Sunday, May 22, 2005

All About my Grandmother

Seeing as my great aunt just died, I realized I still had this on my computer. It's an interview I did with my grandmother in 1995. It's incredibly long for a blog post, but if your grandmother is still alive, I recommend doing something similar - I learned quite a bit I hadn't known before the interview.

Interview with Madeline McVay (Maiden Name: McBurney).
13 May 1995, by Scott D. McVay (Madeline is my paternal grandmother).

[When were you born?] July 14, 1915 in Plentywood Montana...straight north of us on Highway 16, just before you go into Canada.

[What are your parents names?] William and Mary Haase, er, yeah Haase, I went by Haase all the time...My real name was McBurney. I never knew my dad, he left us when I was a baby. I always knew Haase as my dad. You know Lonny.

[What do you remember about school?] Well, when I was, my first year in school I was six years old and my dad gave me a black and white Shetland and I rode him 3 miles to school; winter and summer. [You rode a horse to school?] Uh-huh. I rode a little black and white Shetland. [What was his name?] That, I don't, I think I called him Sheldie. I think I called him Sheldie. And he would buck me off. He'd take me to the top of the hill and buck me off. And then dad, when I'd get out at 4 o'clock, there was my horse in the corral waiting for me. And he'd bring me home real good, and he did that for, oh, maybe the first year of my school, or, half of the year. Then he got over it and he would take me o.k.

[What did you study at school?] Oh, every subject that you can think of. We had music, pledge allegiance, arithmetic, history, geography, algebra, mmmm....reading, spelling. I was good in spelling, I won, competed, when I was 10 years old for the spelling bee, I competed with 26 schools and won. [Was spelling your favorite subject then?] That and ah, arithmetic I guess, ah, Algebra, whatever you want to call it, those were my two favorites.

[What did you think you were going to do when you got older?] I wanted to be a nurse. [Why didn't you become a nurse?] Didn't have any money to back me (laughs). In those days we didn't know what money was. If you saw a penny now and then you were lucky. [How well off were your parents compared to the other people in town?] We were comfortable. We had a radio and we had a car, and most of them didn't have that at that time in this community. Model T-Ford. (what color) Black. The first thing I can remember, I wasn't very old, was first we had a buggy and the most beautiful team, black team, of horses to go with it. That's the first, and I can't remember them too much. And then when Dad got the model-t I went with him that day to get it and when he was coming home he run into a telephone pole and he said, "Don't tell your mom, don't you dare tell your mom." I never did. He was learning how to drive...that was the first thing I learned to drive, and I couldn't have been very old.

[What did you parents do for a living?] Ranched, wheat and cattle. At Girard, MT. Way down here close to Sidney. Mom and I moved down there later (to Girard) when she married my stepdad. [how old were you when you moved?] About a year old. [How big was the ranch?] Oh, gee I don't know, when they homesteaded it was the size of a homestead, how many acres would that be? Don isn't here or I'd ask him. [I think that's like 160 maybe, or did you get 640) Probably 640, it was pretty good size.

[Stories when little]. Oh, I don't know if they'd be interesting. But, I'll never forget, a neighbor boy and I, the same age, and it was snowing hard we didn't know how dangerous it was, and we'd come home from school. When it was too bad they always come and got us with a sleigh and horses. So this night then, he walked halfway from his house to mine, we were about a half a mile apart, and he walked, instead of coming on home, we got the bright idea to follow the creek. It was starting to storm pretty hard so we crawled in a snowbank to get kinda warm and outta the wind, on the creek bank. Well, here was my dad out on the saddlehorse and his dad with the team and sleigh out looking for us. And we heard the horses or something, we heard some noise anyhow and we come out. And I won't never forget it because we both got spanked for not going home. I was about eight years old. Seven or eight. It was a lotta fun trackin rabbit tracks, and then the storm came up.

