Elva Leona (Hayes) Wannebo
Born on 3-10-1907 in Montrose, MN
Died on 12-21-2001
Father: George Jackson Hayes, born 10-28-1867, died 4-10-1961
Mother: Ida Bell Scranton, born 10-16-1870, died 4-14-1934
Husband: Elmer Didolph Wannebo, born 6-28-1902, died 11-6-1983
Daughter: Shirley Margaret, born 7-12-1926, died 10-26-2013
Daughter: Doris Aileen, born 10-28-1929, died 4-25-2008
Son: James Elmer, born 4-16-1932
Son: Richard Alden, born 7-16-1935, died 6-15-1989
Son: Arnold Leroy, born 8-20-1937, died 1-1-2010
Daughter: Emma Lou, born 9-25-1939
Son: Dennis Edmund, born 2-9-1942

Elva Hayes was the 7th of 8 girls (Alma, Hester, Cecile, Hazel, Opal, Cinda, Elva, and Vera) born to George Jackson Hayes and Ida Bell (Scranton) Hayes. A sister Gladys died a few days after she was born. A brother died a few days before he was born.

Elva Hayes married Elmer D. Wannebo. Elva and Elmer (Al) were my mother's parents. I knew them as Granny and Granddad. They had 7 children and 17 grandchildren (and a whole lot of great and great great grandkids). They lived in a house on two acres next to the Crow River (built by Granny's father) on the road that goes south from Buffalo Minnesota to Montrose. Everyone called it The Country, because, well, it wasn't in town, I guess. The country is where most of us grandkids spent our summers with our cousins, playing softball (once interrupted by the neighbor's Buffalo who decided to go for a run through our ballfield), building tree houses in the woods, and listening to all of the music from the many jam sessions (my parents and most of my aunts and uncles were professional musicians at one time or another). One of my cousins even built a golf course out there. I was especially fond of Granny's homemade cinnamon rolls. All of the grandkids went running towards the Picnic Room when it was discovered the cinnamon rolls were done. The picnic room was one big room added on to the house with its own separate kitchen and bathroom, large enough to hold several dozen relatives that always seemed to be there sitting around visiting with each other. Nobody was ever formally invited to a gathering. It was always assumed something was going on out at Granny's and people just showed up.

Shortly before Granny died, she wrote the following about her life and memories, growing up in the house that Jack built, and later raising her own children out there, in the country.

I was born Elva Hayes on March 10, 1907, but I am known to everyone as Granny. I married Elmer D. Wannebo on November 4, 1925. My grandchildren have asked that I write down some of my earliest memories, so that they have something to share with their children. Life has changed so quickly over the past 50 years, that the younger children will have a hard time relating to growing up with no TV, no telephone, no car, etc. With that in mind, this is a collection of thoughts and memories from Granny.

We were given a first and last name when born, and later we could pick our own middle name. I became Elva Leona Hayes.

I don't know what Doc Hawkins charged for me to be born, but he was a family friend. And he didn't make much of any money, so it probably wasn't very much. He had a hospital, but I don't think my mother ever went to it for any of her births. I was born in Montrose, but that's because my dad was working in a hardware store and they had moved into town for the winter. But, they never mentioned a hospital for any of us. When Vera was born she was tongue tied (that little skin under her tongue had grown out too far and she couldn't nurse very well). My Jim had been born with the same problem. Doc Roholt had to lift up the tongue and give a little snip. I can still hear Jim sometimes lisp from that. Anyway, one time my mother and I were in the doctor's office and I was a typical kid who kept chattering and chattering. And Doctor Hawkins turned to my mother and said: Is that the kid who I clipped the tongue on? My mother said: No, that was Vera. Oh, the doctor said, Cuz I was thinking that if it was, that I shouldn't of done it. So, I guess I was a chatter box even then. Vera can't stick her tongue up to her nose even now either. The other kids all could.

Where the evergreens are was my mother's folks home, a log cabin that long since deteriorated. When I was a kid growing up and Uncle Ellsworth had his berry farm there, the river wasn't any farther from the house than it was at our place on the river. My grandma (my mother's mother) died before I was born. For three years she couldn't lie down. Fluid would gather. Uncle Ellsworth had to take care of her. My dad helped Uncle Ellsworth build a cabin. When my mother grew up they had only that one big room in the old cabin. The one they built was first only one room, then he added on the lean to and another room on the other side.

My dad's parents lived a good mile closer to Montrose than the place on the river. That put my mom and dad in the same school district as they grew up. I knew they had been good friends of the Pettis family. Judd Pettis had owned the farm where Buck lives and my grandfather later borrowed money from him to buy the farm. Judd and Jay were twins, and Todd's father was their brother. Another Pettis brother was Wells, who lived where William Solberg lives now. Judd moved away before I can remember, but Vera knew his kids because they lived in North Dakota when Vera and Vic did.

I grew up in a house my father built, half way between Buffalo and Montrose on the Crow River. My mother was Ida Bell Scranton and she married George Jackson Hays (known as Jack) in 1887. I was one of 8 girls, I was the second to the youngest.

They always used to tease Cecile that she was born on a pumpkin. It was fall, Cecile was born in November. They had gathered pumpkins and squash and brought them in so that they wouldn't freeze. My mother was having hard labor and my grandmother had told her to sit straddling Jack's legs (my dad's legs), on his knees as he was sitting on a chair. Grandma sat on a pumpkin in front waiting to catch the baby. So that's why everyone told her that she was born on a pumpkin.

The next fall after Cecile had been born, when she was nearly a year old, my mother had gone to a neighbor, another Pettis, Judd, Jay's twin brother. Hayes and Pettis are intermarried way back. It was thrashing time. My mother had gone over to help and she took her three girls over with her. (Alma, Hester, and Cecile) One of the fellows had a clock they wanted my dad to look at, so they had come down to my dad's place. No electricity, so I don't know how they could see anything. Then a storm came up. My dad said that first the dishes started sliding and then the door flew open. He got up to shut the door and once he grabbed the door handle, the next thing he knew he was out in the potato patch with that door on his back. It tore the whole house down except that room way down in the basement with those huge logs on the ceiling. That room is too short to stand in. They found boards miles away. He had a boat that he was making on two saw horses in the yard. It picked that up gently and put it down right over by the bridge, and it didn't tear it apart or anything. But that's when the house was torn apart. After that my dad was scared to death of wind storms. When the wind would pick up he'd make all us kids go down into that cellar. It took years and years to rebuild that house. He built right over that same cellar room. Grandpa Hayes was still alive and living up the hill, so they probably lived with them for a bit. He just built that one room to start with and added more when he could afford it.

My dad, if you asked him how far he went in school, he'd say he went till long division. They didn't refer to grade levels then. But he read a lot all of his life and was a very smart man. He couldn't help me with my Algebra though. Most people remember him for all the clocks he repaired and built. There was a special clock that he made completely out of different types of wood (for their hardness) for the different gears. Zina [his second wife after Ida Bell died in 1934] gave the clock to the Historical Society in Buffalo [Minnesota]. That was extremely intricate and he was already 86 years old when he made that and he made the only metal piece that is in it, the part that makes the pendulum swing.

My earliest memory is when Hester gave me a kitten. I was five years old and I named it Snowball. It was white with small brown spots. I'm not sure why I remember that so well, but I do. I can clearly remember where I was sitting when my mother got the letter from Hester saying that she was engaged. Some things stick in our minds so clearly because of an emotion we felt. I can remember when I was home alone with one of my sisters and Mr. Berger (who often came over to deliver us any extra milk he had) came stumbling down the road. (Mr. Berger was Grace's grandfather.) He was obviously drunk and the sight of him scared the dickens out of us. We were so afraid and that fear sticks in my mind (a fear of drunks). We propped a chair in front of the door (there were no locks on the doors) and ran and hid 'till he was gone.

Alma was married before I was born. Her birthday was the 9th of September. She got married on her 18th birthday and I wasn't born 'till the following spring. They lived in Montrose first. My dad was a carpenter at that time. He also repaired clocks and did other jobs. But, at that time my dad hired George to work for him. I don't know how long he had been over here from England. I stayed with her because we have pictures of me feeding their chickens. I couldn't tell you exactly where it was in Montrose. At one point I remember her telling me that she lived in Grand Forks before Canada, but I don't know how long. They moved to Canada when I was really young. It seems like I can remember staying with her, but I was just too little, probably only about two and I can only remember some curtains between the rooms. My mother used to send small scraps of material in with the letters she would send to Alma (living in Canada). Alma was making a quilt. She started that quilt in Canada, but it didn't get finished until she was in the Nursing home. Then Aunt Opal and Aunt Cecil took it and did the quilting for her. Roxi has that quilt now. Some of the pieces of material on that quilt are older than I am. Of course, Alma sewed the entire thing by hand. I think they moved to Canada because he [Alma's husband] wasn't a U.S. citizen. They lived across the river from Detroit. They were further south than we are [Buffalo Minnesota] if you look on a map. They lived there till George retired. He was a gas meter repair man and at one point he read the meters too. He came back after Doris was born. They came on visits but didn't move here 'till he retired. I don't know how they worked it when he worked for my dad, but I don't think he ever became a U.S. citizen. She was already gone while I was growing up, so I just didn't know her at all as a child. I didn't see her very often and when they'd come on visits they would always want to surprise us. Well, when I got to be about 15 I had my own friends and dates and such. Alma would come on a surprise visit, and Alma wanted us to drop everything and welcome them and that just didn't sit right with me. Not with a teenager who had as much spunk as I did. I made it well known how I felt, too. But my mother stuck up for me.

My mother had a boy two years before me but he was born dead. So, Cinda and Vera are the sisters I really grew up with.

My sisters tell me I was only 9 months old when I had Pneumonia for the first time. I can't remember that.

They tell me that when I was 15 months old, my mother had bees. She sold the honey for pin money. She would put a net hat over her and gloves to go out and collect the honey. But, naturally those bees would get all stirred up when she collected the honey. Now, my older sisters had a swing that was beyond where the honey bees were kept (towards the old river bed). And, the day after my mother had collected honey, my sisters were out on that swing. I had asked my mother for a piece of bread with honey on it. I took that bread and headed out to the swing where my sisters were playing. I never made it to the swing. I got stung all over my head and neck from those bees. My dad cut off all of my hair and pulled out all the stingers as best he could. My dad cleaned and repaired clocks. Part of the process was to dunk them in alcohol. So, my dad took that alcohol and cleaned off all the areas where I had been stung. He also made some drink of the alcohol and water for me to drink. My dad then hopped on his bike and rode to Montrose to get the doctor. Now, the doctor had to hitch up his horse and ride all the way back to our place. The doctor warned my dad that it would be too late unless what my dad had already done had been enough to save me. But, it worked. And, to this day I seem to be mostly immune to bee stings, hardly ever getting a welt at all.

I can remember when Vera and I were only about five years old and got a hold of mother's scissors. We hid under the dining room table and wanted terribly to cut something. So, we cut each other's eye lashes off. It hurt for the longest time to shut my eyes.

