|Honored by:||Julia Swearingen and Betty (Swearingen) Ryan|
|Brick location:||D:13 map|
My mother, Vera Swearingen, was a very special person. She had five children, one son and four daughters, whom she raised by herself during the Great Depression. We all did what we could to help but my youngest sister was only two years old and the rest of us were in school. We did have a big garden and mother used her skills to can, preserve, and dry the harvest. She made our clothes, always managed to have Christmas presents for us every year - all hand-made.
She was very independent and I remember one winter when it was very cold and money was very scarce. The coal company in the city called and wanted to bring a load of coal out for us but she said "Not until I can pay for it."
The children in the neighborhood loved her. They used to come to the door and if I answered they would say "Can your Mom come out to play?"
An article about Mrs. Swearingen's cooking abilities appeared in "The Iowan". It began by calling Mrs. Swearingen an Ames artist who loved to bake, trying out her recipes on her parents and brothers. Although all phases of her cooking were close to perfect, she was most often praised for her matchless cakes. The delicate, expertly-formed decorations she added served as an inspiration to anyone lucky enough to see them.
Submitted on 10/29/94