[In school, did they teach girls different things then they taught boys?] Ah, I think it was just an all around, everybody was in the same class. Everybody. There were about 24 of us all together. And the only thing I can remember back then was the big Christmas programs at Christmas time and everybody come....always in the play. Uh-huh, I was always one of the, cause I could memorize, I don't know why, but they just put me in, I could memorize. So...that was, I always remember that. Oh, when we had, in the spring they had the lay dance, a great big wire circle with wreaths on it, and we'd dance to that music and dance, and, everybody would come see that again. They did a lot of things in the schools then that they don't do now. One thing I can remember, when we'd come to town, it'd take all day and half the night, but we always had those big rocks, then they'd heat em in the oven all night and ready for the next day to keep our feet warm and those rocks would stay warm for a good 24 hours. And that's what they'd heat the sled with that we went to town in the wintertime and that was a big treat for us. And that was to Fairview, MT, that's beside Sidney here, Fairview. We'd come in there and they had a big pop factory. And dad would stop off there and we'd have free pop, and then we'd go to the cheese factory, and we'd get free cheese. And that was a big treat to me. And then they'd buy bananas. Those great big, they were about 6 or 8 feet long, and they'd hang them in the hallway at home, where they wouldn't freeze and they'd stay. I don't know if you've ever seen that or not, those big bunches of bananas right off the tree? [No, I've just seen the little bunches at the store]. Yeah, that's all you see now, but we used to get them a good 4 feet long, at least I think, as I remember (laughs)--it was a lot of bananas.

[Do you remember any effects of the depression-did it have effects on the town?] Yes it did. We always made it because we lived on the farm and there was Artesian water and we could water our garden. We had about the nicest garden of anybody. But there never was wheat to sell, or maybe we could get enough to trade for a sack of flour for winter. No, the depression hurt, and had to get rid of all the cattle because there wasn't food to feed them...back in the '30's.

[When did you first meet grandpa?] When did I meet grandpa? In '35, 1935. He was just home from college. [Did you go to school with him?] Well, he said he knew me in high school, but I didn't....I was a blue-eyed platinum blonde. I had hair, long curly hair, mother always kept it that way from the time I was a little girl till I grew up, through high school, I had long blonde hair, white hair. [Where'd you go to high school at?]. Sidney. I come in and worked for my room and board, my folks never came in. I came in and worked for my room board. [You moved there from where the ranch was?] Uh huh. [Why did you choose to go there?] The closest one. And, oh, I think that's all I was just nice to be here, and I found that place, that home I could work for. [What kind of work did you do?] Just house, everything, housework, and got three children off to school too, besides myself. [What family did you work for?] Pardon? [What was their name?] Bill Dorrs. [How old were you when you moved there?] About 13. I never went back home, nuh-uh. I never was home again. Because I kept working. I had house work and then I worked for the Eagle Cafe waiting tables. [Isn't there still an Eagle Cafe in Sidney?] It's still there, m-hmmm. And I'll tell you something, your mom worked there when she was in high school (laughs). [When did you start work at the Eagle Cafe, were you working for the Dorrs at the same time?] Bout my second year I was in Sidney I started working part time, I worked for the manager of the restaurant, and then I helped at the restaurant occasionally, and that's where I got my training.

[Grandpa had gone away to college?] Yea, he'd gone after he'd graduated from high school. He'd majored in chemistry. [Had you had any plans to go to college?] Yes I did. I planned on going to Mankato, MN. But I didn't get there. I had a teacher when I was about the 8th grade and she'd graduated from there and it sounded good. So that's where I was gonna go. [Where you going to go there to be a nurse?] I went, mm-hmmm, but I went instead after Don and I were married, grandpa and I were married. We went to Chico State, Don went on to get a degree, a higher degree, so I went and I majored in, ahh....bookkeeping and ah, accounting, at Chico State California. One year, one year of college in. [Did you move out to Chico then?] We stayed one winter because we were looking for work. I was lucky, I found work as a hostess for the college. But Don couldn't get work out there, so we came back and started farming. [What year did you go to Chico?] Let's see, we were married in '36, so '37 then. [So you were married a year after he came back?] Uh-huh.

