I just learned that Mary Kiser has died of Alzheimers yesterday morning in Staunton. She was 89 years old. She had a simple life, really. She can be bashful when she snickered so loudly. She and her husband, Ralph Kiser, has been together for 62 years.
Why am I talking about her? When I was a student at VSDB, Mary Kiser often visited Bettie Creasy at the dormitory during the evening time. They would sit and chat with each other along with Kathy Hughes. At that time, not far from them, the students would do their homeworks for an hour or so. When the students are done, they can resort to do whatever they wanted for the remainder of the hour or so. Meanwhile, I tend to join Bettie, Kathy and Mary for these interesting tidbits.
Mary Kiser once told me an unbelievable story that happened to her in early 1980s. I could not believe what she said. Bettie confirmed that story and insisted that what happened is real. I turned to look at Mary as in, "Are you serious?"
She smiled out of bashfulness and said: YOU THINK I MAKE THIS STORY UP?!
Here is the tale that has not been told by many:
Once Upon A Time ... in Staunton's fabled VSDB campus, some houseparents used to reside in dormitories -- some dormitories has apartments for the houseparents who preferred to live on the campuses until they are ready to move out of the campus.
The Kisers was no different, really. They used to reside in Darden Hall for some years. During the summertime, the VSDB campus is virtually empty. Practically nobody is on the campus between June to August. Naturally, during the school year, the Kisers always locked the apartment to keep their lives private, away from the students who resided in Darden Hall as well.
But during the summertime, nobody is in the building, Mary and Ralph occasionally left the door open to catch the drifts because it can be hot in these buildings. One night, Mary had a small dog who were startled by something. It barked at something beyond the door -- something in the hallway.
Suddenly, her dog got off from the couch and ran into the hallway outside of her apartment. Mary knew that the front door of Darden Hall was unlocked. Mary then walked out of her apartment into the hallway -- suddenly, she saw a caucasian naked guy running towards her. She ran back into her apartment and slammed the door and locked it.
She was terrorized by this odd-looking guy, she said he seems to be wild -- has wild eyes. She was terrified and ran to her son's bedroom, Jim Kiser, and woke him up. Jim Kiser is hearing fellow whom I knew as Physical Education teacher at VSDB. He was such a hottie but hot-tempered guy. Easy on my eyes, though.
Mary's husband was nowhere to be found, in fact. He was at the Creasy family's place for a while. He was due to be home. At that time, the Kiser household did not have a telephone. There was a window right above the door which Jim Kiser climbed to peek at this lunatic guy who kept on slamming himself against the heavy oak door (Yes, Darden Hall has these magnificent thick Oak doors which you can slam it and it created these magnificent vibrations that shook the building!)
Jim saw this guy running amok in the hallway of Darden's first floor chasing their small dog. Jim told Mary about it. She freaked out. Jim dressed up and went to jump out of the first-floor apartment by window and ran to get some help. Yes, Mary was virtually alone, barricaded in her own apartment with this nut running amok. She was terrified.
About 15 minutes later, the cops flooded the building. They located this maniacal guy on 3rd floor hiding under the desk. The Kisers looked for the dog that hides in 2nd floor.
Mary smiled at me, "IMAGINE ME BEING ALONE! ME SCARED SILLY!" She then laughed at herself as Bettie tugged her shoulder and said, "YOU SO FUNNY!" I asked Mary about this naked guy -- who is he?
Mary smiled and said, "ME NOT SURE. COPS SAID THAT BOY ON DRUGS. HE FLIPPED OUT OR SOMETHING. BUT IMPORTANT IS ME OK! JIM OK! RALPH OK!"
Now that is very odd story to tell, is it?
Bettie Creasy died in 1990 few weeks after her husband, Olin, died of heart attack. Now I guess Mary is reunited with her close friends, after all.
Meanwhile, I still wondered whatever happened to Jim Kiser ...