Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Family Part4

Mary tells more

David came along 2-l/2 years later. Delivered by Mom's best friend Margerite Whitead, her midwife. Pat stayed for the delivery and helped. At that time she was married and had Connie. Connie was older than her uncles. She became very close to them. The rest of us had to go outside. Dad was nervous and picked up an old dirty hat that was on the ground and put it on, we laughed about that. David was small with a lot of blonde hair. After everyone left he got a little fussy so Mom had me rock him to sleep I thought that was pretty nice. When David was around 9 he broke his arm, the horse threw him and out of nine the only one with a broken bone.

Robbie came 2 years later he was delivered by Marguerite Mid wife) He was a small baby. Robbie developed Spinal Meningitis on his first birthday and had complications, became paralyzed, was bedridden. Meningitis is a disease in which the membranes that surround the brain or spinal cord are inflamed. When Mom brought him home from Iowa City he was fed through a feeding tube down his throat and into his stomach, if it was not inserted right he would drown. He was never able to walk, when sitting he was propped up with pillows, couldn't talk. Mom finally was able to get rid of the feeding tube, he then drank from a baby bottle, she would put a hole in the nipple for a bigger stream, after that she would spoon feed him also. He also wore diapers. He lived like this for 13 years. She held and rocked him in the evening. Did enjoy going in the car. She was a dedicated mother. All of us and company always went in the bedroom to tell him hi when we came and bye when we left. Mom had to leave sometimes but didn't stay long. Shirley and myself were with him during those times.

Timothy was born 2 years later in the hospital. He weighed 8 lb's with all kinds of red hair with very light skin, the nuns thought he was handsome, he was good looking and got lots of attention. He was a contented baby, didn't cry much. The Lord knows when to help out, beings she had two babies.

Most of us kids were named after relatives, here is a run down:
Dale (Francis) - Grandfather on Dad's side
Pat (Margaret Leona) - Aunt Tony - Leona
Shirley (Grace) - Aunt Grace
Paul (Harold) - Dad's middle name
Mary Maxine - Aunt Maw, Dad's side - Maxine - Mom's niece
Michael Edward - Don't know
David John - Uncle Johnny Dad's brother
Robert James - Cousin Jim & Bob - Dad's side
Timothy Daniel - Don't know- Maybe the nuns had a hand in it, they said he's so Irish (Emma here; Mom told me Tim was named after Father Timothy because of the red hair)

Here's some stories of our childhood. The following families were our very good Friends: Bill ~ Edith Udell - Clarence & Jeanette Fry - Frenche & Myra Bouche - Farmer & Charlotte Evans - Louie ~ Ruby Jensen - Martian Marguerite Whitead - Joe & Ella Muecke - All the Bargers - All the Solomons - Jones - Carlsons- Ports - Duffels - Garvins - Trees, Bruneau's All these families had many kids so we always had fuin when we got together.

What we did when we lived in the log cabin as I was told and remember some of it was: We were in the valley surrounded by hills. When we walked to the West to the very top of the hill was a perfect spot to sit and watch the midget racers, that area is now Faraway. Our friends would come with their blankets and we would perch, best seats in town. The area below the hill was Riverside Amusement Park with a roller coaster, a sight to see at night all lit up. Roller coaster riders were screaming - quite noisy? always music. We couldn't afford to go there very often, but sure enjoyed watching from the hills. My older brothers and frilends would go off the hill and find a way to sneak in. They would wave after they got in the gates. Our dogs and cats would wander up the hill also. Dad would love it when our friends would bring their dogs. Dad loved a good dog fight.

My brothers and sisters got to go swimming at Riverside Pool. I got to go one time. I was so afraid of water that all I would put in was my big toe, so I was told, finally I found a puddle along side and sat in that the rest of the time and cried to go home. I never asked to go again.

Another time our family was going to midnight mass at St. Boniface it was Christmas. While we were getting ready Dale decided to check his traps, so away he went with orders to come back soon, which he did, but got sprayed by a skunk, he got in trouble and of course had to stay home, much to his delight.

We had lots of trucks, cars, and tractors. Dad had us convinced ours was always the best. Dale had a good time being a brat and at this time we had a Model A. We would all load up (5) kids and Mom & Dad, and head for town. The hill going past the 40 acres, we called it Rex's hill. Dale would pull the throttle out jump out of the car and run along the side holding on to the steering wheel, with Mom yelling all the time (you are going to kill us all), Dad saying he doesn't have a brain in his head. Dale laughing all the time. He would jump back in before we started down the other side. I guess we all went merrily on our way.

