Friday, February 16, 2018
More from Mary
Next I Mary came along. I was a small baby. I was born on the Westside at 122 So. Davidson St. the house is still there. Pat tells me this story and mad because she wanted to stay and watch the birth and had a name all picked out. Well she didn't get her way about that, the name was Hazel plus she had to go to our aunt's house. The strange thing is that the Dr. came after my birth I was not named when he left. Years down the road I sent for my birth certificate, it said Baby Girl ________, I had to go through quite a lot of red tape to prove I was Mary. I became very spoiled, because I was the baby of the family for many years I always set on Dad's lap, I don't know when I stopped that. He carried me around as I was a very small, scrawny, and skinny, but healthy. In pictures I had a pouty look on my face most of the time. I don't know when I decided to start smiling but I'm still doing it. What a good thing!!!!!
After I came along we moved to a log cabin at the end of W.4th St, it was small and unique, and at least 2 miles from W.4th wooded and hilly. There were many memories while living there, so I was told. I was to young to take it all in. Dad got a job at Armour & Company, as a butcher dropping bung guts. I called Bert to ask what the job consisted of - here it goes, Dad stood on a line which had a chain that moved 500 hogs an hour that's fast. On a very slow day the chain would move 50 an hour, a welcome change. What he had to do was look at hog's butt holes all day. He went into the butt with a very sharp knife and cut the gut out they were about 4 to 5 ft. Iong. This had to be done without one little tear in it, because the gut later in the process would be stuffed for sausage, etc. Dad was known to be one of the best at this, he loved to out work other guys which he did with no problem, being tall, lanky and so full of energy. Other workers gave him a lot of credit. While I'm talking about the packing house, I will tell you about Bert's job, he was Pat's 1st husband, hard working and a nice guy. Provided well for her. His job was splitting hogs he stood on a line splitting 300 hogs and hour, usually two guys did this job. When hogs came down a line and he had to split them with a cleaver from the top of the head right down the center through the butt then you would have 2 halves. It had to be smooth not jagged at all or it would be tagged by the inspectors. Too many mistakes you would be out the door. Never happened to Bert, he was tops on the job anyone will tell you that. He had the right build for the job, shorter, broad shoulders, and strong. Standing all day and using the cleaver messed up the stomach muscles, making the stomach stick out. I understand they now use an electric saw.
Living in the cabin was a challenge. Very muddy roads in spring or rainy days and deep snow in the winter. Have no fear Dad loved mules and dogs. He always named his mules Kate or Swayne and the dogs King, Queen or Toby. Anyway he loved the heehaw of the mules. On mud days he had the mules trained and they were smart enough to catch on quick. They would be standing by the barn in the a.m. (5:00) when he went to work he would hitch them on the car and they would pull him to the top of the hill. He would unhitch them and put them inside the gate. When he came home at night they would be waiting to give a helping hand. Summer or Spring always chanting Heehaw. King his German Shepherd would be there also. What service, see what happens when you are kind to animals. Keep this in mind with people also.
From the log cabin there were many moves. We moved to a farm called the Oakdale Jersey, located off Hwy. 12 at that time called Broken Kettle road, it was next to Dick Bruneau's house, which wasn't even heard of then.
Next we moved to the Jew's place that's what we called it because Jews owned it. A nice farm, lived there quite awhile, Mom always wanted to own it, Dad said no. so we moved again.
This time we moved to North Sioux City called Stevens at that time. It was not a farm but had some land. Dad put up an electric fence, cattle still got out. He was working at the packing house as usual, not home during the day. Mom got the brunt of it. We had lots of neighbors and they did not appreciate the cattle getting out. Dale, Pat, Shirley and Paul had to keep them in and they were tough so whenever the parents got on them, they would beat on their kids, soon the kids became fiiends with them. This was not a good move. I must have been 5 at that time, and had been in Kdg., in Iowa not knowing they had no Kdg., in S.D. I started 1st grade, all of us walking to McCook School. I lasted two days; too immature. I was used to an outhouse at country school, so asked my teacher if I could go to the bathroom. I went outside looking for the outhouse, guess what none there, so I went behind the building and squatted. At lunch time I finally found the bathroom with the rest of the kids. I thought it was real nice.
Our next move was back to Hwy 12 called the Jepsens farrn. It was pretty nice, big house with buildings, 200 acres. Some of the land was on low ground by the river. The boys loved it because when it flooded they along with Bob & Jim would spear fish, and swim the river which Mom forbid them to do, later years we were told of the dangerous chances they took. It's a wonder they lived through it.
Dad was never very happy in one place for long, always greener on the other side of the fence. The next place was in S.D. A small one room house for all of us. Dad and Mom fixed up a chicken house for our bedrooms. We always accepted anyplace we lived, probably because we were together and knew we were loved. I was about 8 yrs old, going to country school with Shirley & Paul. One day at school the teacher was talking about families and our homes. Well I raised my hand to tell the class we slept in a chicken house. Guess what, Shirley & Paul were not happy about me and my mouth, did I get into trouble from them on the way home, of course they told Mom then I was in for it. I sure didn't talk about that again.
Our next home was the Small's farm not bad, but mud roads, course we used to that. In the country most farmers had either mud or gravel no paved. We lived there a few years.
Nine years after my birth Mom had 4 more boys she always called this her second family, she said they kept her young and plus a few grey hairs.
While living at Small's farm Mom had Mike. He was nine years younger then me. He was a very big baby, about 9 lb., broad shoulders, very large hands and good natured, smiled a lot. He was born in the hospital which was good, another hard birth and the first to be born in the hospital. We lived there for quite some time but finally Dad decided he had enough of that.
About this time Mom knew she also had enough. The Grant's 40 acres had been empty quite sometime, so checked into it. Was told they would sell. At that point, she got her temper up and told Dad she would move only one more time with him, only to Grants. He was told he could move with her or walk down the road, well he moved with us. Dad's biggest pipe dream was to move to Minnesota and buy a chicken farm. He talked about that so many times it was like a broken record, that was his dream.
to be continued