[Was grandpa in World War II?] No...he was in the national guard. [He didn't have to leave you behind?] No. Uh-uh. That was when, during World War II, everything we made we put into bonds to help out and we were kinda hard pinched at home, but we made it. We thought they needed the money, so we put everything into bonds. Later years it helped us out, cause that money built up. And we could do things with it. I think the first thing we did was buy a new car. [When did you get your first car?] The first one we had was, ah, a Dodge Rumbleseat, back in '36. And then the next one was, ah, our first new one I think was.... What was our first new Dodge Don? Our brand new one that we bought? It was that Dodge with the tail fins, wasn't it? [mumbling off tape] Pardon? A '49. [Your first car lasted 13 years?] No. Oh, Don said a '51 Plymouth was the first one that we owned, with tail fins, and '49 didn't we traded about every 2 years or 4 years because Dad was on the road a lot. [What was he doing on the road?] He was a chemist out of Denver for 3 or 4 states, for Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota. [Were you at home by yourself a lot?] Yes I was. Uh-huh. [What did you do with your time?] I milked the cows. We had a cow or two. I lived on the ranch, and I had two little girls. And...Judy and Joanne. And..cause Don was just working at Holly Sugar as a chemist at that time, just during the winter when the campaign was on. he was out on that for Rogers Chemical out of Denver. And then he went to everyday, yearround, at Holly Sugar. And when he retired after 45 years he was superintendent of the mill. They put him from the lab out to the mill.

[What did you do for fun on the farm?] Oh, we did lots. Mostly picnics, take long drives. We'd save up the gas money for gas and take long drives and see how the other farmers were doing. And visit the different cities and my uncle, I had an uncle and aunt in Canada, near Regina, and we'd go up to see them. We did a lot of picnics with Fred and Lorraine Haase and their kids. And we did, had a lot of picnics together. The biggest picnic I can remember, we took the big grain truck, and all the dinner was in it, and all the kids, and I rode back there with the kids. And Don was driving, and somebody, I can't remember, but all my relatives. And, Brown, Lawrence Brown from Savage and their family. And we all went to Medora, South Dakota, and had a big picnic for the fourth of July. It was great back then, we had a lot of picnics and they always seemed to congregate at our ranch. At Don's and my's ranch. We had a lot of trees out there if you remember. And we had a lot of picnics out there. [So the neighbors all came for picnics too, or just your relatives?] Everybody, the whole community would come.

[Did you have a house in town then? When did you get the house?] The house in town? When they started school, we had five miles to school, out at the ranch. So when Joanne and Judy were old enough to start school we bought this house, 50, what is it now, no 58 years ago. 58 years ago we bought this house in Sidney. [Where were you living at the farm?] We had a house out at the farm? [The little one?] It was pretty good sized. And it's funny, the neighbors, we moved his mom's house, ahh...grandma's house down there, it was empty. And then we added on Grandpa Norgard's, we always called him Grandpa Norgard from ND. And we moved that on to the place and added on. So we had a pretty good sized home. We had running water, Don hooked up a pump that you pumped water. And we had a sink in the kitchen. We were quite modernized. And we had a outdoor toilet. There's another name for them, but, outhouse. There you go, that sounds better. And Don, then, to start with, all we had was kerosene or gas, but later, when the electricity come in, the children were still little then, and Don wired it for electricity and we had heat out there, so it wasn't too bad. Till we got the indoor plumbing.

