Janet Johnson Roberts' Memories of Richsquare

Richsquare Reverie

Lois (Harned Jordan) asks me to write about my memories of Richsquare. Scary assignment!! What can I say about that place that shaped the very core of my being, that is the epicenter of what i am today??!!?

Richsquare means love, home, parents, security, family, solid values, community, caring neighbors almost as close as family, peaceful countryside, the brick church in the wildwood that formed the center of our community life........ Sunlight filtering through the big window behind the pulpit, falling on the little wooden church that always received our birthday pennies each year -- unfailingly ringing as each coin dropped in.

Weekly Sunday School! All the big people and the little people got to go!! Teachers such as Milly Gaddis and Lucille Gaddis for the children; Raymond Johnson for the young adults and Mabel S. Johnson and then Frances Harned for the adults. The little bell signaling the end of classes and time to reassemble. Superintendents such as Clyde Harned, my Dad (Myrton Johnson), Raymond Johnson and Ed Noble. Twice-a-month ministers like Truman Kentworthy and Murvel Garner. Lois's Aunt Mildred (White) teaching at Friends School in Ramallah, Palestine.

Adults and children all in church........ trying hard to behave! Lois and I sometimes being overcome with uncontrollable giggles just when we knew we shouldn't!! Meaningful messages. Meaningful prayers. Meaningful silences. Wonderful hymn-singing with Mabel S. Johnson at the piano, later Frances White Harned. Strong social message....... be of service to others....... church isn't just on Sunday, but is everyday. William Penn's teachings were well taught. Each person has his or her role in carrying out God's message. 

Christmas treat bags for the children..... always filled by my Mom and Dad on our kitchen table and cabinet ------ hard candies, nuts, and oranges ------ to be passed out at church by Santa Claus Clyde Harned!

Fellowship before Sunday School and after services were over. Neighbors caring and sharing and supporting each other through work, birth, life, and death.

Dad reading the Penn Quarterly daily Bible reading each morning to us after breakfast. Mom ordering all the Sunday School supplies year after year from David C. Cook Publishing Company and probably other places I didn't know about.

Merton Grills from Hagerstown tore down the old Richsquare Academy sometime around the late 30's. Interesting man for little girls to talk to as he was working on the bricks and mortar. He knew lots about birds and shared that knowledge with me..... gave me a North American Bird Book and stimulated what turned out to be a life-long interest for me.

Unhurried rural life for me with lots of time to enjoy the farm, its animals, the sky, the clouds, lying in the grass, watching birds and insects, fireflies on warm summer evenings, June bugs, locusts, cherry trees in the front yard, apples, plums, pears and peaches in the orchard, wondering about God, brothers and families home for visits, tennis on the court, croquet on the front lawn, neighbors that were a real part of my life...

Lois, Dorothy (White McConnell), Wilfred (White), and Milly (Johnson Gaddis), it's been over thirty years and you are all still there and now I'm over half a continent away, but we share that Richsquare of the past that binds us together into Eternity along with all those others who passed that way and carry Richsquare's message and impact on their hearts today.
Janet Johnson Roberts
Attended Richsquare 1927-1949
Daughter of Myrton and Bessie Johnson
Sister of Wilmer, Orville and Ralph
Written April 15, 1984