I can remember when my dad added on another room (towards the bridge). There was another room that was the bedroom, not where my kitchen was though. That kitchen (where my kitchen was) had been his work shop at the end of the house and there was no door to get into there from the house. We kids were barred from there. He had his desk in there with his tools, parts, and clocks. When he could afford it he built that other building (eventually it became the garage) and then they cut a doorway in to the old work shop and that became a bedroom. When Al and I lived there, we cut the wall out so that that was one big room there where the stairs came down. That had been two rooms made into one. When my dad could afford it he built the upstairs, but not all at once.

We never had a car or a horse or a cow as I grew up. We would buy milk. Syrup would come in a two quart pail. We would use that pail and walk to either my Uncle John's place or Solberg's or Mr. Berger's to get that pail filled with milk for five cents. Cindy always wanted to take a lantern when we walked there. But, I didn't. They tried to say that I was brave, but I wasn't really. Being brave is having a fear and overcoming it. I just didn't want the lantern 'cuz I didn't want people to see us walking. Many times Mr. Berger would walk over to our place and bring us the milk and cream. It wasn't pasteurized or anything. Just fresh from the cow.

At seven I got pneumonia again. We didn't have drugs to give you like they do now. The doctor drew a circle on me (with a pen) where he could tell that my lungs were congested. My mother was instructed to keep ice packs on that area constantly. I just hated those ice packs on my bare skin. I can still see my dad standing in the doorway with such a concerned look on his face and my mother hovering over the bed. That bothered me the most, that they were so worried. My sisters say that is why my dad favored me the most, because he nearly lost me.

We would get up in the morning and get dressed for school. We had no indoor plumbing, so we used the outhouse or the chamber pot when it was cold. Once it turned cold, we wore long underwear. We would fold them at the ankle and put our socks over them. I was so glad when spring came and I didn't have to wear them anymore and could walk outside barefoot. We took our lunch in a box to school. It was just a mile to walk to school. As soon as we got home, we would have to take that dress off. We only owned one or two dresses each, so we had to take good care of them. We didn't have a lot of chores, but I did have to carry in wood and coal and empty out the ashes. The older ones would help with the cooking and such.

Grandma Hayes (my dad's mom) lived in that cabin where Buck's place is. Aunt Agnes was there with Dessie, Fern, Rex, and Del. Dessie was my age. My dad had come here from West Virginia when he was 12 years old. They first lived in a house a little closer to Montrose, then later bought the farm where Buck lives. They had a one room cabin. Uncle John later built an addition (3 rooms) so that my cousins had their own area to live in. (Uncle John was my dad's brother.) Those were the kids that I played with most of the time growing up.

When I was 8, Opal, Cinda, and Hazel (Peggy) got scarlet fever (Vera and I never did). In those days you had to be in quarantine for six weeks. The house had a kitchen, living room, and dining room on the main floor. When you walk in the front door, that first room used to be the kitchen. (Later, when I lived there, I wanted the kitchen in the back and I had my dad help me build the cupboards to change it.) My mother pasted newspaper all across the doorway to block off the rooms and keep out the germs. Vera and I had to use a ladder outside to get upstairs to our room. We were not allowed near our sisters. It must have worked because Vera and I never got it. As my sisters got better, they were allowed to play outside. However, Vera and I were not allowed near them for the six weeks. I can remember thinking that was so unfair that I couldn't go out and play with them.

In those days there were no grounds keepers to take care of the graves. If you wanted to plant flowers or clean up around the grave you had to do it yourself. So, the week before Memorial Day we would take the wheel barrel and the whole family would walk to the cemetery. That way the graves would look nice for the Memorial Day Celebration. The thing I remember is the music. A band would come from town and march around the cemetery. And, oh, how I loved that music. Later, I can remember walking into Montrose and the band was there also and I think we had a picnic. But, the music is what sticks in my mind.

We had no furnace, but there was a stove. The stove pipe went through a hole in the 2nd floor. To save on cost (bricks were expensive) the chimney did not come all the way down to the first floor, it was on a platform upstairs and the stove pipe came down to the actual stove. That heated the areas also. In the summer my dad would take out the stove pipe and there would just be the hole in the floor till winter again. I can remember a time when I thought I was being smart. Dan Elletson had come over to visit. I stuck my foot through that whole and he grabbed it. He threatened to cut my foot off and I was scared to death that he really would. I don't remember how I got away, but I must have.

Hester married Clarence Pettis and he was a mail carrier out by Strout, Minnesota. Hester was pregnant with her first child, but the child was a girl and born dead. The next year, she was pregnant again and this time my mother encouraged her to come and stay with us when the baby was born. I was eight at the time. Hester came to stay and the baby was born in January (Lute). I can remember that summer I went to Litchfield and stayed all summer with Hester. I thought that was just great. Clarence had been raised 7th Day Adventist and his parents lived near St. Peter, Minnesota. Clarence had an older sister named Hazel and younger brothers. He'd call for Hazel and the two Hazels never knew which one he was actually calling (He had a heart problem and many nose bleeds). So, he decided that he would call my sister Peggy instead of Hazel to avoid the confusion. That's how Hazel became Peggy. Wesley was one of Clarence's brothers. I was eight and Wesley was 12 that summer. When they were putting up the hay, they had loose hay, no bundles or anything. Wesley and I were riding in the back of that hay wagon and he made me a ring out of the hay and we decided to become engaged. There was no kissing or anything like that. We just decided to become engaged because our older sister and brother had done that. Later, we went back to Strout and then it was getting close to time for school to start. So, I had to go back home. I sat by Lute's bed and I cried and cried because I was so sure I would never see him again. Strout was 40 miles from my home and that was such a long, long way to me. I remember Cinda and Opal accused me of being a snot after I came back home.

I typed a letter to Hester when I was eight. Lute has that letter now. The typewriters were a lot different then and you had to pull the paper up to see what you had written. But, I told Hester that mama was doing the warsh (and that's the way I spelled it, too) and that I was in papa's shed and he let me use his typewriter and that Vera was pestering me. Lute got the biggest kick out of reading that letter.

I can remember a time when my mother was sick and we kids pooled together all our money. We got paid pennies for picking the potato bugs (one penny for every 100 potato bugs). When older, we could also get a penny a quart for picking fruit for Uncle Ellsworth. We had twenty one cents and we wanted to surprise our mother with a chicken dinner. We went to Uncle John's house and gave him the twenty one cents. He sold us a chicken. He cut the head off of it for us and we took the chicken back home. Then, we realized that none of us knew how to cut up the chicken. So, we ended up having to go in and ask our mother how to cut up the chicken. I was so disappointed that we couldn't surprise her and we had to ask for her help after all.

One day I was hungry for meat, so Opal and I walked all the way to town. I bought a ring a Bologna and some crackers and I ate that all day long. It was good, too. It was three miles from our place to Montrose and 4 miles to Buffalo. So, we walked everywhere we went and we knew everyone and every kid along the way. I considered them all my friends. Uncle John had cows and he had to haul the milk to the creamery. My mom would sometimes get a ride with him to go into town for groceries and such.

I got my tonsils taken out when I was 10. Uncle John had two horses, Buck and Dolly. Uncle John hitched Dolly up and my mother borrowed the buggy to take me to Montrose. Doc Hawkins took my tonsils out. I can remember the ether and that I was supposed to count. I know I got to five and I heard the nurse say six, but I don't think I could say it. It sounded like I was on a big wheel turning and buzzing around and around and then I was asleep. I don't remember much about it other than I woke up with a terrible sore throat and I got to have ice cream and that was a real treat. My early memories of Doc Hawkins are when he would come to our place and go out into the garden and pull a raw carrot out of the ground. He would brush it off on his pant leg and eat it. I used to think that wasn't very good that a doctor didn't take the time to wash it off better.

My father's mom came from West Virginia. Back then, words that end with an a were pronounced ie. So it was spelled Virginia, but it was pronounced Virginie. Alma was spelled with the a but pronounced Almie. The same with Cinda [Cindy].

My mother used to knit. Mother was always there to help out anyone who needed help. I remember when she knit mittens for the Bergquist kids. Cinda and I were to take the mittens over for those kids. Mrs. Bergquist was still living then and the boys were very shy. They would run and hide when they saw us coming. Mrs. Bergquist gave us each a pear to eat for bringing those mittens over. Cinda didn't like pears, so I got to eat her pear also. I thought that was great. Mrs. Bergquist died soon after that. Mrs. Bergquist had told my mother towards the end that when they rode to town (taking the cream in) that she could barely stand to sit on the edge of the seat because she was in so much pain. I don't know what she died of, but, when she died, Jim (Mr. Bergquist) sent for my mother. He knew that she could put the pennies on her eyes and the formaldehyde on a rag on her face to keep it from turning black. They took a door off the hinges to lay her on. The night before the funeral, my mother, Opal, Cinda, and I walked over to their house. The older boys were sitting on chairs and Elmer and Victor were on the floor. When it got to be late, mom had Bob Valet (neighbor) walk us girls home. He was about 20. He let Opal and Cinda stay up late and he made Vera and me go to bed. I remember thinking how unfair that was. But, that's an example of how all the neighbors pitched in together to help each other. Mom had no fear of Bob taking us home and knew that we would be safe. Bob was another person who later taught me to dance.

I was 15 when I got so many sore throats. I worked for Mrs. Catlin's sister at that time. Doc Catlin said that I had scar tissue from the earlier surgery. Doc Catlin cut away that scar tissue. I can remember Mrs. Catlin making awful faces as she stood there to assist him.

It is Jim Bergquist that Jim Wannebo is named after. One time Ferdinand got blood poisoning. Jim came again to get my mother. For many years Ferdinand would seem to get better and then get worse again. They figured it had gotten into the bone and eventually he died from it. Jim Bergquist would often come over and play cards with my dad. One time my dad and Jim Bergquist allowed both Ferdinand and myself to stay up late as they played cards. We were up so late that we got slap happy and we giggled and giggled and thought we were so special to be up. I can still remember times like that.

The [Crow] river used to curve through where the pasture is when I was younger. Where the corduroy is, the river used to turn and go the opposite direction and flow all around what later became Granddad Hayes' place. So, my mother just walked from the house to where the pasture is to get river water for the wash, etc. (We had a shallow well, but the water was very hard and not good for washing clothes. It was good drinking water, though.) When the river changed direction it cut off 26 acres of John Hersch's farm. My dad helped him put rocks there to try and stop it from changing direction and the river washed them away. The next year my dad helped him build a bridge to those 26 acres so he could get his machinery across, but the ice took out the bridge. Finally, my dad said: John, why don't you just sell me those 26 acres and I'll build a house back there and then the county will have to build me a road.' So, that's what happened. He bought that and built a one room house back on the high ground around the pasture. It was only one room to begin with, but at least it was a house and they got the road back over there. That's when Al and I moved into the rest of the house on the river. We had 2 acres there. The trees west of the house were only about 10 feet away. My dad had planted those box elder trees to shade the house, because we didn't have any electricity, no fans or air conditioning. So those trees were planted for shade. But, then my dad was demanding a road, so those trees had to go.

