One day, as Emily strolled down the dollhouse aisle of her local craft store, inspiration struck: Her mother could have her house back—in replica form. Emily’s friend Thomas McAbee connected her with Ray Meyers, a local retired dentist with a talent for woodworking. Ray paid multiple visits to the original home, taking precise measurements and compiling details with the help of the current homeowners.
That flute set the soundtrack for Katherine’s life: She was proudly playing it in Gaffney High School’s marching band when she met Malcolm “Mack” Jones. The two musicians connected after the 1942 Spartanburg Christmas Parade. Mack, a horn and trumpet player in the Spartanburg High School band, proved to be the perfect accompaniment for Katherine; the two were married on January 1, 1946. Emily was born soon after.
“Ray would ask me questions about the house,” Emily says of the planning process. “The last time I was inside was when I was a teenager, so I couldn’t remember everything. I would visit with Mother and start a conversation where I would say, ‘Oh, by the way, do you remember…’ and ask her something about the house. She would give details from her memory about the color and the layout. She would tell me exactly what something looked like or where it was in the house.”
On August 28, 2016, Emily gathered 40 friends and family members at her house. The partygoers waited while Emily’s daughter-in-law, Christie, took Katherine out to lunch.
After the special birthday meal, Christie brought Katherine to Emily’s house.
“When we went inside, there was a house full of people singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me,” Katherine says. “I was just shocked.”
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Katherine says. “Now, the replica sits in the middle of my dining room table. I have fond memories of that house. I have had several family dinners where we eat around it. I can turn on the tiny lights within it. It’s so pretty.”
For Katherine, it turns out that it is possible to go home again.