[What years were your children born?] Yeah, Joanne was, Joanne and Judy, one was in February '39, and Judy was December '39. And then five years later, I think five years later, John came along. I never can remember John and Gail. [John was born in November]. In November, and Gail was born in January, 21st, and John was 29th of November. It was during the beginning of Word War II. Don? Don. What year was Johnny born? '39? '45? Was it 44 and 45? It was the first world, second world, second war. We were in San Francisco and came home. [What were you doing in San Francisco?] We were just visiting and touring. And John was born that November. [Were you on vacation?] Yes, uh-huh. [Did you vacation often?] Just about once, oh, whenever we could get the money I had to go (laughs). [So, did you get to see lots of the U.S.?] We did, we traveled, Don's folks lived at Chico, CA, and it seems like Johnny was born, or Gail, in '45. '44 and '45? [If he was born in November '44, it would have been hard to have Gail in January '45]. No, we'd have to put her a year ahead. Ah...I didn't look that up. [I can ask John when he was born]. It's in the, it's in the big Bible in there. Don's gonna look right away quick. [Was it important to send your kids to school]. Yeah, I didn't, we just went out to the form after school was out every year after that.

[What did you do while your kids were in school? Did you take care of them? Did you have a job still?] No, I didn't have a job, but I was, um...let's see, wait'll I find my note on that [she had written two pages in preparation of the phone interview]. I was, ah, (pause). I was a Girl Scout leader for 16 years in Sidney. And, I was active in the band and PTA. And, helping four children get a good education, and music was our biggest hobby. They knew how to play the, all four knew how to play the piano. And all four were in the band. I was a Demoly Mother for four years. [A Demoly Mother? How do you spell that?] Uh-huh, D-e-m-o-l-y. I just had it yesterday and I laid it right there on the table, Don, underneath that other table in the corner, by the fireplace [speaking to husband regarding the Bible she's looking for]. [What's a Demoly Mother?] It's a lodge for boys, and John was very active in Demoly. [What did they do?] Oh, Don, what did they do in Demoly? Can you explain it? Pardon? It's sponsored by the Masonic Lodge, and they learned, oh, how to treat a girl nice, their manners, and how to treat a girl nice, and they would have parties, and ask girls, and everybody would come dressed up, you had to be formal. They did a lot of good for the community if somebody elderly needed help, they were always there to help.

[What did you do with the Girl Scouts?] With the Girl Scouts? I took 'em through, clear through to their nurses, that was the last one, it was the top in Girl Scouts, all the farther they could go, and I shoulda kept on that last year that they needed the nurses training 'cause I had one year nurses training in high school, and I knew, um, oh what did, Scott, what do you call, um, everybody takes it every year, that training, first aid, there you go. And I could have, I found out afterwards, that I could have graduated them all the way, but I thought it had to be a registered nurse. But they went all the way to that, to getting their nurses first aid. [So you taught girl scouts job skills?] It could be, that, yeah, we did a lot of camping, we made a lot of, mostly we entertained our, their parents, to dinners and they learned how to cook, and....(stops). [What did you do for the PTA?] I was secretary for several years. I don't think, I can't remember if I made President or not, but I know I was secretary. Oh, and I was, an Eastern Star. [What's an Eastern Star?] That's a branch of Masonic Lodge. Don, your grandpa, is a 50 year, over a 50 year, member now, and he's a 50 year member, over 50 years too, he's one of the first ones that organized Boy's Demoly. And all three girls belonged to Rainbow, Girls Rainbow, that's all a branch off of the Masonic. [Did you do any other volunteer work?] I was a member of, Women of the Moose too, I was active in that for years. [That's like Lions right?] Mmm-hmmm. [What did you do for them?] I was in the different offices until we retired, and we started traveling, so I just, I still pay my dues. [What did you do in the community?] Ah, that was about it. We....just ah, just, I don't know.

[Did you have anything you wanted to tell me?] Only that we celebrated our silver, and our golden anniversary. And we spend our winters in the south now. We traveled the U.S.A. in our fifth wheeler. Spent 10 days in Mexico City and Cancun. [Do you like traveling?] Yes I do, I miss it. I love traveling. My biggest thrill was when I could fly, before they raised the prices so bad and we could fly by airplane, that was, ohhhh, I love to fly. And the best part, and I'll always remember it, was having our grandchildren with us during the summer vacations. That was the best part. I miss that. [Family is very important to you then.] Yes it was, very important to us. We had a lot of good times. They learned how to drive the tractors, and how to help us with the yard, and swimming, we put up a big pool.