My father had made a flat bottom boat and we used to go fishing on the river. That was before the carp came and made it so muddy. We would go when it was dark. He made a lantern of sorts by attaching a long tube to a kerosene can and wrapping part of a sack at the end of it. Enough kerosene would seep out to keep that lit. Then, he would stand at the front of the boat and spear the fish. Sometimes he would have a whole pail full. I'm not sure why I went with him, maybe it was just something to do. He'd catch a lot of suckers, but I hated those suckers. They had too many bones. My mother would add a little vinegar in the jar when she canned them to soften those bones.

My grandmother Scranton had raised her family in a one room log cabin that was getting to a state of deterioration. (Cinda told me that my Scranton grandparents had come from out East to homestead that place where the Evergreens are.) So, my dad helped Uncle Ellsworth build another cabin so she had a better place to live in when she was getting older and sick. First they just had the one room and I remember later when Uncle Ellsworth added a lean to and later a bedroom to that second cabin. Uncle Ellsworth had a horse that he had raised from a colt. And he bought that before my grandma died and she had died a year before I was born. So, he told us kids how his mother was still living when he brought that colt into the log cabin to show his mother and his mother got all nervous and told him to get that thing out before it went through the floor. He'd always laugh when he'd tell us kids that story. So, he had raised that colt like a pet, but it also did work. That was Dan and he would harness him and do some cultivating. The horse was spoiled rotten. If it wanted to stop and rest, Uncle Ellsworth would just let him stop and rest and then he'd get going and cultivate some more. Well, he had this wagon, not a full sized one like the farmers used, cuz he had just this one horse, but he could hitch him to this wagon.

Sometimes we kids would hike down there to see Uncle Ellsworth (my mother's brother). We were just delighted to be able to go down there. He always had graham flour that he ground, as he had his own mill. It had a wheel about two feet across with a big handle and we could stand there and turn that wheel and with a cup we could catch the flour. I suppose it only held about two cups. Anyway, he always made us kids what we called Graham Gems. They were whole wheat muffins. And he would make them for us and he always had peanut butter and crackers on hand for us. He had a little wood burning stove in that kitchen. That's the place where my mother lived at the evergreens. (My dad's mother lived up where Buck's place is.) My mother lived with all those kids in that one room cabin (with a loft) and they cooked on the fireplace. That had deteriorated long before and that's why they built the newer cabin. But, I know where it was and parts of it were still there as I grew up, like the bench where they had the wash basin. Her mother cooked on an open fire and they had a kettle that swung out over the fire. At one end there were bunks three high. The bottom one was wider, enough for three people, and the next one was a bit narrower, and the highest one was the smallest. They didn't have a ladder, but just scooted up the bottom beds to get to the higher ones. She said that when the parents would be gone then those kids would raise Cain. The boys would lie on their backs and the smaller kids would lie on their stomach on the bunk above the boys and would push up with their feet and send them flying. That was their entertainment. I can only remember the bigger log cabin.

Uncle Ellsworth never married, partly because he needed to care for their mother (my grandmother). They lived in a log cabin. My grandma had Dropsy. I think it would be called congestive heart failure now. Uncle Ellsworth had a fruit and berry farm over where Cinda and Bob later lived (the evergreens). Mother had another brother named Charlie and I adored both of those uncles. Uncle Charlie had a boarding house in St. Louis Park. I remember that my sister Cecile worked for Uncle Charlie in that boarding house. Uncle Charlie is the one who taught me to Polka, Waltz, and the two step when I was hardly more than five. After he sold his boarding house, he and Aunt Emma came to live with us before they moved, so they had stayed with us for a time. Then Uncle Charlie and Aunt Emma moved to Pequot Lakes when I was about seven. I remember going to school and crying for the whole day because he had moved. I just laid my head down and cried and cried. I don't know why I even went to school that day (because I was so upset) but I probably was told I had to go.

In the meantime, while they were there, my dad made his own boats and one day we decided to go and visit Uncle Ellsworth (at the evergreens). We always figured it must be about 10 miles by river because the river twists around so much. Back then we had a pet crow. The syrup pails back then were very different also. The lid fit inside instead of going on the outside. You put the lid on top and pressed it in. Most kids packed their lunch in that and they came different sizes. Well, we had our lunch packed that day in one of those pails. But, that crow got wise to where our lunch was and he figured out how to pry that lid off. Uncle Charlie thought that was great and he laughed like heck when that crow would light down in our boat. I think my mother was along, Uncle Charlie, Aunt Emma and my dad, and I don't know if anyone else was other than me. We got down there finally and we had no intention of rowing back. When we went to go home, they loaded the boat unto the one horse wagon and it was four miles by road to go home. That was a fun trip in that boat. You see such a different view of the farms.

Uncle Ellsworth delighted in taking my sisters home. He knew the horse would always follow him. He would be taking them home and then he would jump out and let the girls drive Dan. The girls thought they were big enough that they could handle Dan. Uncle Ellsworth would scoot out and cut across the field and the girls couldn't do anything about it (to keep Dan on the road) cuz Dan would only follow Uncle Ellsworth.

The house, river, and road were all different from when I grew up in that house and then [later when I] raised my children there. There used to be an old barn just on the other side of the driveway. When the farmer would blow that straw, it would blow nearly right to our house. That's when we would go out with our tics and fill them with fresh straw for our beds. We would get the tics so full that we had to climb way up just to get in bed at night. There used to be a pig pen up by the road also. Some of the older grandchildren might still remember that, even though it was falling apart. The barn has been gone for a long time, though. There used to be a house just before the bridge, but that was before they changed the road and changed the bridge. The driveway just ended right where the house is. The road used to go straight, closer to where Esther and William Solberg's house is. It would go over there and past the gravel pit. Then they changed it, moved the bridge over towards the west and made the road straighter there. There used to be a house there, between the river and the road. Old Joe Kriedler lived there and he had this huge dog named Caesar. Caesar was ugly, with long legs, but looked like a bull dog. Probably a cur. He was a nice dog though. When they changed the road, Esther and William bought that house and moved it back to that area where Jim Bergquist lived.

When Jim died he had 80 acres and four sons. Each son got 20 acres. That land that Esther and William got was Elmer's 20 acres. Elmer was carefree and didn't want to be bothered with that land. He had been in the service, was a hard worker, and he'd work like the dickens till pay day. Then he'd go on a drunk and the farmer wouldn't see him again. He was always very good natured. I think he's the only drunk I could ever tolerate. I grew up with him, though. He never gets angry, everything is funny to him. When Kenny Erickson was born down at my place, Elmer would carry water for me. He was that kind of friend. We didn't have a pump then. I saw him one time with a new suit on, I suppose he'd been to Buffalo and was heading for Henry and Lydia's place, cuz his dad was dead by then, and he swung into our place. He'd been drinking and I hated to see him out in that weather cuz I knew he'd ruin that new suit. So I told him he'd better stay at our place for the night. Then, I told him to take a dish pan to bed with him cuz I thought drunk people always threw up. He was the kind of friend that knew if he saw me on the street and needed a quarter, he could always get it from me. One time he traded me a hog ring for a quarter or fifty cents. They used to put the hog rings in the hog's nose to keep them from rooting around in the dirt. Anyway, I carried that hog ring with me for a long time to trade it back for my quarter. One time he went into the bank in Buffalo. Harold Dickson said: What can we do for you Elmer? He said: I want to float a loan. Harold asked him: For how much? And he said: Oh, 25 cents or 50 cents. Harold took out the money and gave it to him. Elmer came up to our apartment above Hoffman's one time when Honey was there alone. He was drunk and hungry and he knew if I was there he could get food. Honey was scared and didn't recognize him. But she knew Henry and after she looked at him a while she figured it must be Elmer, so she gave him fifty cents so he could go buy something.

We had candles for Christmas tree lights. Kerosene lamps hung by each window and were used for the night programs. I went to a one room school, and it was lots of fun. The first couple years I went to school we had double desks, two people sat together in them. Then we had single ones after that. In winter, if it was stormy, often someone would hitch up a wagon and pick up all of us kids. The Erickson's had someone working there called Crazy Eric and he would often come to get us kids with a team of horses pulling a sleigh. There were three of us in my third grade class. The girls were never wearing pants or jeans. We had to wear dresses. So, in winter time we had to wear long underwear and long socks (that my mama often knitted). We had never heard of snow suits. I remember making one for Shirley when she was little, only because I wanted to keep her legs warm. But, I had never seen one before.

Christmas at school was really special. At Christmas time, some of those farmers would loan us wood to build a stage that would be just a bit higher up than those seats. We would take sheets from home and some wire and make a curtain for our stage. That would be such a busy, fun time, learning plays to put on for our Christmas Program. Lots of excitement. We started school at nine and we got out at four. But getting ready for Christmas was special, especially on Fridays after that last recess at 2:30. We had one recess at 10 to 10:30 and one from 2:30 to 3. On Fridays we would be practicing for this program instead of having school the rest of the day. There was a cloak room, out in the hall. So, some of the kids would be out in the hall practicing their parts. And, oh, the night of the program was such an exciting time for us kids. Someone would have to open and close the curtains, somebody else would prompt them. I remember a play we had, Mrs. Wiggs and the Cabbage Patch. I don't remember who was in it, I only remember that name. Why I remember the name I don't know. I can't remember any parts I played.

We learned to knit, crochet, and embroider in school. Even the boys did some of that. That part of school after 2:30 was when we did all our special projects. Sometimes the boys would be out in the hallway making things with wood.

Charlie Solberg was the first person I knew that got a car. It had square lanterns (lamps) that sat on each side of the windshield, no headlights. No one would drive much at night anyway. I think I was about 12 when Uncle John got a car.

First job: Where Randi lives now, about 3 houses towards Buffalo from there, Mrs. Catlin's sister (Nell) was living. Ernie and Nell Anderson. He worked in the court house. They had a 15 month old daughter named Barbara and they needed someone to take care of her and wash dishes, etc. I went there for the summer. I lived there and got a dollar a week. I don't remember what I used my money for. Mostly clothes, I think. I remember that I bought a big wide rimmed hat once. Can you imagine me wearing a hat? I must of looked terrible. I hate hats now, but it was something I wanted at the time.

A Franklin car was a car that didn't have any radiator and didn't use water. The Catlins had gone on a trip and they stopped at the Andersons to see us. The two women were sisters. Ted and I were both 15 by then and I knew Ted from school. Later Ted became a doctor also. But, that car drove up in the driveway and it was overheating, so they had to lift the hood to let it cool. That's the only car I ever heard of that was air cooled. I don't think they made them more than a year or two and John Catlin seemed to like them. They had just stopped to show Nell that they were back from the trip.

The next summer I got a dollar and a half a week and I worked for the druggist in town, Charlie Thompson. They had a girl named Gertrude, and it was the same type of deal. By then I was 16. I started school that fall and when I turned 17, I graduated in June.

On the day the war ended on November 11, (1918), Opal and I were walking home from Montrose and we were almost to the corner (by Galvin's place) when the whistles and sirens were going and we knew the war was over.

