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Happy Endings

By: Donna Marie Young

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2018 By Donna Marie Young

All rights reserved

Chapter One


Well I want to introduce myself before I start the story of my life. My name is Donna Marie Young and I was born November 18, 1972 at Lewisburg Evangelical hospital in Pennsylvania. I lived in Watsontown Pennsylvania for most of my life. I had a very poor life than most kids my age. I have been through a lot in my life, witch I’m beginning the story now. I was 4 years old when my baby sister was born a few days after my birthday November 24th 1976. Her name was Billie Jo Young and very spoiled because she was the baby. So growing up with a baby sister wasn’t what I thought it would be growing up. We did our share of fighting. I remember one time while I was sleeping she put glitter in my ear. When I woke up my ear was hurting and my mom tried to get the glitter out. But it wouldn’t come out, so I had to go to the doctors.

My doctor was still one of those family doctors that live in their own house and took in town people. Those kinds of doctors were the best kind back then; they were like good friends that help families. I had a main doctor wood and if I couldn’t see him I seen doctors Yanacone and he was a great doctor. He used to say are you growing potatoes in my ear because of all the wax buildup. Witch he said that to pick on the kids and make them smile. But he got all the glitter out and I needed to take medicine to make sure it didn’t get infected. Dr. Wood was my doctor till the day he died and my kid’s doctor too. That wasn’t the first thing my sister ever did. She one time squeezed our pet cat so he couldn’t get down and he needed to go to the litter box. So since she wasn’t letting the cat down, it went all over her. Not really funny because it was messing and gross. When she out grew her crib, we had to share a room together. That wasn’t so fun because I could never get any sleep or she would be yelling all the time.

But I did grow up with great parents. I grew up with a great family. They taught me very great family values. My mom (Maxine Young) and dad (William Young) were great parents. My mom was a stay at home mom and did babysitting on the side. My mom was pregnant before me but she had a miss carriage and they never told her what it was, but she thinks it was a boy. She always wanted a boy and that is why they named my sister Billie after William my dad. My dad worked very hard in his life. He worked at Chef Boyardee’s for 10 years and then left there to Yorktown cabinets and worked there for 41 years to he was forced to retire early. Witch this day and time is not very nice to people who are old and worked very hard for the company. It is very sad that this world is like that to the hard working people. I see too many that were for the union and have been pushed out because of their age. I was told I always wanted a sister, but I don’t remember that at all. Growing up with a younger sister was great at times. But she always got her way, because she was the baby of the family.

I remember when my dad played his guitar and he tried to teach me. While he was playing, I sat on my little chair with my cat listening to him. He would sing old gospel songs. He would play with my pap Kratzer and Uncle Ronnie Knouse too. To see the three of them play was amazing. We would go to Uncle Ronnie’s and aunt Marty’s house. They had some land in the woods where we had they 4th of July party there. It was really fun. We swam in the creek they damned up for a swimming whole. They had an outhouse and there was a steep hill that I and my cousin Paul decided to prove we could climb it. Well after we got up half way and looked down the hill. I got scared because it was so steep, when we tried to walk slowly. We both started to tumble down the hill, trying not to hit any tress on the way down.

My poor cousin Paul was trying not to fall on me, but he almost did. Until he put his arm out and caught a tree to save me more pain. His arm was all scratched up and I was bused here and there. That was so scary I seen my life flash before my eyes and thought I would be dead. Well later that day I was finally feeling relaxed when a friend of the family was there, he thought it was funny to throw an M80 witch was illegal. To see I am jump, well I did but the M80 hit my hand and I had a big gash out of my hand. My mom was mad and wanted to call the cops on him. They had got a towel to wrap my hand and I bleed through that and another towel too. Well they didn’t even take me to the hospital because they were afraid someone would get in trouble for it. Well somehow they bandage me up until it stopped bleeding. But not very fun day at all. But there was times being there was fun, like the horses cousin Ronnie had and we feed. We played in the backyard too. I loved being with family!

