This all seemed to start with a birthday party, but actually it began 90 years ago on October 13, 1920. A baby girl come to grace the home of George and Meta Kasper. They named her Lorine. Many of us know her as Lorine Metz and she is friendly and kind to all she meets.
Lorine was surprised Saturday, October 9th at the Peters Prairie Schoolhouse (which is now a Community Center) on her 90th birthday. When I say surprised, I mean wide-mouth and wide-eyed surprise. She told me, "I was with a lot of these people Friday night and not a peep from anyone." When you can get 53 people in on a secret that they keep you have seen a miracle.
Now Sister Doris had to invent a tale to get Lorine moving. It went something like this. She told her, "There is to be a meeting to elect officers and if we aren’t there we will probably be given an office." That moved Lorine. She said, "I sure don’t want to get elected secretary of anything."
Lorine showed up with a black eye. We were told she had turned on the sprinkler and tried to outrun it. She didn’t want her hair messed up.
Her nephew, Jeff Grote, was the schoolmaster. He was rather tough too and carried a big ruler. Nephew Warren Grote gave thanks before the lovely sandwich lung.
Lorine didn’t know her son, Glen and his wife, Valerie, were in town. They were to come on Sunday. They live in Apache Junction, Arizona. Lorine is returning for a visit.
A tribute from Valerie follows.
"Lorine is not just a mother-in-law to me. She has become own Mom. She is such a loving person who always has a positive attitude about everything. She can always find something good even in the most challenging circumstances.
"She’s like the sunshine on a beautiful Spring day. She warms up a room with her smile and her contagious laughter.
"Lorine inspires me every day! I hope through the years I become more and more like her.
"What has Lorine taught me over the last 7 years that I know her – well, she taught me how to fold fitted sheets and how to make delicious recipes from practically nothing in the refrigerator. I’ve learned what "Must Goes" are for dinner and above all else I learned to be patient with life and live and love each day with a positive outlook.
"Perhaps if I practice the things Lorine lives by each day I will turn out to be a most loving and caring person as she is now after 90 years. So with the deepest love and respect I wish you the most Happiest Birthday and many many more to come."
We were in a school room decorated with lunch boxes for centerpieces. Cindy Thinnes sang My Country Tis of Thee. Even stern Jeff couldn’t keep control of the classes as George Eastes serenaded Lorine with You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby. Cindy also sang My Favorite Things with a twist of her own.
Finally recess came and we all played games and sang several songs in rounds.
Now, the Birthday Cake! Yummy.
Then, Lorine was taken to the flagpole (check Doris’ poem later). I believe Lorine was expecting young Clayton at the flagpole. There was a basket filled with cards.
This party opened the door to find a bit more about Lorine.
She began school in the old Mason School (Historical Building) for the first three grades. Her parent then bought property at Mason Mountain and she was in the Peters Prairie school district where she and Sister Doris and Brother Rubin (he and wife, Edna live in Dublin, Texas) rode horses four miles to get there. Lorine’s horse was named Brown Jug. They only taught through ninth grad and her Daddy said, "That’s enough school."
Mr. Gartrell, who owned a dry goods store in Mason, encouraged Lorine’s father to send his girls to Draughn’s Business School in San Antonio, Texas. Doris and Lorine both went and graduated.
She got a job for an insurance company in San Antonio doing their payroll.
Now hang on for a fast ride to a love store. Lorine was going to the USO to dance with the service men. Well, this particular night she was dancing with a young man in the Airforce. When other service men tapped him on the shoulder to cut-in to dance with Lorine, he wouldn’t give her up. Lloyd Metz was his name. The person in charge told her if she wouldn’t dance with the others to "Get off the floor". So, they got off the floor. They went outside and talked. Three weeks later, they were married on February 9, 1945 at Travis Methodist Church in San Antonio. "I found myself on an airplane headed for Denver, Colorado where Lloyd was to be stationed," she said.
After his military time was served, Lloyd become a Border Patrol employee. He retired in 1967. During that time they lived in Costa Rica for two years. Several other places were their home and retired in Los Angeles, California.