We had only 8 months of school in the country, through 8th grade. The town school had 9 months. Our school would be out the first part of May because the farmers needed their kids to help. The teacher I had in 8th grade was Art Bjorklund's sister, Ruth's aunt. She went only to 8th grade herself, but she knew how to teach and she was the best teacher I ever had. That last year when we were in 8th grade and our school was going to be out the 4th of May, she went into town and made arrangements with the town school that Grace and I and maybe Bert Norgren too, could go into town that last month so that we could get our certificates and go into 9th grade. I know Grace and I went. We had to take state board exams out in the country. I remember them. I know in 7th grade I took history and geography and I passed and I was so surprised cuz I hated geography and history. I remember that the kids from the other school over on [highway] 25 would have to come over to our school to take those exams. But, we went that one month in town at the end of my 8th grade, and then that teacher could say that we passed to get into 9th grade in town. I don't know, maybe we would have passed the exams anyway, but this way we could easily start 9th grade the next fall. I was 13 when I started high school. I graduated from High School in Buffalo at 17. Many times I walked back home, but I also stayed with Cecil and Tommy who lived on a farm out by Lake Pulaski. I stayed with Cecil for a large part of a year. Sometimes I could get a ride (for school), but most of the time I just walked. 36 graduated in 1924, the men are all dead, but some of us girls are still living.

I remember when Cecile was mixing bread and in labor. Doctor Sweesy was there as her attending physician and Cecile had started the bread and then couldn't finish it. So, I was told I was going to have to finish that bread. It was the doctor that showed me how to knead that bread and finish it. By then I think I was 14 and it was about time I learned to make bread anyway. So, that was when I learned to make bread. Cecile gave birth to Harold who lived only 6 days.

Cecil lived on a farm near Pulaski where Monty lives now, when she was pregnant with her first child. The baby was fine when it was first born, but then a couple days later my mother noticed that there was a purple mark and the baby would just scream and scream. The baby went into convulsions and died. The doctor had ruptured something during the birth and the baby later died. That was such a sad time. Cecil grieved over that baby for such a long time. And it bothered her so when Durand was born. Cecil and Opal were the sweetest nature of all of us. I was so glad to see them together in the nursing home. Tommy's father was a stern old Englishman.

I stayed and went to school. I used to go to church with them. One night I was going to walk home alone and that night one of the fellows from church asked to walk with me. It was nothing for me to walk by myself and I'm sure he didn't realize that it was a mile and a half out that we'd have to walk. Harold Heath, I think his name was. I said: Yah, if you want to. He walked all the way out there and said good night and went. No kissing or hand holding or anything at that stage of the game and he never asked me out again. That night he asked me it struck me kind of strange. Harold was kind of an odd person and I didn't know enough to turn him down. So, he walked all the way out there and back into town. Now, Lloyd Helmer was a different story. He was distantly related to Desie, Rex, and Fern on their mother's side. As we grew up his folks would come out to my uncle John's and we would all play together as kids. Now when he walked home with me, we had a good time. It might not be late at night, either. I remember one night we sat there on the park bench talking for a heck of a long time. There was no love making or anything, but we were good friends.

Cecile had driven before she got married, but when she got married she just gave up driving because she knew she would be blamed if anything ever went wrong. Both Opal and Cecil were that way. Alma always made the remark that she and George never had an argument, but if she didn't like what George told her, she'd just go in her room and cry. She'd never fight for what she wanted. The rest of us girls felt that it was our right to speak our minds, it was our marriage too. I guess it's a good thing we ended up with who we did.

I think it was the next year that my Grandma Hayes and Aunt Agnes lived in a little house right in town. It was on the same side of the street as the Presbyterian Church, toward the lake from where Paul's station used to be. The sidewalk was right up against the house. I remember because Grace and I had a bed up against that wall and we always kept the curtain closed cuz anyone walking on the sidewalk could see right in. Oh, there weren't that many people walking by anyway, but we kept it shut. Spud Hayes (my cousin) had a pet rabbit and his mother wouldn't let him keep it so he asked my grandma if she'd keep it. She did. Rabbits make good pets. If you find out where they do their thing, you can put newspaper down and they will go there every time. Grandma had one of those stoves with legs on and the rabbit slept under there. So, he was a good rabbit. But, he'd hopped up on our bed and he discovered that if he grabbed the curtain pull (window shade on a roller) and gave it a little jerk, that curtain shade would fly up. I don't know how he discovered that, but my grandma said he would hop up on the bed there in front of that window each day while we were in school. It was only Grace and I staying there with Grandma. The next year, Uncle Curtis (my dad's brother) lived where the funeral parlor is now in a great big house. Then Myrtle was in town going to school also, so, Grace, Myrtle, and I rented a room from him and kept house upstairs while we went to school.

When I was younger I had a dream of working in an Orphans Home, because I loved children so much. My sisters had told me that I had better become a nurse then, to be able to work with orphans. So, after high school, I wanted to start nurses training. But, I was only 17 and you had to be 18 for that. Well, I never did become a nurse, but I have no regrets about it. And I had plenty of children to care for through the years.

I met Al [Elmer D. Wannebo] when I was working in a spice and extract factory in Southeast Minneapolis. I stayed with Opal. The vanilla beans had mold. They resembled beet stems. I had to sit there and cut off all that mold and it smelled terrible. To this day I can't stand the smell of real vanilla. Later, I think I worked on the second floor and on the third floor, they would dump gobs of cinnamon or pepper or whatever spice it happened to be and then there was a shoot there that came down into a machine for me to put those lids on. Then I could step on a pedal and the machine would clamp on those lids. I got paid $11 a week. One time I got Red Pepper in my eye. The wind had blown up just as I was putting a lid on and blown some in my eye. That hurt worse than anything I could ever imagine. Someone had to lead me down stairs to get my eye washed out. It hurt for the longest time afterwards. Later they wanted me to work in the area where we printed the labels. Two friends of mine from work were called Mugs and Mil. They were twins and their real names were Margaret and Mildred. In June their brother was having a party and he told Mugs and Mil that a friend of his, Al Wannebo, had just gotten out of the service and they were to invite someone to the party for Al. So, Adele (another friend) and I both went. That's when I met Al. And that fall we got married, but we didn't tell anyone at first. At first we weren't going to tell his folks. I wore my ring on a string around my neck until we could go out to tell my parents. You see, I could still remember when Peg and Tod got married and Tod's uncle lived across the river from us and we weren't on very good terms. I think my dad had shot one of his dogs. Their dog was coming over and eating my mother's food for the chickens. She'd feed them cracked corn and such and the dog would come over and raid it. That made a rift between the families. Well, Peg and Tod got married and that cousin that lived over there told my mother. That hurt my mother that she had to find out from THAT woman that her daughter had gotten married, so I didn't want her to hear it from anyone else until I had gone home to tell her. You know me, I'm not for weddings, so I guess we just go get married. I didn't want anyone to know till I got back home and told my mother, though, and we were waiting till we could afford an apartment or whatever. Then when Al's folks found out that we were married, they told us that they had an extra room upstairs and we could go live with them for a while. So, we did and we were still living there when Shirley was born. John and Viola (Al's sister) lived in Michigan at the time and she and I were both due at about the same time. Grandma [Al's mother] wanted to go be with Viola (her daughter) which was natural, so they were gone when Shirley was born. But we were living in their house. The doctor came to the house to deliver her. Aunt Della came also. So, Shirley is Naomi's age.

Al couldn't find work in Minneapolis. I rode with him on the street car all over Minneapolis leaving his application here there and everywhere. He spent so many days walking everywhere trying to find work. A Buick factory in Michigan was hiring help so, he went there. I don't remember how long he was there, but, the paint in the factory was making him constantly sick. He was spray painting the wheels. About this same time Uncle Ellsworth had gotten sick. (I don't know what he had, maybe he had cancer or something, but he was really sick.) My mother wanted Uncle Ellsworth to come and stay with her so she could take care of him. So, my mother wrote and asked if Al would like to come and stay at Uncle Ellsworth's fruit farm while she cared for Uncle Ellsworth. Shirley was only a few months old then. Uncle Ellsworth's fruit farm was over where the Evergreens are. Al said that he was no farmer, but he wanted to get away from that paint, so he figured he would learn. So, Al came and we lived at Uncle Ellsworth's farm.

When Uncle Ellsworth got better, then he wanted to go home, and my mother said we should move to their place, in the big room upstairs. They put a small cook stove up there that I could cook on and I think we slept in a different room. But, in winter time, it was cold up there. There wasn't any insulation and it was cold when you got away from the fire. That cook stove heated that room, but that's all. That cook stove was only a couple feet long. We had the same kind of stove that Uncle Ellsworth had. A little cook stove with a small oven and a small top to cook on, maybe 2 and a half feet across. I grew up using a cross cut saw and believe me I knew how to use one. It was my grandpa's farm that our 2 acres were a part of, so we could always get wood to heat and cook with. Grandpa owned 40 acres. It ran across the road and then to the river and from our place to the creek. My dad had 2 acres off that original 40. My mother and dad had been married and lived in another house that was before you get to the evergreens, it's gone now. Then my grandpa told my dad to live there on those 2 acres. I don't remember if he gave it to him or sold it to him. The tax per year was less than $5 back then. I found some of those old papers and I gave them to Jackie Scott.

Al's parents didn't have an electric refrigerator, they had an ice box. There was a horse drawn wagon that would come around to deliver ice. You had a card that stuck in the window with big numbers on it if you wanted 25 lbs. or 50 lbs. of ice. Those ice boxes were well insulated (of course) and there was a compartment on top of some and with some you had to open the door. That is where you put the ice, and it had a tube where the melted water drained down into a can. After a while when we were living there that can would run over because we would forget to empty it, so we finally drilled a hole in the floor so it would go right out. We lived with Grandma and Grandpa Wannebo (Al's parents) till after Shirley was a few months old. Later, Grandma and Grandpa Wannebo got an electric refrigerator and they gave us that ice box, and we had that out in the country, because we didn't have electricity at first either, we had to get ice from an ice house. To begin with there was a great big building out at the park at Lake Pulaski. That was the ice house. They would shovel the snow off the ice so that it would get thick. Then they would take the handle off a cross cut saw, chop a whole in the ice when it was 12 or 15 inches thick and cut these huge chunks out of the lake. Tommy and Cecil had their own ice house because there were 3 cottages that they serviced. People would come up there from the cities and stay there, so they had to keep the ice. Tommy had to put up ice there just like the big ice house to take care of those cabins. They would haul in a layer of ice (more than 50 lbs.). Some of them 2 and a half or 3 feet long and store them in the ice house. They had ice tongs to handle the ice. By the time they brought it to us, they had washed off all the sawdust. But, at first they would pack a lot of sawdust, then another layer of ice, then lots more sawdust. That ice house was for the ice man to service Buffalo and in the later years even out at our place. I also had one of those cards to place in my window when I lived in that place on the river. They used horses in Minneapolis to deliver the ice, but by the time I got it delivered to our place in the country, they used a truck. The ice man had a big rubber sheet that he wore on his back. He'd pick up the ice and swing it over his shoulder and carry it into the house for whoever wanted ice. We were still getting ice in to the 40s till we got electricity. I do remember that when the ice man came, that the kids would all run out there to get chips of ice to suck on. That is also when we would make ice cream, because we had a cow by then. The ice man would come 2 or 3 times a week. The ice would last a couple days. We wouldn't make ice cream every time he came, but maybe once a week. When I was growing up we had nothing like that, we only had the cellar to keep things cool. We would put pans of things down there to keep them from spoiling. Solbergs lived right by us and also had an ice house. Their pasture came right down by our house. They would come down through our yard to get to the river to go cut their ice. Charlie Solberg was a son of a gun, but his wife was so nice. She was such a good friend. In spite of his cantankerous ways, when he would cut ice for his ice house, he would always haul a big load of ice for us and haul it to the north side of our house for my mother to melt to wash clothes. When there was snow, she could melt snow, but that river water was softer after it was frozen. She had to wash in a tub by hand and hard water is so awful to wash clothes with. So, Charlie was good enough to always pile a large amount by the north side, and it would last till April or May.