They also recorded in on the old movie reel. Uncle Ronnie was awesome because he really could sing and play his guitar. There were times they even played the banjo in their songs. Blue grass and gospel songs they sang. Marty Knouse was my aunt and she would watch them play their music. My cousin Ronnie Jr would watch and want to learn to play too. So we had musicians in our family and it made me want to become a singer. The earliest memories are I used to ride my bike up and down the road from our house to my grams, which were about eight houses down the road. I would ride and sing in the rain. I enjoyed the younger days.

I also remember when my mom would get a regular hoagie for me and my sister. We would share it in half. Half was all meat for my sister and all the vegetables were on my half. I didn’t like meat except only a few kinds of meat. I know I was strange and for the most part was a vegetarian. I guess that is why everyone said I ate like a (pee-pee) chick. I loved being healthy and I was very thin. I even got tanned so easily and very dark. I loved being dark skinned and didn’t have to try very hard. So I guess it was in my blood having Native Indian on both side of my family. I also remember when we had school pictures and I looked like an Indian girl. I really loved being called that in school. I am part sue Indian, Irish, German and Pennsylvania Dutch. So I call myself a mixed puppy but proud of all my ancestry.

When I was 9 years old, I remember helping my gram (Marie Kratzer) and my pap (Stanley Kratzer) planting seeds and also picking the crops like corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes and such. I also remember this huge potatoes bin in the basement, it was full of potatoes for the winter. I wish I would have paid more attention to framing crops. I wish I knew how to also can vegetables and such too. Because they canned everything and in the basement there were shelves full of jars. They were all fresh and ready for the winter months to enjoy. I can only imagine how much you could save on doing all of that for the winter. I would really love to learn how to do all of those things. They were great people; they would help anyone if they could. They had a big heart and cared so much about family. I was taught family first, no matter what!

Well since I lived so close to my grandparents, I was always at their house. Every day after school my sister, mom and I would eat supper with them. The funny is they had a bathroom but never hooked up the septic. So they still had an outhouse witch was strange for us growing up with flushing toilette’s. And late nights were very scary when you had to walk outside in the dark as a young child. But I guess it was another learning experience. My dad and pap worked 2nd shift, so it would be us girls spending time together during the week. Bottom of FormMy pap and dad worked here!

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We would play cards and do huge puzzles. On the weekend we all were at grams, plus aunts and uncles would come to grams house. We made homemade ice-cream and had dip and chips while we played cards or doing puzzles together as a family. My favorite thing to do with the puzzles was to keep one piece in my hand that way, when the last piece was to be put in I was the one that had it. I felt like I finished the puzzle. That was the best days of my life. Some weekends we went with my grandparents to this B&B auction on Fridays and Saturdays. They would buy certain things and while the adults did that, we kids ran around with the other kids. My pap always gave me quarters to play the arcade games, like Pacman. I met a few good friends those days of my life, Bobby Dyer, Pete Dyer, Chubby Reynolds, Curt Reynolds, Marsha and Kathy, William Riebsome. The boys at that time were mostly my friends; they built this fort for us to all hangouts when it rained. We even kissed a few of the boys in that fort. That is probably the real reason why the boys built it. It was so nice of them to run around and be one of the boys.

I always wanted a brother. I was a tomboy that liked playing ball and in the dirt! I remember when I was dared by the boys to try Copenhagen tobacco. Well I did and got very sick and never did that again. I also tried cigarettes that the older kids had. We thought we were cool if we smoked, but I never inhaled the smoke. But there was time I took some of my dad’s cigarettes without him knowing, just to share with my friends. I even got dad in trouble because mom was yelling at him for getting into the cigarettes and it was me. She thought he was smoking more than she had planned and hiding from him. But I knew the hiding spot and would take a pack or so. Not meaning to get him trouble but just wanting to fit in with the crowd of friends. I also remembering a time when I had a paper route with my friend Debbie Miller, we went to school together and were my grams neighbor. I even played basketball in 4th grade but was so short but loved it. I was also babysitting on weekends too.

