"The Caro House"

Rita Liberacki Luks

May 30, 2011


I was just reading the profile on my Grandmother Wilcox and I do not believe she moved back to Caro near the end of her life.1 She and Grandpa Wilcox lived in Detroit up until the time she died. I cannot imagine why she had a driver's license that said she lived on Sherman Street on Caro. Was that address of the house they lived in before they moved to Detroit? By the time my grandparents died the house had been sold to, I believe, the Houston, who turned it into a funeral home. When John and I go to the cemeteries, my parents, and grandparents, this next week I am going to go by the house and see what the address is. Maybe this info in correct but it certainly is in no way what I remember as being so. Again, Dick and Frank Cederwall would know the story. After Grandma died, Grandpa lived with us in Unionville for some time. He had a stroke, needed constant care, and died while at our house. I wish I had been older so I could trust my memory, but I really do not believe my grandparents ever moved back to Caro. We lived in the house in Caro that they lived in before they moved to Detroit.

They also belonged to the Methodist Church in Caro. When they would visit us from Detroit, they would go to the Caro church, which was right by the Caro home, (I vaguely remember a house between the Caro home and the church. I think a family by the name of Stamates, or something like that lived there. I would get to go with Grandma and Grandpa to the Methodist Church in Caro. It was so much more fun that the Catholic Church. They had Sunday school, and when the collection plate was passed around in church my grandparents gave me a penny for every year old I was to put in the collection. I wished we were Methodists!

On second thought, maybe Grandpa and Grandma were viewed at the old Huston funeral Home and when Grandpa died, and Houston's opened their home before the church service at the Methodist church for family members to meet. Or maybe it was a funeral home by the time Grandpa died. What I clearly remember, is that at the funeral home, when one of grandparents died, the funeral director took me (and likely others, but I only remember me) to the basement where another body was ready to be place upstairs for a viewing after Grandpa was taken from the funeral home. They said his name was Orlando LeVally and he was the last surviving Civil War veteran living in Michigan.

I vividly remember sitting in a chair, that was in a line of chairs, along the outside of the room, by a window, waiting for it to be time to go to the church for the funeral. Aren't you glad your Aunt Rita is feeding you information that my be a figment of my imagination, or may be real. To me it really happened this way. Something else I remember is the point in the service when the lid was closed on the casket. Both? I don't know. I just sense how I felt as the lid came down and thought it was a cruel thing to witness. In fact, when I go to funeral now, I always have a fear of seeing that happen again. I have not seen it since that time. People always go out before the casket is closed, or the casket is closed before the service begins.

I had a Kindergarten student one time whose mother grew up in Caro, and the student's grandmother worked for the Housing Funeral Home for years in Caro. I do believe it has a different name now but when Florrie and Bill came to Michigan I took them to Caro to show Florrie where her mother grew up. It didn't appear that there was a body there, so I went in the funeral director invited us in and took us through the entire house. Florrie was delighted to see where the stories her mother told her about being a little girl took place. The directors do not live in the house and the upstairs was barely changed from what I remembered as a very young child. One thing did surprise me. The bathroom upstairs seemed very small compared to what I remembered but the present owners assured me that the size of the room had never been changed. I just remembered lying in the tub, looking up and ceiling and soaking my impetigo scabs in a very large bathroom. I talked with your Mom about that memory, and my surprise at actual size, and she said she also remembered it as being an extra large room. Guess our memories were looking at space through the eyes of children, not adults.

It has taken a long time to say, I do not believer my grandparents moved back to Caro near the end of my grandmother's life.


1Based on the address on Oma's driver's license, the original biographical sketch on the profile stated that she had moved back to Caro at the end of her life.

TEXT

The Caro House was located at 205 Sherman Street. This photograph of the home was taken in 1946.