My dad (Granddad Hayes) had built his house on the back acres. The picnic room at my dad's place came way later, after Jack and Durand Lavine were big enough to cut down those trees. We had big cotton wood trees at our place. Cottonwood trees grow fast and they aren't really worth much, so my dad suggested that he thought it would be nice to have that picnic room at his place for all the family and neighbors to get together. Durand was born in 1923, so I suppose this was in the 40s. At that time, Al and I had a barn, cuz at one time we had Dan and later I had 2 cows. So, I told my dad, we don't need that barn anymore. The water had come up and washed things out of the barn. We had a black walnut tree between the house and the river. Orion (Faith's husband) had taken that tree and cut it into beautiful black walnut boards. The water came up and floated them right out of the barn and they disappeared. It was that year that we decided to tear down the barn and make that picnic room at my dad's place. I don't know who bought the cement, but we mixed it with a hoe. My dad was fussy on which sand we could use and that's when I learned to mix concrete and I've mixed a lot of it since then.

I first tried to sew a coat for one of the kids when Shirley and Doris were little. I just couldn't get the front part of it right. I tried twice and then tossed it in a corner because I just couldn't figure it out. I never tried again till my kids were older. I stayed with Jim for a while in Doris and Milt's house while they were out in California. I worked at a factory there, and that's when I learned how to sew.

Cinda and Bob lived in Minneapolis when Durand was born. The year after I graduated, I stayed with them a while before I found a job. Durand was born in November and this was the next summer. Durand had the cutest little laugh. They had this big buggy for him and I would take him up to the drug store and buy him an ice cream cone just so I could hear him laugh. I was there for a while and then I stayed with Opal when I found that job. I was 17 by then. I can also remember staying with Peg and Tod. They lived down by Kasota. They had a hired man who owned a Model T Ford. The car once had brakes, but they were all worn out, so you had to use reverse to try and stop. He'd let me take that and go. I drove that thing all over up and down through those hills of St. Peter with no brakes. I would have thought it was crazy if my kids had done that. But I sure had fun. I think I spent part of the summer with each one. Augie is the one who worked for Aunt Peg. He wasn't real sharp, but he was a friend and he let me use his car.

I cooked for the road crew when Shirley was a baby. We were living upstairs in the house on the river. This was in the spring before she would have been a year old in July. My dad was in charge of the bridge and culvert crew, so he asked Al if he wanted to work for him. He asked me if I wanted to cook for them, it would be only 8 or 9 men. We were out early in the spring. Now a days, everyone would go home at night. Twenty miles is nothing now, but at that time it was. So, they would stay there and I would cook for them. It seems to me that I got a dollar a day from each one of the guys. There was another George Hayes that was a bachelor and he was a relative of my dad's. He let me use his Model T and I could use that any time I wanted to go into town to get groceries. I didn't get rich, but it paid for our meals, so that helped. The Model T had 3 pedals on the floor, nothing like the cars now. The middle one was reverse and one had to let out the pedals just right to use reverse as a way to stop the car. Not very safe, but the car could only go 35 miles an hour. I just wonder what kind of meals I cooked. I was only 19 and I wasn't that experienced of a cook. I never got any complaints, but I just wonder what I would have cooked. We didn't have any refrigeration, so I had to go into town each day if I wanted fresh meat. At one point there was a truck that would come around selling us fresh meat.

Shirley was always afraid of water. One time we camped near where Doris and Milt lived North of Rockford. (The house on the hill.) Farther north there was a little creek that ran through there. We camped right by that creek. Shirley didn't even like that creek water and she wouldn't go near it. Then, later they were building the road between Montrose and Waverly. We were camping in a farmer's yard and had to go down into the yard (a hill). By this time Shirley was walking all over the place. So, I put a plank 10 or 12 feet long where the drive way came down to keep her from going to the road. And I thought that would keep her down in the yard, but she disappeared. And when I saw she wasn't in the yard, I didn't think she would go towards the road, so I started looking in the back area, till I heard her let out a squeal and I found her. You see she was crazy about my dad and she had gotten up on the road and seen her grandpa. That's when she let out that squeal. But, I had been so sure she couldn't get over that plank that I wasn't paying close enough attention. I'd get busy with something else. But not after that. I still didn't have to watch her near water, though.

That first summer, Al and I had a tent to sleep in, then later, Al and I slept in the cook shack. My dad cut a trap door (remember the sleeping cottage?) and then he dug a hole and set the cook shack right over that and I could drop things like butter down in there to keep it cooler. There was a time when I first started cooking that a truck would come around and I could buy meat, but then it became more convenient for everyone to go into town. And they did.

Alkali water is the most horrible tasting water and it makes you sick, too. Not too far from Annandale is a lake called French Lake, and we set up camp and I didn't know the water was alkali and neither did the guys. I had set the glasses on the table and it looked like lemonade. This had come out of the well. The guys that lived there were used to it and it didn't bother them. But, when we first tasted it, it was horrible and some of the others got SO sick from it. George Hayes is a distant relative. My dad was George Jackson Hayes, but this other George Hayes was a bachelor and he's the one who let me use his Model T to go to town. So, after that I went into Annandale and hauled water in a big milk can for the guys.

Moving the sleeping shed: They had big trucks with solid tires (Federal Trucks instead of Ford or Buick) and that floor in the sleeping cottage came in two sections. (The walls in the cottage in the country were ours and added later.) The cook shack and bunk shack came in 4 sections. The roof came in 4 sections. You could take it apart and later bolt them together. We'd usually be in one spot about 6 weeks. Right north of where Milt and Doris lived on the North side of Rockford is one place where we camped. And we could drink right out of that stream. There wasn't the pollution there is now. Come winter, everyone stayed home, no pay. Granddad (Al) got a job plowing snow, if it snowed. We would borrow money from my dad and it would take all of the next summer to pay him back. Granddad was getting paid 25 cents an hour at the start. I think I still have that ledger book.

My dad retired from the bridge and culvert crew. For a while Al ran the crew. I gave up the cooking. We bought our first car when Shirley was about 10 months old.

Wells Pettis sold to John Hersch and we became friends so my dad helped him build a bridge as that river changed. After two years even that came down from the ice. I had Shirley by then, but that was before Doris was born that my dad bought that land in the back and built his house. By the time Doris was born, my mother had come over from their place to take care of me.

When we were living upstairs, Uncle Charlie and Aunt Emma wanted to make a trip out to California because another brother lived out there and they wanted my mother and dad to go with on this trip to visit him. They left in the fall and then we moved downstairs for that winter. I remember one night that the wind blew the bedroom door open and Shirley was sleeping in her crib. I woke up in the morning and there was snow all over her blanket in her crib. It didn't bother her any, she slept right through it, but you can imagine what I felt.

That trip was interesting too. I wish I had pictures of that car. That was way back in the 20s. I can't remember what kind it was, but it might have been a Chevy. Uncle Charlie was very good at fixing things up and he had cupboards and things built in the back for traveling. They could stop and pull down those cupboards on the outside of the car. They would let down the door and that would become a table. The back of that door became shelves. They went in the fall and stayed the whole winter. Uncle Charlie and Aunt Emma probably wanted to find out if they liked it there and if they could find work there. Because later they did move out to Modesto, California. But my mother and dad stayed all winter, also, cuz Uncle Leonard was a contractor and he hired my dad to work for him. So, he had work for the whole winter. And we were back in the house trying to keep things from freezing. I did freeze my mother's plants, when the door blew open that night, but we didn't freeze, though. We didn't have any electricity then. We didn't get electricity until the 40s. Sometime in there we bought a couple cows.

Cinda and Bob lived in the house that my dad built back on the 27 acres for a while after Durand was born. I think they lived there that year my mom and dad went to California. Cinda and Bob were there to take care of that house, I think. Anyway, I can remember going over there many times to play cards with them. My dad hired Bob before he hired Al to work with him on the road. Bob had an awful temper. If his car wouldn't start, he'd get mad and kick the wheel. My dad didn't like that. Back then they had a crank in front that you turned to start the car. Roy Schultz was also working for the county and he was pulling Bob's car to get it started one time and Bob got so mad that he broke the windshield. Roy told us that. He told Bob: If you're going to be like that, then I don't want to even help you. And my dad didn't like it either when he'd get so mad that the big trucks wouldn't start. I'm not just sure if Bob quit then or what. I know it's right after that when my dad asked Al and me to work with him. I know Shirley was just a baby and I had to teach her HOT right away to keep her away from that cook stove when I started cooking for the bridge and culvert crew. She soon learned what HOT meant.

I suppose that's when Cinda and Bob moved over to the Evergreens. I know it was after Doris was born, because Uncle Ellsworth died just before Doris was born. Cinda and Bob built a house over at the Evergreens. The log cabin was there, but I don't think Cinda and Bob lived in it. After they had lived there for a while, they built a house up the other side of the evergreens, then later they bought a house a ways beyond the evergreens.

Durand liked to read. Their house had a large rain barrel to catch the water. It was empty at the time. Cinda wanted Durand for something and kept calling him. Finally he stood up, he'd been down in that rain barrel with his book reading and he said: Wat cha want, ma? He stood up peeking over the edge of that barrel. That's when they lived in the older house beyond the evergreens. When I was a kid going to Uncle Ellsworth's, there was no highway across the river, only little dirt roads. The old bridge is gone now, but on calm nights, we could hear the cars going across those planks.

I didn't go to church much when I was younger. It was too far. But, when I was staying in town with Cecile, I went to the Presbyterian Church and I was baptized there. When I married Al, he had been raised Norwegian Lutheran. So, when we had Shirley, she was baptized by the same minister that had baptized Al when he was a baby, and she wore the same dress that Al had worn to be baptized in. Later, when we lived out on the river, Mrs. Bruger asked if I wanted Shirley to go to Sunday school with her children. And I thought that was a great idea. That was a Swedish Lutheran Church and Shirley was 5. Al would go with sometimes to church. We had a neighbor named Helmer Erickson who was married to a catholic. When Helmer died, Al went to the funeral. I didn't go. Rev. Shell was the minister at that funeral. He spent the entire time preaching against Catholics. The reverend knew he had this whole room of Catholics there, so I suppose he was going to tell them a thing or two. Al was so mad after hearing that sermon that he swore he was never going to church again. One time later, I heard that Rev. Shell's brother was going to be preaching and I asked Al if he wanted to go with to church to hear this brother. His answer was: No, if his last name is Shell, then I don't want to hear him. So, I dropped the subject. When Doris was in 2nd grade, we had moved into town for the winter. Doris had a terrible time adjusting from a class of 3 to a class of 29. But, that's when I started going back to the Presbyterian Church with the kids. I figured that Al was the one who was Lutheran and if he didn't want to go, then I should go where I wanted for church. I don't think I ever actually joined a church as a member though.