Another time Dad told us to load up in the hayrack, dogs and all as he was going to get a load of hay from the neighbors and of course we kids loved sitting on the hay. He always loved driving his tractors. We were on Rex's hill coming down we kids having a ball jumping around dogs barking. Dad always turned his head toward us with a smile to made sure we were not standing up. Well we were halfway down the hill when the hayrack disconnected from the tractor and moved along on its own with the tongue making an awful noise as it hit the gravel. Dad yelled (jump) all of us baled out. The hayrack ended up in the ditch, but we were all safe. Well Dad was not so happy because Mom was out on the porch seeing this nightmare. She called Dad many choice names and said he didn't have a brain in his head. I don't remember how many days she was on the war path. Dad just smiled. Kids on the rack were Shirley, Mary, Mike, David and Tim, plus the dogs.

In the Spring the Big Sioux River always flooded. Our good friends Bocheus lived in S.D. we would all load in a wagon pulled by a team of horses and take off for their house. It was scary but fun because we would cross the Nason bridge with the Big Sioux close to the boards on the bridge. The horses were somewhat afraid of the water, and so were we, but Dad reassured us it was ok. We all had a good time once we got there, parents in the house, we kids outside running wild in dark, playing (hide go seek). We all had someone our age to play with. I remember one time running down by the river everyone jumping fences (barbwire) rusty at that. Well I didn't make the fence and ripped the back of my leg open, kept playing till we went back to the house. Showed Mom, of course it was still bleeding, poured peroxide over it and wrapped it up. Didn't see a Dr. it was about four inches long and quite deep. I have the scar to prove it. Most farm families did not see Drs. Or dentist. I'm sure my other siblings could have many stories if they were here. Getting back to the trip home was always fun. We would count the stars, look for the large and small dipper, etc. Always hoped for a full moon Crossing the bridge back home was just as scary. Dad driving the team and all of us setting on the hay. Mom liked the wagon, she told us many stories, lots of times scary, she used to read a lot of detective stories. One story I liked was about this strange farmer who lived by himself. He raised mostly hogs. He was one that hired guys to help him do work around the farm. They would usually work for quite a few months and then mosey down the road. This went on for several years. No one was suspicious of anything as he hired transients who had no family. Well his luck changed. he thought he hired someone like the rest but this guy had family. He kept some contact with the family much to the farmer's dismay. The man disappeared, his family notified the sheriff just to check on him and low and behold with a lot of questioning the farmer confessed to his disappearance. He had been feeding the men to his hogs. It was told his hogs were very healthy and everyone wanted to buy them. The moral of the story is don't trust everyone. We all know if we do something bad we are going to get caught - SOME DAY!!!!!!!!

Dad use to sing and whistle a lot, his favorite song was (Oh That Strawberry Roan) it was about a horse. Another song was (Oh What a Beautiful Morning) he made up words to songs just to entertain himself and us. The only times I remember him singing was when he was driving something, and that was often. Another thing he liked to do was take us to Young's Dairy it was an ice-cream shop plus dairy products. We could either have malts or cones, his favorite was strawberry malts. We didn't do this often as it was expensive.

Dad was a healthy person, smoked some, rolled his own for a long time, later bought tailor made. Tried a pipe and cigars occasionally. He stopped smoking when about 65. He was not a big eater and would only take one helping of the main course. Everyone knows how he loved tomatoes and could eat a basket full, had them at every meal and snack time, loved them right out of the garden - didn't want them cold. Mom always had a bowl on the table. Rhubarb was another favorite of his.

One time he was up picking bales of hay using a bale hook made of iron with a sharp point in the process he took a swing and ended up going into his upper thigh, was painful, didn't see a Dr. Mom always had something to heal it with. He had a hernia when he was 84 first time in the hospital tone day surgery). Mom use to make a poultice out of bread, milk and bacon, (uncooked wrap it on the bad spot, it would draw out the infection.

to be continued...


  1. Another interesting part of your memories, you must be enjoying writing this, I know I did when I started writing my story. Love the bread, milk and bacon poultice a new one on me. Cheers Diane

    1. As I have said before these are the memories of my sister-in-law Mary. She has inspired me to write the same type of story about my family. I am working on it now.

  2. splending memories ,the father of Mary sounds like carefree innocent person dear Emma!

    reminded me the fights of my grandma(mom's side) and my grandfather only smiled .
    unlike Mary in my childhood i swimmed lot but in early teens i was banned so now i forgot it .

    i felt sorry for the Robbie ,he lived tough life while carrying serious health issues .

    living in valley surrounded by hills is always magical experience but seeing ride from far is sad memory for kids .i smiled the funny way of driving of the father of mary!
    really interesting memories!

    1. You would have had to ride with him. It was an adventure to say the least. He thought nothing of driving the wrong way on a one-way street and screaming at the other drivers that they were going the wrong way.