The Way It Was


Editor’s note: This is another column in Bill Boyd’s new series, “The Way It Was,” about growing up in Marysville. Bill continues to work with the Union County Historical Society to obtain information for his stories. With Marysville and Union County celebrating Bicentennial anniversaries in 2019 and 2020, respectively, these articles help depict what life was like in those early years.


A good soul

Back in the 1930s, my grandmother Tracy sometimes referred to someone as a “good soul.” She used that term to describe folks who went out of their way to help people who needed help. It was a term she used fairly often, for there were several “good souls” among her friends.

Fortunately, there are still people like that today – people who go out of their way to help others. And some of their help is extraordinary. I met a person like that maybe a year or so ago, and she is so special I would like to tell you about her.

Her name is Maureen, and she is a manicurist. She has done our daughter’s nails for years, and they became friends. They are both involved in church activities, and that also draws them together.

I have only met Maureen once. That was more than a year ago when my wife, Janet, broke her shoulder. Maureen had never met Janet, but she sent her a beautiful flower arrangement. And then she came to our house to give her a manicure. It was a really nice thing to do to lift Janet’s spirits.

A bit later, Maureen had a friend whose sister became seriously ill. Her kidneys had failed, and she was on dialysis while waiting for a kidney transplant. She was on a list to receive a transplant if and when some kidney donor, with the same blood type as hers, lost his/her life. But that waiting list was long.

Maureen decided to help her friend’s sister by donating one of her own kidneys. She researched what would be involved, including all the risks, and decided to do it. She went through all the preliminary testing and found that she was qualified to be a donor, but was not a blood match for her friend’s sister. She was disappointed, for she could no longer help someone who really needed help.

Now fast forward a few months. Maureen was at work when she overheard the manicurist next to her talking with a customer. The customer was talking about her husband, who had experienced kidney failure. Maureen had seen the lady a few times in her salon, but she knew nothing about her or her husband.

The lady’s husband was on a waiting list for a kidney, but it looked like there would be a very long wait, and the lady was obviously anguished. Maureen couldn’t get that man and woman off her mind.

She gave it a great deal of thought, and she discussed it with her husband. Yes, there were risks involved, but she had been cleared to donate a kidney for her friend’s sister, so she knew she was a qualified kidney donor. This was her chance to help someone who really needed help. So she decided to do it.

She repeated all the testing, and everything went well. She entered the hospital and they removed one kidney. It was a perfect match. Maureen’s surgery went well, as did the surgery to implant her kidney into someone who was only a name to her.

Now, the best part of the story … today, more than a year later, both Maureen and the kidney recipient are doing great.

I wish my grandmother Tracy could have witnessed all this. I bet she would put Maureen at the top of her list of “good souls.”

Those wishing to contact Bill Boyd can e-mail him at

...For the full story, select an option below.

Comments are closed.