Tommy had had a sun stroke when he was younger. As he got older he got so that he didn't want to make any decisions. So, that farm got to be too hard for him. He just wanted a job where he didn't have to decide anything. Clifford was born out on the farm, though. So, I think all those kids were born before they gave up that farm. Cecile and Tommy married in 1920. That first baby she had died, and a year later Howard was born. Howard died when he was 18. Cecil has such a sweet nature, and she'll be 104 next month. That first baby was such a nice baby that first day or two and then had convulsions and died. Howard was 18 when he got pneumonia and they didn't have the medicines they have now, so he died. Then Leon is next and Esther and Clifford. Esther was going to school when she met Rollie. Their first baby was only 11 months old when they left for Japan to be missionaries.

Cecil and Tommy sold the farm and moved to Onamia and tried to farm there. They moved a lot, those first few years. Doctor Roholt had a wife that was mentally unstable. She spent a lot of time in an institution. She was the one who was there when Honey Lou was born, though. She had made me Shrimp on Toast as a special treat for me and later I got deathly sick. The doctor came in all concerned and asked what I had eaten. He asked if I had ever eaten Shrimp before. I had and I had gotten sick then also, but I thought I had eaten too much. The reason why I mentioned them is that Cecil had gone to Doctor Roholt for advice about Tommy. And Doctor Roholt said: You can't run away from yourself. And he was right. And that's when he told us about Mrs. Roholt. She kept threatening him. In the first place she kept moving all the furniture around. And he told her that was OK in the house, but not to come down to the clinic and try to re-arrange things. She didn't even like the soap he used, and she'd have to get her own soap. Then he said: I finally came to the end of my rope. I finally told her, OK, the hardware sells rope and the lake is right down the road, if you want to drown yourself, just go ahead. That snapped her out of it. But, I got to know her later. She often helped out in the clinic, but she wasn't there when my mother died.

The garage (as most of you remember it) had been my dad's work shop. Al and I turned it into a garage later on, but we had to add 3 more feet on to it in order to get a car in it. At one point we had decided to raise rabbits and we had hutches all along that south side of the garage. They were called Chinchilla Rabbits and they were very pretty. I can remember Shirley holding them. We didn't make much of any money at it because they would only buy back ones with certain coloring and eyes, so, I ended up letting them all go. A farmer over on Deer Lake told me how he was finding some mighty strange rabbits running around in his field.

I got my first driver's license by going to the court house and paying thirty five cents. To this day I have never had to take a driving test. I had to take a written test when I moved down to Arizona, but never a driving test.

Henry and Lydia were living in Jim Bergquist's place after Jim died. Lydia put up with a lot. She had only Benny at first. Henry and Elmer (Trix, I'd call him) were brothers. My Jim was born in February and her Jim in the fall. I was the doctor's nurse when her Jimmy was born. Anyway, Esther had come there to stay with Lydia after Jimmy was born. She brought her own tick. That was the first time I had ever seen that people slept between two feather ticks (on a spring, I think). We only had straw. They would thrash and we would collect it. Anyway, I was over there and Jim Bergquist had died and after a while Henry and Lydia had to go into town to settle Jim's estate. She left Jimmy with me cuz I could nurse him. They didn't come home and didn't come home. Henry had gotten to drinking and she was afraid to come home with him so she had gotten her brother (George) to bring her out to my place. She had to get home to nurse Jimmy. Henry came home and then George and Henry got into a terrible fight. Then Lydia was afraid to go home. We told her she could stay here. The next day Henry came, but she was telling us that Elmer and Victor would always come over to their place and they'd all get to drinking and Henry would get mean. We told her she could move into that room back behind the garage. We told her: if you want to live in that room, you can, and she moved in with her two boys, and Henry would come visit her like he was courting her. She knew she was safe there. We told her later that we didn't care if Henry wanted to move in with her. Henry knew not to drink around us and later he did stay with Lydia. That's how I got that lamb. In February there had been 3 lambs born and he had taken them in the house to keep them warm. Later the mother wouldn't take them back, so I ended up with that lamb. That room behind the garage wasn't very big, but that was good cuz there wasn't enough room for those two bachelor brothers to come over there drinking. There wasn't even enough room on the floor for them. They lived there all the next summer. And they were hard up. Her father gave her 50 or 100 lbs. of flour and they lived on pancakes for a long time. And oatmeal. But Lydia liked nice pretty table cloths and dishes. She wouldn't take any charity. She was there when we went out to the Dakotas. I remember when she set a nice table out in front of the garage and invited us to eat with them and I think we ate pancakes. He had to quit drinking before she would go back to him. I remember how she like to curl Doris' hair. Years went on and she had three girls of her own. There was a bad crossing at Waverly and they had gone there to a wedding. I don't know if Henry had gone back to drinking at that wedding and they had an argument or if it was just an accident. But on the way home they were hit by a train and they were all killed in that accident, Henry, Lydia, and Gloria. Nobody ever knew if they had argued and they didn't see the train or what happened. The other two girls are married and grown now. I don't remember how long it took before she would really let him move in with her or when she moved back.

I can remember lots of house parties, mostly card parties, but some with dancing. I can remember dancing in our house in the old kitchen, the room by the picnic room. Those were the fun times. We used to have a lot of fun at house parties. We'd dance in our kitchen and Henry would play the mouth organ.

Because my neighbors had their children around the same time as I did, they knew they could leave their baby with me while they went to town or to a party, because I could nurse the baby. I remember doing that a lot. The neighbors depended on each other and helped each other out. I remember that I was nursing Jim when Mildred Erickson found out she was going to have another baby. With each baby, Mildred never had milk for the first few days, and the babies would be so fussy. So, I kept nursing Jim so that I would have milk and could help her out for the first few days when Kenny was born.

We went to a party when Henry and Lydia lived there in Jim's old place. Elmer was smart. We were sitting playing cards. It was a card party and there were several of us. After we were through playing cards, Elmer was sitting opposite me and I said to Elmer: Elmer I heard that you could pick up the cards and hold them with the back to your forehead and feel the front and you could pick out all the hearts. Is that true? As I said it I stepped on his foot. He said: Yah, that's true. He took the cards and started feeling them one by one on his forehead. I would tap his foot each time he held up a heart. Her brother (Lydia's) was going nuts trying to figure out what was going on. And then I said: Can you pick out the clubs too?, and then I would tap his foot twice. That Ordorff was fit to be tied, he walked around and around to see if there was any mirror and he just couldn't figure out how Elmer could do that. We never did tell him. He just couldn't figure it out how he knew. I just played innocent, but Elmer was smart and picked up right away. I told Jim (his dad) that if you just keep the booze away from those boys, that Elmer would really be smart. But Jim said: Oh, no, I don't keep anything away from the boys. He felt that if he could have it, the boys could too, but the boys couldn't handle it the same. It just doesn't work that way.

When we first married, that first room was the kitchen and everyone would come into my kitchen. That back room was a bedroom. And I thought, I'd rather have the kitchen in the back, so that everyone that came to visit wouldn't come right into my kitchen. So, that's when my dad helped me build the cupboards and I changed where the kitchen was.

I would usually make bread on Wednesdays. The kids could smell the bread long before they walked down the driveway and knew that I had baked that day after school. So, all the neighbor kids would stop by for fresh bread. When older, the kids thought it was such a treat to get store bought bread after growing up on homemade bread. Now, everyone can get store bought bread and they feel that homemade is such a treat.

Uncle Ellsworth committed suicide just before Doris was born. Hester and I were down there visiting him after he had been sick the first time. I have pictures of Shirley between Uncle Ellsworth and me and I can remember he was telling me how sick he was. He told me that he didn't think he had the courage to go through that again, having Ida take care of him. He was a very kind man and used to taking care of others. I don't know for sure what he had, but I know he had terrible stomach pains. I took my mother down to visit him real regular. The mail man would always go to Uncle Ellsworth farm before he came to our place. And, one day a match box full of money came from Uncle Ellsworth. He had wrapped it and put my mother's name on it and mailed it to her. We had a hunch then that he was planning to do something. We went right down there but he was asleep, and we didn't want to wake him. He was sick and sleeping, so we let him be. It was getting dark and we went on back home. But the next day some people come and told us that they had gone to his place to get berries and they couldn't find him, he wasn't there. So, we went right down there again, and the first thing I looked for was the gun over the door and it was gone. I looked for the horse because he had told Hester and me that day we had been talking that if he ever did it, he thought he would dig a hole and shoot Dan first because Dan was an old horse and he didn't figure anyone else could take care of him. Then I went to the pasture and looked and Dan was there. So, I didn't know. I thought maybe he didn't commit suicide, but we still couldn't find him. My grandmother's sister, Aunt Sadie Streeter lived in Montrose and we went there and asked if she had seen him. She hadn't. There was a wash tub in the kitchen, so I knew he had just taken a bath. He wanted to be clean if he was going to die (you never know what quirks they get when they think like that). And, he put his boots on, I suppose cuz the grass was wet with dew and he took a rug to lie on and he had gone to the ravine. People came out from town and young kids hunted inch by inch looking for him. There was a storm brewing and if they hadn't found him that day, and that storm had come, it would have washed branches and such and covered him up and I think he figured that and it would have washed him into the river. But, the storm hadn't materialized before we found him. We never will know exactly why he did it as he did.

That summer I was pregnant with Doris and Jim Bergquist would get his chores done early cuz an old man would often come to visit him. And he didn't want to be bothered by that old man. So, he'd hurry and get those chores done and come to our place. He'd say, I had to get here before old man Olson came to pester me. Jim would get his chores done and he wouldn't even go back to his house. He'd scoot along the river and come over to our place. He was much older than Al or me, but we were good friends. I had been sick (being pregnant with Doris) and I would sit there and play cards and I'd get sick and I'd have to go find crackers to eat and then I'd come back and play more cards with Jim. He was just a good friend. When he got sick and died that was such a terrible blow to us. If she [Doris] had been a boy, she would have been Jim. His wife had died when I was just a little kid. Jim Bergquist died, just two weeks before Doris was born. At one time Jim Bergquist wanted us to come and work for him (Al and me) and Al told him that he was not a farmer. But Jim would come night after night and play cards with us. Jim had changed his house so many times, it was added on to over and over again. You went way through the kitchen and clear across another room and back around to get to the pantry. I would go over there and help out during thrashing time. I told him: Jim, if I ever did come over here to work, I'd make you buy my shoes for all the walking across the house I'd have to do. And he said: I'd buy 'm good and strong. But, that never happened, we never went to work for him and then he died.