We've done a lot of agate hunting, we did a lot of agate hunting, grandchildren, our children, and everything. And we built our sod house when our children, four children, were home. We built a sod house, did your dad tell you about it? [Nope]. On the farm on the north 40. [What did you do with a sod house?] It finally got plowed under. [Did you live in it?] Well, we could have luncheons. Dad was breaking up the land, to seed it, so with the big chunks of dirt, the long junk, the children and I carried them, Don would help us, and we had a shelter over it and we'd have, ah...our lunches in there. It was big enough we could just sit in it, you couldn't stand up or anything, we'd just crawl in and sit and have lunch, that was our sod house. They had an idea how to build it. And then the biggest I think, and some of the boys, and I think we helped, all of us, we made an Eskimo house here in the back yard. We filled, I can't think of the cans, I think they were cans that dad had at the farm, oil cans, and we'd cut 'em up, he made long square blocks, fill those with water every night and they'd freeze, and we built an igloo, and they would have lunches occasionally, they would eat in there. John and one or two of his friends. They'd eat lunch in there. They even wanted to sleep in there, but that was a no-no (laughs).

[Did you help out on the farm?] Oh yes, some. Mostly I drove the big grain truck. For years I helped with harvest. I learned how to drive the combine. I'd help during noon hour, when your dad, grandpa or your dad, were in eating dinner I'd drive it. It was too big a toy for me. And then, I'd...there was a big diesel, all I lacked was a t.v. But I drove the big diesel doing all the summer fallow, for years. [Did you use your accounting skills? Did you help with the books?] Yeah, we all did, uh-huh. We came back, and....yep. Most of the time during the winter we'd come into town here and lived and that's when I started on everything here in town. Cause, we had to live here in town and send the children to school. And then we'd go back out in the spring.

[Was there anything besides nursing that you wanted to do that you didn't get to do?] Well...I had a lot of experience in taking care of people that were ill, and I often had wished I could have gone on and finished my education. [What kind of experience?] Oh, just around even the neighborhood, or anybody that needed help I offered it. You know, usually it was just bad colds, or if they came home from the hospital and needed help, or, most of the time it was people that had children you know and they'd need help with their little children, and I'd help 'em. [Do you remember anyone in particular you helped?] Well, one maybe I remember, she's gone now, but she had a stroke, and I helped teach her how to talk again and how to walk. Just I liked to do it, and I was free to do it. Oh, and I was President of, forgot to put that in, you're gonna really know my life history and I'm gonna have to have a copy of it. I was president of Homemaker's Club at Andes, Montana. [Where's that?] Ah, straight north of the farm out there, the ranch. [Real close?] Yeah. About 10 miles. [Were all the little communities around Sidney interconnected?] Yeah. Johnny used to ride his three wheeler. Oh, was it Scott, oh Scott, you had your three wheeler there! [Yep]. Yeah, over there at Andes. You used to go over there and ride, I told you to take the old road that your dad used to ride on his scooter and go up to, over the hill there at Andes. Right straight north of there. I'm sure you were over there. Over towards Culbertson, yeah. [Did you know your neighbors well?] I think so. We, in those days everybody knew each other and everybody got together. [What did you get together to do?] Play cards mostly, and I remember the barn dances. [Where were those?] Girard, oh, I guess it wasn't a barn dance, Girard Hall. [That's just up the road, right?] Yeah. You go bye it when you come into town and going out, yeah, Girard Hall. You were there one night and had a lot of fun. [Yep]. Yeah. [What kind of cards did you play?] Oh, they played, in those days, because there was a lot of Norwegians and Swedes, so we played Whist. We got pretty good at Whist. And if they needed an extra, I was always the extra. [So most of your neighbors were from Scandinavia?] Yeah. [Recent immigrants?] They'd been there now, when they first came there were all new, yeah. But then later years, the farm out at our ranch, where we are now, they're mostly...what are they Don? Italian, and uh....Italian and French. And Basque. They're Frenchmen, they're Basque.

