Remembering Ann Hastings Morton
To the Editor:
The recent passing of Ann Hastings Morton brings back many memories of my early years growing up in East Bethel. Ann was our close neighbor and my second cousin who was four years older than me. My first memory of her was undoubtedly the day in late August when she came over to our house and announced that it was her mother’s forty- third birthday. It was my fourth birthday the day before and I was just beginning to learn all about numbers and ages, so forty-three compared to four seemed pretty big to me.
From her earliest days, Ann always seemed to be looking for adventure and she was usually busy with some project. My mother never forgot the time when she at age three climbed right to the top of the big Hastings barn while it was being repaired and was observed by those on the ground calmly walking the ridgepole.
My most vivid memory of her in those early days was the number of times in the spring she, as the expression went in that era, “hung a May basket” on my brother and me. May baskets then consisted of a brightly decorated container with all kinds of goodies and the rule was you had to tag the person (or persons) who brought it to you before you could enjoy the “bounty.” Ann was awfully good at outrunning us and it usually took some time to tag her down.
Through the years I heard lots about her activities and travels from my parents. When I came back to Bethel after college and graduate school, I began to go to Gould events and Ann was almost always there and we usually brought each other up to date.
I greatly admired her adventuresome predilections, humor, and willingness to be involved in so many things. As the expression goes, she “packed” a lot in during her seventy four years. And what a “profile in courage” she was when faced with a cancer diagnosis. Her great spirit and determination were inspirations for so many of us and her splendid example of living life to the fullest will remain her enduring legacy to present and future generations.