Boyd Blummer, a Dow Rummel resident, was excited to learn that two housekeepers, Josephine and Ortha, were from Liberia – a place near and dear to him. In the 1970’s, Boyd had spent time in Liberia training new pastors. During his time there, Boyd grew close with the community and collected a number of souvenirs along the way. 

Boyd, being full of surprises, wanted to surprise Josephine and Ortha! Boyd set up his souvenirs and told the girls that he had something he wanted to show them. There was no doubt that Josephine and Ortha were not only surprised, but delighted to see what Boyd had laid out for them. Within minutes, it sounded like three old friends chatting away – discussing the details and history behind the souvenirs.  It was fun to hear the stories they shared back and forth.  

A handmade African dress was the first souvenir to catch Josephine’s eye. Josephine was excited to share her knowledge with the detailed process that goes into making each dress – every one unique. 

Another interesting item was a handcrafted African Family Link Chain. It is hand carved piece of wood with chains links connecting one end to the other.  The links represent the children that connect the mother on one end, to the father on the other, creating the family chain.

Before leaving Ortha assured Boyd that he sure surprised them and added, ‘Not only was it a surprise but it was a good one! I did not expect that. It makes me feel more at home.’ 

Thank you, Boyd, Josephine and Ortha for letting me be a part of this special moment.