago. I am still assimilating the research he gathered. I remember Freddie because he played the bagpipes. I still stay in touch in daughters Mary Anna and Miriam. Mary Anna was a teaching missionary for the Presbyterian Church, serving in Sudan and Egypt. Miriam was a teacher in Pittsburgh. I remember my Mom talking about Aunt Katie’s kitchen: “When she baked, flour was every where. And so was the love.”
Aunt Katie’s poetry tells us something about the person she was deep within – a woman of deep faith and strong citizenship, with a vibrant love of life and a caring spirit toward others. Here are two poems from her book:
Like rare treasures,
Altho’ not on display;
Or met with often, are priceless
THROUGH MY GARDEN
I do hope you like my garden,
And all my little flowers;
‘Cause I need friends to help them grow,
Friendship gives sun and showers.
And that’s why I love to share it,
With the ones who with me roam;
I hope you’ve picked a big bouquet
To take with you to your home.
Thanks, Barb. You have left a few of Aunt Katie’s flowers with me. I’ll treasure them.