[Relatives?] They all went to Sidney High School. By that time, my dad and mom had moved into town. [Sisters? Brothers?] Yeah, I had 5 sisters and 3 brothers. Yeah, it was a big family. Olive lives here in Sidney, Olive Mercer. [All of them live in Sidney??] Pardon? [All of them live in Sidney?] Yeah, Olive lives in Sidney. [Oh, Olive]. Her husband is mayor. [The mayor of Sidney?] Mm-hmmm.... And I have a brother, Fred, Ronny's dad, at Glendive. And the rest all live out of town. [Do you see them often?] Oh, Mary, my sister at Billings. She and her husband flew into Yuma and spent two weeks with us this winter. She's with, it, what do you call government job, that there were they collect the taxes and all that? [She works for the IRS?] There you go. (laughs). I could think of every initial there was, but not that one. [What's Mary's last name?] Doubis. And the rest I don't know too much about. [Too many to keep track of?] Right, we don't get together like we used to. They're all way out on the west coast or some, I think Washington, most of them are out there. Oh, Ida. You know Ida. [What's Ida's last name?] Ummm...what is her last, Ida, Donlay. And her husband's name is Dan, d-a-n. And they spent Christmas with us this year. They come quite often to our house. [Christmas in Yuma?] Mm-hmmm... They spent Christmas in Yuma with us. As well as Myrna Gail and her two children this year. And your dad came to see us for a week, and Aunt Judy and Tom were there for a week, the next week after your dad left. So everybody missed each other. So we get to see 'em once a year for sure. She lives at Detroit lakes. [Who?] Ida. And we raised her as a little girl, till her mom got married and took her away from us. But we used to have her. We enjoyed her company very much. She's one of the family.

[Did your mom live in the U.S. her whole life?] She, ah, yes, she was born in Virginia. And, um, moved, married, my Grandpa Korf in Cleveland. And they came west like everybody else to get wealthy, instead of that they went broke. [Grandpa Korf?]

Oh, for gosh sake, here comes a great big bouquet of flowers, from Gail, Myrna Gail for Mother's Day. Oh, they're gorgeous. Whew. I'm not used to that. Your dad usually does out at Yuma for, oh, for Christmas. Yeah, and probably he'll be sending some more will be coming tomorrow, he usually always remembers. [He's good at that]. Yep, he sure is. They're every color, Scott, I wish you see it. There's purple, there's red, there's yellow, there's gold, pink! And a big butterfly in the middle. And a big beautiful beautiful basket. Them kids. It's nice to have kids. Especially now. To remember you. Yep.

Well, I was trying to think of something else. Oh, I forget to tell you about Gary. Your dad had a two wheel scooter, and grandpa would tell him when talking, this was several years ago, he couldn't have been more than eight, cause he has spent every summer like you boys did with us. And, ah, Dad kept telling him about, he had to get to water, get to town to water the lawn. So what did the little rascal do, he filled a jug of water and hung it on the handlebars and he took, made him some sandwiches, and Don come in the house and says, "You know where your boy's headed for?" And I said, "No, where's the boy headed for?" "He's going to Sidney to water the lawn." And here he was, on this old two wheeled Scooter, ok, he was going down, so I followed, I got in the car and followed, and I let him go, and we left up on Girard Hill, if you can remember where that is, him and the oil workers, big rigs, they were gonna make another well, and they sat there and waited for that boy and laughed, they laughed so hard to see that little tyke coming down that hill with (laughs) - it's a good thing I took some more water along 'cause he'd drank most of his water. But I never let run on the highway. We loaded it on the pickup and brought it in. And we watered it on the yard, and then went back again. But he rode that two, he stuck with it, he couldn't hardly walk afterwards (laughs). And you brother Scott, er Andrew too, he rode that, ah, motor scooter wasn't it? It was a 2-wheeler. Well Andy was alone, and he came to Fairview and he called and he said, "Grandpa can you come and get me, I can't stand up." [He was probably on the little green Vespa]. Yeah. And John said, I never told him what would happen to him if he did, so John must have know...riding. Oh, I know, Johnny one time from the farm, and he took his two wheel scooter, an older one, and he went clear to Savage, you know up at Brown. And he rode it all the way up there, and he, that had to happen to him, he couldn't stand up, and he said, "I didn't tell Andy." (laughs). Yeah. And didn't you ride your bike to the farm, or into town here. [That was Andy]. And what about you? Sure, you rode your three wheeler. [I didn't ride it all the way out there]. Yeah, you rode it all over the country. You used to [go to] Violet's, way out, about 9 miles west of us, yeah, uh-huh.