My parent would go out on the weekends with my cousins while I baby sited the kids. I did this so I would have some money to buy things. I started doing this when I was 9 years old. I remember one time watching the kids; Deeter the boy grabbed the hamster and was squeezing it. I had to get it from him before he hurt it. His sister Shannon was screaming for him to stop it. Or the same kids at the park, Deeter fell off the monkey bars and I ran him all the way home. I watch 2 to 6 kids at a time; I was very good at it. I was a responsible young girl. I was very good with kids too. I just remember how I liked to be treated and did that with them. Back then there was also a church buss that came around to pick kids up on Wednesday nights for church. I was one of them that loved going to church. They had certain classes for certain ages. My cousins Tracy and Peg went to the church too and sometimes my sister. I was in prims and we had badges for certain things, like learning verses.

My favorite verse that I learned all of it to get the biggest badge for the biggest verse was Psalms 23rd. The lord is my shepherd; I shell not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the lord for ever. Amen! This is my favorite verse and I love it so much. I came to the lord at a young age, all on my own.

I felt many times he was with me in my life. I remember when my cousin Tracy Kratzer was a year younger than me. She had to have heart surgery. The pastor came to her house and blessed her healing. She had a huge scar on her back from it. She had a hole in her heart they had to fix it. Her baby sister (Lisa) had the same thing but she passed away because of it. She was very young when God took her. It was very sad and hard for Tracy and her sister Peggy Kratzer.

My cousin’s mom (aunt Short) and dad (uncle Maynard) were my idols. Her mom always invited me to go places with them, like the skating rink, the circus and swimming in their big pool. I was from a poor family, so as a kid it meant so very much to be part of the fun. We went roller skating on the bus that took us to the skating rink. They had sock hops and all my friends were there. I loved rolling skating and having fun. On weekends and summer I was swimming in their pool. When they got a pool we swam every day of the summer. My uncle (Maynard Kratzer) worked on cars with my pap. These are the 2 cars he built from the ground up all by hand! He is my idol to the max! Hard working men of my life!

Aunt Lois before she passed away, very great woman and will be deeply missed! I was hanging around the garage and they would put grease on my nose. My mom always yelled at me for getting so greasy. I loved it! I wanted to be a mechanic when I grew up, just like him! He built a few classic cars from the ground up. He has a 69 Chevelle SS and a 57 Chevy. He was just like my 2nd dad. So the times as a child were very wonderful.

I also liked how my gram was the glue to the family. We always had holidays and parties there at her house. We had Christmas’s there with all the aunts and uncles and cousins all together. We even exchanged gift that we picked the year before out of a hat. So we always got a lot of gifts with a big family. We had dinners in the basement with all of us together. So Aunt Betty, Uncle George and Cousins Angie, Bev, Matt, Steve. Aunt Short, Uncle Maynard, peg and Tracy. Aunt Lois, Uncle Don and Cousins Chris, Paul, Jana, Lisa, Linsey. Mom, dad, Jo and I we are at the reunion.

We even went to Knobels grove with the Schell reunion on my grams side of the family. We got tickets and got to spend time with all of our family. As a kid it was the most fun to ride all kinds of rides and enjoy it with family. That was located in Elysburg Pennsylvania. And we would have a family meal first then we had games and then rides. The rides were the best to ride with someone. My parent’s only road the easy rides. Like the little kid helicopter dad would ride in it with me and they went high in the air. Or dad would take us on the boats that you drive around this water road. It was fun for me being with my dad. We even road the teak cars that drove on a rail that held them from going off track. We all 4 went on it together mom, dad, Jo and I. we even went on the haunted house but I always closed my eyes. It was hard though when they had a big truck horn and lights that looked like they were going to hit us. Scary but we had a good day as a family. We went there every year at the same place at Knobels grove. Then is when I got to play with all my cousins. They were more like brother and sisters to me. It meant the world to have that kind of family.

