I REMEMBER---THINGS TO TELL OUR GRANDKIDS
Training a calf to drink from a bucket by fooling them into thinking your finger in the
bucket was momma.
Feeding the chickens.
Keeping baby chicks from crowding together and smothering at night.
Slopping (feeding) the hogs. Building a slop barrel by adding grain, all your garbage
and dishwater to the barrel.
Hoeing weeds in the garden and fields.
Riding the horse to bring in the milk cows.
Eating fresh vegetables you just picked from the garden.
Making plaster casts of animal tracks.
Throwing water up on the bank of the creek to make a slippery slide in the mud.
Walking to and from school in winter snow and spring mud.
Exploring the countryside with no worries about crime.
Hitch-hikers on the highway, and not worrying about being harmed.
Smelling fresh plowed fields and new mown hay.
Walking in freshly plowed fields, and getting a leg ache.
All the family gathering for Sunday dinners. All the women would bring covered dishes
Ice Cream socials.
Pie suppers. The men would bid on the pies and then share them with the baker.
Picking corn for roasting ears for supper. Picking corn to feed to the hogs in the
Family picnics for Decoration Day (Now known as Memorial day).
Picking flowers in the yard to put on all the family graves at Decoration Day.
Skinny dipping in the creek with all the boys.
Bringing in boxes of corn cobs for burning in the stoves.
Cooking on a wood stove. Heating with an old wood stove.
Heating water on the stove to take a bath Saturday night in the wash tub. First person
to take a bath got clean water. The rest got dirtier water.
Washing your hair over the wash basin or kitchen sink.
Setting your hair in Pincurls every night.
Picking bugs off the garden plants.
Cleaning the chicken house every week.
Riding calves and getting bucked off.
Carrying water so Mother could wash clothes. She used a washtub and a scrub board.
The first wringer washer Mother got.
Kerosene lamps. Kerosene 5 cents a gallon. The little gallon cans you filled with
kerosene. Calling kerosene "coal oil".
Washing machines with gas engines.
Playing "Fox and Geese" in the snow at school.
Going to a one-room school.
Taking a hot brick to bed to warm your feet.
So many blankets on your bed at night you could hardly turn over.
Cutting firewood in the winter with an old buzz saw.
Digging spuds with a horse and plow.
Storing spuds in the cellar for winter use.
Going to the "out house" in the winter and nearly freezing.
Sears and Roebuck Catalog in the out house.
Running with a hoop and stick.
Pulling taffy on a cold winter night.
Growing our own popcorn. Popping corn with a screen-wire basket over the wood cook
Turning the windmill on and off. Making sure it was turned off before a storm.
Making a kite out of newspaper and string.
Putting cardboard in your shoes to cover the holes.
Raiding a watermelon patch.
Doing homework by the light of a kerosene lamp.
Carrying lunch to school made out of home-made bread. Eating your lunch in the school
room on cold or rainy days.
Helping to set a fire in the school yard that spread over a large area and everyone
turning out to help put it out.
Swimming in the stock tank on hot days.
Nickel ice cream cones at the corner drugstore soda fountain.
Pharmacists and doctors mixing their own medicines. Some of them were ground powders
wrapped in little papers. You poured them into your hand and washed them down with water.
Burma Shave signs along the side of the road.
Door to door salesmen. Mother traded with them. They were Jewel Tea, Fuller Brush, and
Watkins dealers. Some of them offered special "premiums" to get you to buy their
The National Guard delivering packages the day before Christmas so everyone would get
their Christmas boxes from the family.
The Ice Man. We put a card in the front window telling him what size block of ice we
wanted. Usually a 25 pound block. No one had electric refrigerators.
Putting cream, milk and butter in the spring or well house to keep them cool.
The Milk Man. He delivered milk and cream in bottles, and cottage cheese in little
Going to the Saturday afternoon matinee to see Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Hopalong
Serial movies at the movie theaters.
Dime stores where most things were under a dollar. Newberrys, Woolworths, and
The corner grocer where you could run a small account until payday.
Dipping cream off the top of the milk to put on hot oatmeal.
Picking wild berries for Mother to make jam.
The Freedom Train that traveled across the country carrying the Constitution, The Bill
of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Lining up for hours to go aboard to see the
Buying white margarine in a plastic bag with a little capsule of color inside. You
broke the capsule and squeezed the bag until the oleo was golden all over.