Our Jim was 2 years old when my mother died. 1934. In the fall my mother was in terrible pain. We didn't know what was wrong. It was the Montrose doctor we saw first. He was taking so long to check her and I was so upset that he was hurting my mother. Then she went to Doctor Roholt and he operated. It was before Christmas. He told her that her gallbladder was full of gravel, and that he thought that there still might be a stone stuck in the main duct. So, he didn't remove the gallbladder. He had to leave it in there as a landmark so that he could find that duct again. You can imagine what a bloody mess it must be when you open someone up and try to find something. And the main artery to the heart runs along that duct to the gallbladder. So, he left the gallbladder in and put a tube in there. And she came home and was up and around and everything. I don't remember how long that tube was, but it was working its way out. Every day I would have to go over there and change the bandages because gravel was still draining out of there. Doctor Roholt said that when that tube worked its way all the way out, then he would go in and operate again. And that was in April, I think, the spring anyway. That tube had worked its way out. This time, when he operated again he had a specialist come out from Minneapolis, cuz this was just a little hospital in Waverly. And, I wanted to watch. He said, you can watch but don't stand close cuz I don't want to have to carry you out. So, I sat up on the back of a chair in the room. They put her to sleep and opened her and that didn't bother me until her toes had some reflex curling and she groaned and that bothered me cuz my mother was being hurt. I got down on the seat instead of the back of the chair. I still didn't want to miss anything, though. I didn't know enough to put my head down at that time. Finally I knew I was feeling awful and I had to get out. A young fellow I knew was in the bed next door and oh how I wanted to lie down in that bed. He said: My God, you're white as a sheet, and he had a chair and told me to sit down. So, I didn't see the rest of that operation. But, she came through it and I had taken my dad up there. The very next day we went up to see her and we got there and she was sleeping. We waited. I went again to check in her room. They had a jar by the bed with a tube for drainage. I went in and told the nurse that it was draining an awful lot. She said that it was supposed to. But, I told her that it was pure blood draining into the bottle. Then the nurse got excited and rushed in there. She realized that my mother was taking her last breathes. She was gasping and dying right in front of my eyes. The doctor was out on a call and the main nurse was down at the barber shop. So, I ran down to the barber shop to get Lydia Epple, and she came right away, but it was too late. Then the doctor got back, but there was nothing he could do. He opened her back up and later he explained to us what had happened. She had had this for so long and it was too much infection right along that main artery to the heart and that artery had broken open. My dad was there, but we had to go looking for Al to tell him what happened.

Aunt Vera had a heck of a life because Vic had asthma so bad. She had Joe, then she was about to have Jerry. Bob was basically very good hearted. He had an old Nash taxi cab. Front seat and back seat and 2 seats in between. We wanted to go out to Vera to be there when Jerry was born. They were living in a little shack beyond Williston 25 or 30 miles west. We took that car, Al, myself, Edith (Glo's mother) and Jim. Glo was 3 and Jim was 2 and we took those 2 little kids and drove out there. That shack was so small that we had to sleep in the car. We put those seats down and all slept in there, except I think Edith slept in the house, too. That was 1934, such a dry, dry year. Henry and Lydia were living there that year behind the garage. That was the first I had ever been to North Dakota. The roads weren't paved. They were red, red soil. For weeks I would go to sleep at night and see that red ribbon in my mind. We got out there and Vic had already taken her into town to some woman who was going to stay with her. But, she hadn't gone into labor yet. So, we went and got her and brought her back with us so that we could visit before that baby was born. Vic and Al went hunting one day and shot a raccoon or porcupine because they came carrying that home between them. One time they shot a pheasant. Vic was a good shot. Al was too. But, the thing ran and ran before it dropped. They opened it up and Vic had shot it right in the heart, but it had run for quite a ways before it dropped. Things like that stick in my mind. And if we wanted milk, then we would walk to Charbinough. If we saw the cows lying in the street then we knew the cows had come home and we could get milk that day. If the cows weren't there, they didn't come home that day and we couldn't get any milk. The cows just wandered all over. We had to walk about a mile down through the coolies to get to Charbinough. I don't remember passing any homes as we went. I don't know how far those cows wandered from. I remember a big water tank in the center of the town, but that might have been Alexander. That was primitive. Joe was 5 by then. He'd get so mad at Glo as we walked. Glo was 3. He'd say: God Damn you Glo, quit stepping on my shadow. But, she never answered him back. She was just such a good little kid and so quiet. We stayed a couple days after Jerry was born. There was so much dust everywhere that year.

The tumble weed would catch on the fences and the sand would then drift up over the fence like snow. I'm sure Bob never got all the dust out of that car. It would blow so dusty that we couldn't see. I remember following a truck for a long ways. We would turn the lights on in the middle of the day just to try and see. That was the year that we had put a dock down on the river bank and the kids had played down in the river that fall and the whole river ran under that dock. I don't think the dock was more than 7 feet long. So, when John Hersch wanted to come over and visit, he could just walk across the river bottom to come over to our place. It was so dry. We didn't have any mosquitoes, though. And we slept right out doors many times when it was so hot. We didn't have electricity till Granddad came back from service in the 40s. There were two electric companies, Northern States Power and REA. There were Solberg's, Erickson's, Bergquist and us all in the middle. One of those companies was on one side and one on the other and for a long time they just didn't meet. Then we finally got electricity. And what I remember hating the most was when I wanted to scrub the floor and it would get late. Some of those floors were soft wood and I'd have to scrub them a lot to keep them clean and that irritated me that I had to light a lamp just to scrub those floors. But, I grew up with no electricity so I was used to it.

Shirley was born when we lived in Minneapolis. I didn't gain much weight with Shirley, but I sure did with the second pregnancy. Doris and Jim were both born in the house on the river. I remember talking to Grace's father about what I should do about gaining so much weight. He said: Oh, you'll get used to it. I thought: Yee Gads, I didn't want to get used to it, I wanted to get rid of it. So, I was real careful and I did lose the weight before I had Jim. But, of course I gained it all back. Then, Dick, Arnold, and Honey Lou were born in Waverly and Denny was born at my Dad's house. Zina was there to take care of me when I had Denny. I started to hemorrhage and the baby was born blue, 12 lbs. Doctor Roholt handed the baby (Denny) to Zina and said: Do what you can, while he worked on me. Zina said that she took him over by the heater where it was warm. They didn't have incubators back then and it was February, so it was plenty cold out. Pretty soon he started gasping as he took one breath and then another and another. I didn't have a bottle for my kids, we just didn't have them. I just nursed them. Denny and Honey Lou cost $35, but the rest were only $25. That included the visits beforehand also. But then $25 was hard to come by those days also.

Spud Hayes was my first cousin, his dad and my dad were brothers. He was a clerk in the post office so he knew that they were going to need a Postmaster. Al was working over near Elk River, building over there and he would stay from Monday through the week. I'm not sure how many kids I had at that time. But, it was Spud who recommended that Al try for the job as Postmaster. Al didn't think he'd pass the examination, but he did. Then he had to get other people to side for him and write recommendations for him to get it because there were other people trying to get that job too. They had to get other people to go to bat for him. There was one old woman who was madder than heck cuz Al got the job. So, then he got to be Postmaster and he hated it. I don't remember what year it was. I know I saved that paper that Roosevelt signed and the date is on that. But he just hated being Postmaster. So, after that is when he went into the service. When the 2nd World War broke out, he kept getting letters from the Navy saying they needed chief carpenters in the sea bees. They wanted him to enlist. He had been a peace time army man for 3 years. And, when he quit at 8th grade, he had run away from home and enlisted in the Navy. He wasn't quite 15 then, but he was big and that's when the First World War broke out. They were taking anything. When his folks found out he was in the Navy, they went to the Red Cross and said that kid should not be in the Navy and they got him out. But, he enlisted in the Army when he turned 19. So, he had that record of being in both and that's why he was getting those letters. He hated being Postmaster anyway, so I suppose he thought that was a good way of getting away from it.

By then I had all of the kids except Denny and I was pregnant with him. Bob Lavine, Durand, and Jack had enlisted and I think maybe Lloyd, too, and Al came home one day and wanted to know if I cared if he enlisted in the Seabees. Well, I sure didn't tell him not to go. If it was something he wanted, then no way was I going to let him know that I objected. Cuz, anything I wanted, he never refused me. So, I just told him that I wouldn't like it but if that was what he wanted, that he should go ahead. This was 1941. I think he was gone for 3 years. By the time he went Denny had been born. I had all these terrible visions of him going into the war and how terrible it was going to be and here I was having this baby and I was afraid he'd be 4 or 5 years old before he'd see his father. Then, when it was time for him to actually leave, if he could have backed out, he would have. But it was too late then. He went. He went to South Carolina for boot training. Denny was 5 months old by the time he was through with boot training. We couldn't afford a ticket for him to fly home and it wasn't time enough for him to get his full leave. I don't know how many days he had, but there wasn't enough time for him to get a bus, come home and get back in time. So he suggested: Why don't you bring your dad and Zina and come to Zina's mother's place in West Virginia. That sounded pretty good to me. My dad's sister Della was there at the time. So, we took Arnold, Honey Lou and Denny and my dad made a bed for Denny that hung between the seats. That way they could care for Denny but wouldn't have to hold him the whole time. It was my dad, Aunt Della, Zina and the kids and me and we had to find room somewhere. But, I was the only one that could drive. And I would drive and drive till I was so tired. I'd stop someplace to nurse Denny. I'd put a blanket down alongside the road and lie down and nurse him and then we'd get going again and I'd get so sleepy again. That last night I wanted to get there so bad and we didn't want to stay in any more motels than we had to. I forgot a baby blanket in one of the motels. When we came back the same way, by golly that woman had that blanket for me. Al came by bus to meet us at Zina's mother's place. He was home twice for 30 days at least while in the service. We lived on the lake shore when you start around the lake to go out to our place in the country. We had rented a house there because Al had been postmaster and we needed to be in town. Doris can remember living there and when Arnold fell asleep in the hay loft and our cat decided to have her kitten right on his bare chest. It was while we were in that house that Denny got the croup and I had to call for the doctor. There was gas rationing then. We had a boat, and we would often row the boat into town. There was sugar rationing and Doris can remember everyone having their one half pint jar of sugar for the week. The next summer I moved back out to our place in the country with the kids.

When Granddad (Al) first enlisted, you couldn't buy much of any clothes. Jim was in 2nd or 3rd grade and I had to patch and patch those overalls. I just felt so bad to see him go off to school in those clothes, but all the other kids were the same way, too. You just couldn't buy anything else. Even if you had money you couldn't buy the overalls. I know Shirley didn't have many outfits, even in high school. Granddad had a two pants suit and a friend of mine made Shirley a suit out of Granddad's suit. She cut the jacket down for her and she had another fairly decent dress, but that's about it. That was all we could get or afford.

I didn't go to work again till Denny was 9 years old. That's when I went to work in the sewing factory. I could have gone to work, though. Doc Catlin wanted to hire me as a Nurses Aid. He had that hospital up over the drug store. It was right down town, just two or three doors down to the right from Hoffman's where we lived. Then across the ally was the meat shop, the restaurant and then the drug store. Upstairs is where Doc Catlin had his hospital. He had a waiting room, an operating room, (that's where he took my tonsils out) and then 4 or 5 beds for patients. That was pretty much the first Buffalo Hospital. In Buffalo, there was also a doc Cady, but he died when I was very young and I don't remember him. I know that cuz we knew the Eckelberry's and I only knew him as Doc, and my mother told me they named him after Doc Cady. So, as he grew up everyone just called him Doc, but Doc Eckelberry was never a doctor.

