I have been blessed with another poet in my life; allow me to introduce you to Gaylia Kenslow – Stogsdill, my mother in-law. She was a great woman with a kind and loving heart. Always willing to help out and take care of business.
She was born in Lanton, Missouri in 1931. The only child of Eulis Kenslow and Minnie (Eldringhoff) Kenslow. Lanton wasn’t much more than a Post Office and a General Store. They farmed and raised cattle for a living. The local one room school was staffed by one of her aunts. She later graduated from West Plains High School, home of the Zizzers.
- Her childhood contained many adventures:
- Her parents divorced and her father ‘kidnapped’ her binging her to Michigan.
- They reconciled and remarried.
- She lived through the Great Depression
- Her family traveled to California where they sought work as Fruit Tramps, traveling from farm to farm in search of work.
- They lived for a time outside of Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri managing a motel for the workers that were building the camp.
- While at the camp she learned how to gamble (successfully) by throwing dice.
- Seen her father shot in the leg by a man admiring his pistol.
- Worked in the Brown Shoe Factory alongside Porter Waggoner.
- Graduated from Business School in Springfield Missouri
- Traveled by bus to Flint, Michigan to meet her fiancé Herb and get married.
Gail wrote poetry to honor a special event or person and to celebrate holidays. Her wit and wisdom is missed greatly.
She passed in 2015 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Flint, Michigan.