Churning butter. Mother getting a Daisy Churn where you turned a handle and little
paddles went around and around to churn. It was so much easier.
Mothers treadle sewing machine.
Running the separator to separate cream from milk. Washing the separator afterwards.
There were 56 pieces in ours.
Gathering eggs to fill the case on Saturday morning so Mother could take them to town
to sell to the grocer.
Having bakers bread and bologna as a special supper on Saturday night.
Flat irons you heated on the wood cook stove.
Mothers gas iron which ran on white gas.
Mother making lye soap. Heating wash water on a fire in the yard.
Butchering cows and hogs in the winter time.
Making sausage from the hogs. Mother rendered the fat and made lard, then she fried the
sausages and layered them in crocks of lard to preserve them.
My first reader. "See Jane. See Jane run. See Dick. See Dick run. See Spot. See
Going swimming and camping on the creek bank on the 4th of July. Waking up to the smell
of coffee and bacon on the fire the next morning.
Putting watermelons in the spring to cool them in the summer.
Steam engines and their whistles sounding in the night.
Train stations in every little town.
Colored and white peoples waiting rooms in train and bus stations.
Listening to the howl of coyotes on a quiet night.
The sound of crickets and "jar flies" on summer nights.
Fireflies at dusk. Putting on bandannas and gathering them in a jelly jar. The bandanna
was to keep them from getting in your ears, momma said.
Cutting a piece of cane and sucking the sweet juice from it.
Skating on a pond in winter.
Route 66 in its heyday.
Going to Drive-in movies with your boy- or girl-friend.
New 55 Chevrolets selling for $1,200.
Car hops on roller skates at the local drive-in cafe.
The Good Humor ice cream man and ice cream bars for 5 cents.
The Saturday Evening Post, Look and Life magazines.
Listening to the radio. To the "Great Gildersleeve, One Mans Family, Lum and
Abner, Amos and Andy, The Hit Parade, Fitch Bandwagon, The Shadow, Inner Sanctum".
Poodle skirts and saddle oxfords. Shoes had to be polished every night so they were
Pulling water up the well. Getting a pump on the well so you could hand pump the water.
Getting a pump in the kitchen so you could have a sink.
Emptying the dishwater out the back door or into the slop barrel.
Going to the creek on a school picnic. Wrapping sweet potatoes in mud and putting them
in a bonfire to roast. Then eating them when they were done.
Hi Fidelity record players.
Howdy Doody television show with Buffalo Bob, the host.
Mickey Mouse club.
75 MPH speed limits on "Super highways".
1950s new car shows in every showroom.
When gathering eggs, reaching in and finding a snake or a possum.
Drinking cool, clear water from the spring.
Segregation. Black police officers who controlled their own side of town.
Waking up to a rooster crowing.
The Second World War...
Buying Savings Stamps for 10 cents and pasting them in a folder. When your folder was
full, you traded them in for war bonds.
Watching troop trains go by.
Trading eggs and butter for sugar ration coupons.
Ration Stamps for nearly all commodities. People in "Transportation" getting
priority to buy gas and tires.
VE day (Victory in Europe) and VJ day (Victory in Japan).
Living 10 miles from town and hearing the bells, whistles, and horns celebrating VJ
Gold Star Mothers who lost sons in the war. They had gold stars in their front windows.
One for each son lost.
Victory gardens. People raised as much food in town as they could so other food could
go to the boys fighting overseas.
Scrap metal drives.
29 Japanese reconnaissance planes spotlighted over our house one night. Anti aircraft
guns firing at them. Dad gathering shrapnel from the shells next day and taking them to
school so we could collect a penny a piece for it.
A tiny black light bulb with an orange spot the size of a nickel, lighting our house at
Black-out blinds at our windows.
All the glass in our school removed and replaced with translucent paper. Going home
from school and being caught in an air-raid drill. Going into the nearest home and staying
until the all-clear siren sounded.
All the army cots lining the halls at our school.
The air raid warden telling my mother to turn off the burner on her stove.
Women in defense jobs at the airplane factories and ship yards.
Stage door canteens, USO shows.
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home", the song.
Eggless, butterless and milkless cakes mother baked. They were called "War
Motto posters at the post office, "A slip of the lip can sink a ship", et al.