Denny was 9 years old when we moved into town over Hoffman's. Those older boys all complained about moving into town. I said: What should you care for? You get dressed, eat, and hop into your car and go into town. So, I'm going to move to town, too. And I did. I never moved everything. Cuz, we would still be out in the country in the summer. I remember when I wanted a car to get back and forth and Al came home and told me that Paul had a car down there for $50, but the running boards and fenders are kind of rusty. I told him I didn't care if it has fenders at all if it will run, so I bought a car for fifty dollars.

Then Granddad came back (they had held his job as Postmaster) but he was watching for a route opening and when a mail carrier would retire, then he would grab his route. A Postmaster could do that. He transferred then, too. There was a carrier in Waverly named Denny Mulhern that was going to retire, (that's who I named Denny after), and Granddad went over there to look, but the streets over there were not paved at all and full of chuck holes and he'd have to drive to Waverly, so he gave up on that and decided he'd rather stay in Buffalo and retire from there. But, he grabbed the first carrier job he could. Les Torisson took the Postmaster job while Al was in the service. He is a friend of ours now living in Tucson. He didn't like it either. He grabbed a route as soon as he could, too. You have to deal with the public and there was too much responsibility with the job. Spud was my cousin and he repaired typewriters on the side. People would come in and pay him for some work he had done and he'd toss that money in the drawer, which was absolutely against all regulations. He was not to have one nickel over or under. He couldn't be short in his drawer (from selling stamps) but he certainly was never supposed to be over either. If the inspector was to come around, the Postmaster would get nailed for it if the drawers were not accurate. He had one clerk that was a heavy drinker. Instead of eating at noon, he'd come back pretty drunk. So, Al would try to keep him in the back. People didn't know what a drinker he was. Al didn't want to fire him, so he had to keep him hid. Al just hated having all that responsibility. So, Les had been Postmaster while Al was in the service. When Al came back, then Les took a route. So, when Al left for the route, then Spud applied for the job as Postmaster. Now, Spud's wife knew how careless he was and she knew he'd get into trouble and he did. The inspector came around and he got fired from being the Postmaster. I used to help Al at Christmas time, standing there sorting all that mail. I got so I knew where everyone lived. Sometimes I would go with Al to help deliver the mail and I would crawl on my knees in the snow to get to a box because people hadn't shoveled out by their box. You know he wouldn't have had to deliver it then. He could have refused, but like he said, then he just had that much more to deliver the next day. So, I'd help him.

George and Bernice Bonstrom were neighbors of ours out in the country. Bernice had her children close in age to mine. George had a sister named Annie. I had Honey in September and George and Bernice had a baby the 11th of December. He was a healthy 8 lb. baby when he was born, but dropped down to less than 6 lbs. Because Bernice had not had enough milk for her previous baby, she had decided to not try and nurse this baby. They had the cows right there and lots of milk. I was visiting Annie when Bernice called saying that they could not wake the baby. I took Annie down to George's house. Annie told them they had better call Doc Anderson quick. The doc came out and I think he gave the baby an injection of George's blood and got the baby to stir. But, something was desperately wrong and the doctor didn't know what to do. He figured that the cow's milk was poisoning the baby. Well, I was sitting in the kitchen when I heard the doctor say that. I went in and told that doctor that I could try and care for the baby. So, I went home and got my baby and came back to spend the night. I told Al that the Bonstrom baby was dying and that I had to try and Help. So, every time that baby would stir in the night, I would squirt some milk in his mouth. By the next day, he was strong enough to actually nurse some. Then, George and Bernice went into town to get some canned milk that the doctor had told them to try. So, for the next day, I would nurse him once and they would feed him the canned milk the next feeding. By the third day, my older kids came down with the mumps and I didn't dare nurse the baby anymore, for fear of giving him the mumps. That was Arnie.

Annie Bonstrom was 2 and a half years old when her mother died of pneumonia. I was at the house with their aunt Annie, as Annie had gone there to care for Bernice. I told Annie that I had better take those two little kids home with me (Arnie and Annie). Shirley Bonstrom was 8 at the time, and not nearly old enough to take care of the little ones. After Bernice died, I just kept taking care of them. The father (George) had to farm and the older kids were OK helping out on the farm, but they couldn't take care of little ones too. The kids grew up calling my Arnold 'Arnold' and the Bonstrom Arnold 'Arnie' to keep them separate. When Arnie turned 8, his father took him back home. Then he took Annie. But, the father quit farming then and later put those kids in a foster home. Arnie had farmed enough, that he was OK and could work. But, Annie was 12 when she saw Doris down by the lake and told her how badly she missed the family and how she wished she could come back to live with us. So, we got her back and she lived with us till she graduated.

After I was married and we lived up over Hoffman's and I had my family, then I went to work up in Soo Town as a night fry cook. Doc Catlin picked me up one time to take me up to Soo Town. He was going up there and he gave me a ride. That's when cars first came out with buttons you can push and the window would go up and down. So, he was showing me how this car worked and he was so proud of being able to push the buttons. And I told him: 'Yah, just that many more things that can go wrong with it. He probably thought that little snip isn't very appreciative. But, sure enough, we had one later. Granddad was carrying mail and he wanted one of those buttons for delivering the mail so he didn't have to lean way across the seat to crank up the window. Later, we went on a trip over the 4th. Vic (Vera's husband) was sick in Montana, so Jim and Peachy went on this trip with us. Jim sat in the front, Peachy and I in back. Jim fell asleep. He fell asleep against that button. Of course, the motor was grinding and grinding trying to go up higher and it couldn't, so it shorted out and it burned his knee. So, that was the last of the window going up by itself.

Later, when Al had problems with his heart, we went to Ted Catlin. I had grown up with Ted and it was at Doc Catlin's sister's house that I had worked when I was 15. Anyway, Al was OK and they let him go home, But Ted said he didn't like him climbing those steps above Hoffman's. So, that's when we moved back out to the country into that trailer. Before we had always drained the trailer in the winter and we'd stay in town. That's the same trailer that's there now.

Three kids got married in 1952, Shirley, Dick, and [Jim]. They called us the marrying Wannebos. Doris and Milt got married while Milt was in the reserves in 1947. Al stayed in the reserves, too, for years. Milt got called back when [The Korean War] broke out. They had Cheri then. Milt couldn't take his car with, he had to go with his troops on the train. Around the time Roxi was born, we took the car out there to them so they could have a car. That's the first time I had seen a desert. I remember Doris saying that she couldn't leave the diapers on the line past 4 in the evening or the damp air from the ocean would get them damp again.

That was also the first time we had a TV. I hated it, but the neighbor kids all loved it. Doris was going out to California and couldn't take that TV with, so we ended up keeping it for them. It caused so many problems because it was in the same room as the piano and Dick and Shirley wanted to practice the piano at the same time those kids wanted to watch TV. When we drove their car out to California, we had packed that TV in the car to deliver to them. We didn't get another one for years.

Jim had stayed with them and worked in Minneapolis before they had left. I remember hating to see them leave. So, she took her little girl, pregnant as she was and got on the train and went out to California. While they were gone they rented their house out in Minneapolis. When [Milt] got discharged, they came back and lived with us until [the renters] got out of their house. As long as Doris was going to be [living with us], I went to work. I figured we didn't need two people cooking and keeping house. Doris would tell me about trying to clean. It was one big long room. Sometimes we would have 20 people sleeping there. That was nothing new to have a whole room of people. Doris would start in the front end by the windows cleaning and by the time she could get to the kitchen, that kid (Cheri) had undone everything she could reach. There were a lot of things more important to me than dust and keeping everything neat, so I didn't care. But, Doris complained how fast that Cheri could undo everything and pull everything down. I don't remember how long they lived there.

None of my boys graduated from High School, but all of the girls did. When Jim was in high school, he'd sit there working out football plays. When football season was over he lost interest in school. Dick went a little longer. Denny was giving us problems. The teacher told us that he wasn't working up to his potential. I didn't know what to do with him, so, he went to live with Doris and Milt for a while. Then we went to Colorado once before Shawn was born. Denny, Tom, Honey, and I. Al would send us money. We would always save fifteen cents so that we could call Jerry if we needed. Tom was out hunting for a job. I was working. Tom always tells people: we were looking for another job for ma, but we couldn't find her one. Then one night I could hear Honey Lou and it sounded like she was crying. So, I figured it was time for us to go back home. Denny never did graduate. After he was in the Air Force, he got permission to take us in and show us what he was doing. It was a large panel that he had to know what every knob was for. And I told him that if he could do that, then he certainly should be able to get his degree. So, he did.

Doris worked for Addison Louis. It was hard to get help during the war. I even went down to do cleaning and cooking for Mrs. Louis. Vera worked there, but Vera lived in. One time, Mr. Louis was having a woman come in and write a book, I think. Mrs. Louis had a cookbook and told me what I should prepare and I remember Mr. Louis coming out and telling me to give them another 20 or 30 minutes. And that stuck in my brain cuz I wanted to go home. Vera lived in, but she still had Jerry there with her, while Jerry went to school. They had their own apartments up on the 3rd floor. Mrs. Lewis had 5 girls and never had a sewing machine. She did what sewing she did by hand. But I don't think she sewed a lot. They were gone one time and she told us we could have a party. They were very good to us. She had a chair that I was afraid to sit on. She was crazy about antiques. She bought a chest of drawers that was worm-wood and I can remember thinking, I wonder if it really is worm-wood or if someone just took some wood and cut some holes in it and sold it that way.

I remember when I wall papered one of the rooms with maps. We could get state maps free at the filling station then, so I used that to wallpaper that small room that I later used for my material room. Now, Scotts have made it into a bedroom.

When Arnold and Ruth got married, first they rented and then bought a trailer to live in. We told them they could put it there at our place. They put it there between our house and the river. That was fine, but the next spring the river started coming up and Eddie Hoffman (Bruce Hoffman's father) said, I just came from Delano and the ice is jamming up at Delano, you'd better get that trailer out of there. Teddy Solberg came over with his tractor and hooked it on and of course he couldn't pull it sideways, he had to pull it straight. He got where the trailer is now, and the frost had gone out and the trailer started to sink. So, we told Arnold that we would buy it from them, cuz they couldn't get it out of there anyway. That's how we got the trailer. They got the trailer moved, and there was a maple tree over there that Teddy bruised while trying to move the trailer. It was a young tree, 10 or 15 feet so it skinned easy. We thought it would die, the poor thing, but it didn't. A year or two later we had the flowing well there and I wanted to water that tree. We had no pump and no electricity, so, I ran a hose from the flowing well over to that tree and then forgot about it. This was August and I left it all night. The roots got that cold water and thought it was winter and they began to lose their leaves. That poor tree had quite a life. I would have liked to have gone to see that tree, cuz it has quite the history. Arnold and Ruth lived over at Zina's in Zina's house when Zina wanted to go traveling.

And, now I think I'm all talked out. My children will have to each write down their own chapters of memories to add to this, so that their great grandchildren will have more to read about.


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