[What do you know about your real dad?] Not much, I never met him. [What was his first name?] Will [William?] Yeah. Same as my step dad, that's corny. Same, Bill they were both know. Many later years, after everybody was through high school and married, I met my stepbrothers then. They live at Aberdeen, SD. [He married again?] Yeah, he got married and he had 7 children. And there's one brother in RI. And a sister in Phoenix. And, another one in Aberdeen, Mildred lives in Aberdeen too. [Do you know last names?] No, I don't know their married names. Joe and, Joe passed away. [Was he the one that lived in Aberdeen?] Yeah. He had cancer, you remember. He and Girt used to come to your house. And Lloyd, he still lives there, he and his wife. He has the electric store there in Aberdeen. [Oh, I think I know where that's at.] Yeah. Sure you do. And Margaret Johnson, she lives there too. Their last name is Johnson. Margaret Johnson. And if I remember right she's an ex-school teacher. And she taught school for years. [Was William McBurney from here?] He was originally from Ireland, when Grandpa and Grandma McBurney came over he was a baby, from Ireland. [Do you know Grandpa and Grandma McBurney's names?] William. William Joseph. McBurney. I did know the name of the town, but I can't think of it now.

[Starts talking about some research she did of her own regarding relatives]. Yeah, I've got, I've got a big, I should get it copied off you and send it to you of Don, of Grandpa McVay, Great Grandpa. And I've got that all written up when he grew up as a boy in Iowa. And your Great Great Grandpa. And I should get that all off...I've got it written. Oh, I made one for Gary. And they framed it and put it on the wall at school. On the Great Great, Gary's third great grandpa. And they put it on the wall for the civil war. And your grandpa and that, way down. And they thought that was history. It made Gary feel good.

[Starts talking about some pages she made of notes to talk to me to remind her of things she wanted to say]. For fashion when I was about ten, for fashion, our biggest fashion, that was when girls started wearing slacks, or jeans. And mom was always making me put on jeans because I rode horseback, a lot. With our striped socks, in the 30's. Our striped socks. And they were the ugliest thing you ever knew of. And girls had to wear pantaloons then, and they always hung below your dress. But they were the latest style, Scott!

[You used to ride horses a lot?] Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about that, didn't I, about me and my pony, where did I put that? [You said you used to ride a Sheltie to school all the time]. Yeah, and then later years my dad gave me a pony I called Midget. Beautiful little sorrel I called midget. And we could cut and rope with the best of them on the range. Our cattle just run out in open range, and we had to cut 'em in, bring 'em in. [You helped bring the cattle in?] Mmm-hmmm. [Did you do much work on the ranch?] Quite a bit. Cultivated corn. Ask Uncle Fred. He rode the horse, and I stood on the back of those, you know, old fashioned cultivators. On the seat on it. A garden tractor. And the horse pulled it. And then I'd stand on the back end and Fred would ride the horse and steer down the corn rows. And he and I had to cultivate the corn that way. That was way back in the '30's. And we had fun. Then we'd tie the horse up and play hide-and-seek. That was a no-no, but we never smashed any corn down (laughs).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my god! I read through this whole thing and not ONE mention of john's monicle and top hat-wearing racoon brother!! Uncle racoon-boy will be so sad.