Her sister-in-law, Edna Kasper told me, "Lorine worked at Kellogg Cereal Company in California and she would send by mail the little cereal boxes to my children. They loved it."
When they retired the fun began. She said, "We traveled in our pickup pulling our fifth wheel trailer where ever we wanted to go. We would go to a place and stay as long as we wanted to. We did what we wanted to do. It was good. They used whatever means of transportation necessary to get to the newest place. To mention a few places they went to were: Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Alaska, Mexico, Canada and they cruised the Mediterranean. After 40 years of traveling and carrying their "stuff’ on the road, they settled down in Payson, Arizona to live out their remaining years there.
When her Lloyd died February 20, 2008 shortly after their 63rd anniversary on February 9th Lorine decided in June 2008 to return to her roots in Mason County. She was back home again. She resides in the Housing Project where she is often found visiting with friends.
A cup of coffee and visiting can be had every Friday at the community room there. Roberta McMillan told me, "I often go and visit. That Friday coffee has been going on for 20 years."
Pat Tucker shared how a group gets together on Friday night called "Dine Out." She said, "We keep a strict record because one Friday we eat at Zavalas and the net Friday we eat at Willow Creek." These people know how to enjoy life.
I asked Lorine to share what good and bad influences she had seen in her lifetime. She quickly said, "The bad is drugs and what they do and the horrible stories on TV that I think causes people to do bad things. And the good in my life was the privilege of receiving the love and wisdom I got from my grandparents, Martha and Adoph Haun and Eppy and John Kasper. That, I remember today."
I asked her if she could give our youth of today advice what would it be? She said, "The same advice my father gave me. "Your day is what you make it and it will add up to a good year" I believe she has heard those words in her heart all her life.
I asked what invention had touched the most people. She said, "The TV. It is a good thing when used right. Of course when they sent a man to the moon was important too."
This lady is one of the beautiful people we are blessed to encournter in our lifetime. With a mind as sharp as a steel trap, she had a quick response to each question I asked. When she turned her lovely smile my way, I felt as if the room got brighter. May God help us if we try to outrun the sprinkler and it doesn’t work. We can point to the shiner and say, "We might beat it next time."
I am adding the poem her sister Doris wrote for her so you can too see the love between these two.
The Life of Lorine Metz
Among the Antiquated archives of time,
We found this old scroll of history
It tells the story of one loved person pristine,
Her name you all know is beloved Lorine.
Ninety years ago Lorine first saw the light of day,
It was out the Fly Gap way.
It wasn’t long before she started Mason School,
Where Lorine began to learn the Golden Rule.
At Mason Mountain her Daddy and Mama bought land,
And at Peters Prairie School Lorine did land.
So many years ago she entered this old place,
and wished she was not at tall in this space.
She tied up her horse after a long four mile ride,
she didn’t look happy, but she still tried.
And when she entered this little ol’ schoolhouse room,
she realized then she hadn’t met her doom.
Mamie and she went to State for a special tennis Day,
They played their hardest and Second Place came their way.
Then on day, Clayton left a love note by the ol’ flag pole,
No one ever knew and Lorine never toll.
Years past and Lorine left Peters Prairie in the Texas dust,
’Cause further education was going to be a must.
She completed Business College and got a job,
No more tennis balls did she have to lob.
Then she met Lloyd Metz, the love of her life,
Three weeks later she became his wife.
Along with this package she got a son,
They raised him with love and had lots of fun.
Glen’s been a fine son and still oh so cute,
This is a subject that no one can dispute.
Lloyd retired real early from a long career,
So now enjoying life was thought to be most sincere.
So he took his wife and they hit the road,
Their pick-up and fifth wheeler mad it all in one load.
They traveled a lot and hit many bases.
New York, Costa Rica and Mexico among some of the places.
For Forty years they traveled around,
Always on the go and never to set ground.
They cruised the Mediterranean beaches.
And enjoyed life and ate many peaches.
They had 63 years of wedded bliss
And never did part without a kiss.
Lloyd’s gone now to a better place.
So Lorine’s here in Mason to enjoy her home space
Lorine, we must confide -
You’ve had on heck of a life ride!
So your family and friends are here on this very special day
To wish you the most Happiest 90th Birthday!