My grandfather Kratzer was in two wars, World War 2 and Korean War. He was given the Purple Heart medal in the military. He was an amazing soldier and amazing man. My one cousin (Paul Deeter) lived with my grandparents, he was raised by them. He was like my big brother and I was also his remote control on the TV. Back then there were only a few channels and a dial. We sat in front of the TV on the floor. My pap also liked to watch wrestling on Saturday nights. I watched after school American band stand and little house on the prairie. At night was Dukes of hazard, Knight Rider and A-team. On Saturday mornings at my house I watched cartoons like Smurfs, The Littles, Fat Albert and such. It was the good old days. As the years were going by, I was now turning 12 years old on November 18th 1984. The winters were very cold and a lot of snow in those days. We had school delays throughout that winter.

My sister (Billie Jo Young) was turning 8 years old that November 24th 1984. She was the baby of the family and always got her way then. My mom was pregnant before me but she had a miss carriage and they never told her what it was, but she thinks it was a boy. She always wanted a boy and that is why they named my sister Billie after William my dad. These were the days I was in love with Michel Jackson on MTV, Friday night videos. It’s when videos where the greatest thing on TV. Besides the Honey Mooners I watched during the week night waiting for my dad to get home from work, because I loved him and didn’t see him much then. I watched and learned how to dance just like Michel Jackson. I wanted to be just like him, I even dressed like him. My aunt Peg got me a red jacket with zippers just like Michel ware on the video of beat it. I love the jacket I even got a jerry curly hair do. I was very active when I was young. I was in gymnastic and choir and dance for 4 years straight. I even took shop to learn how to wire your house and tools. It was so much fun. I really loved that man and his music. Besides me knowing God and family values at this time I learned so much. My life was about to change some more and my faith was tested too. I believed in God but didn’t always understand why certain things happened in my life. So being as mature as I was at this age, some things were easier to do then most kids my age.

Here is a horrible time in my life was this summer. The summer of (1985) it was around Easter time when I was having fun with my best friend! I was always staying the night on weekends with Donna Festermacher’s house. We made cakes with her mom and made them into Easter bunny’s. the coconut shreds with food coloring into different col May 30th I was getting ready to spend the night when Donna called me and told me her mom changed her mind because she had soccer practice. She said maybe next weekend. She was into sports, choir and gymnastics. She was very active young girl! I said ok see you in school on Monday.

Later that night we were watching the news and were calling for a storm. Well it got really bad they changed it into a tornado warning, so we had to get out of the trailer that we lived in. We went down the road to my grams house to stay the night. The lightning and thunder was really bad. The wind was blowing so hard the house was shaking. I was so scared I couldn’t sleep! We might have to go to the basement if it got any worse, my mom said. Well I was told you should have some windows open for pressure of the house. Well gram opened the window a bit near the stand of all her grandchildren’s photos were all lined nice and neat. Well when we thought the storm was almost over it got silent. But it was just the silence before the storm. It sounded like a freight train running through a wall or something. Then the wind blew even harder and blew over a photo on my grams stand with all the grandchildren’s photos were on. We looked at what fell over and out of all the photos of maybe twenty; my photo was the only one that fell over.

The next day when the storm was passed and finally the sky was blue and beautiful again. I got a call from my cousin peg; she told me that Donna had died in the tornado last night. I didn’t believe her at all. When the newspaper showed up, it had photos of the tornado! There were photos of Donna trailer and the four walls were collapsed on a young twelve year old girl. Her name was Donna Fenstermacher and the story I heard was she was heading to the basement with her family. When her mom reached for Donna’s hand to pull her to the basement, she flies in the air. The next morning is when her family began to look for her. When fire fighters helped search they found her body under four walls of their trailer. It finally sunk in my head that she was gone. I wondered why me “GOD”? Why wasn’t I there to save her or why was I saved instead of her? All kinds of thoughts went through my head. I hated what had happen; I was supposed to stay that night. Talk to my uncle George about it and he was a pastor. He said I was saved for a reason and when my photo was the only one that blew over, it was Donna saying “GOODBYE”.

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