Showing posts with label Bygone days. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bygone days. Show all posts

Friday, December 6, 2013

Old Things – from the bottom drawer.


         What would we do without that seldom opened drawer, or trunk to dump thing in? Sometimes it becomes an entire room – and then a house, and that's when you rate TV coverage.
        Today's search was for an old postcard that I've kept since childhood. I didn't find it but spent several hours digging through valentines, report cards, and crumbly newspaper clippings. Some of the clutter seemed worth sharing.

       This little pamphlet explained all we needed to know about rationing of food, gasoline, and clothing. Books of stamps to be used for these items were issued. When the book was empty no more of these items could be purchased until the next book was issued. Are those days gone forever? We can hope so.

After graduation many things are not certain, but the boys in 1942 could count on receiving one of these–sometimes before graduation.

        Have you heard anyone complaining about the lack of  handwriting skills being taught today? Take a look at the goal we once had. I never conquered anything near these examples. My mother was taught by what was called the "Palmer method" and  she wrote very well until her eyesight failed. The edea was to not shaep the letters by a clenched hand, but to instead, roll the forearm on its muscle ad thus shape the letters in a rolling movement. Try it!

 A card game of the early '20's
called Finch, I think. There was also one
named Touring and I remember enjoying playing it. It's certain to be here somewhere.  Both wmiles and delay penalties, such as flats and out of gas, etc.
 Both , plus a set of dominoes, were old games of my parents.

 Later Chinese Checkers became the rage…and were affordable in those Depression days of the late '30s. May have cost 25¢.

Simple pleasures in simpler times. Please share your memories with us. It's fun.


                                                    " Come little leaves, said the wind one day…."
They'll soon listen to the call. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Old Things

A recent Facebook posting called Old Dusty Things caught my attention a few days ago, and after I skimmed through pages of old stuff members had contributed, I chased it down on google and discovered a bit more information. It dates back to 2011, and is also a selling site for those wishing to list-others simply share pictures of their treasures. I haven't discovered how because it gave me an idea of sharing a few of my old favorites on my blog.

To the left is part of my cast iron collection. I once had a piece similar to the center one, top row, that had shallow round sections. I occasionally used it to bake individual strawberry shortcakes...made the old-fashioned way out of a sweetened biscuit-type dough...with strawberries and real whipped cream.

The oval piece on the left is stamped "server", the center piece is not identified as to it use. The next one is called crusty corn cobs or tea sticks.On the right is an "egg skillet." The muffin pan has been called the best pan ever for pop-overs, and I plan to try it - so far I've had
decent luck with regular aluminum muffin pans. Next, right, is stamped
bread sticks, and in the forefront in a hefty griddle about 10"x 16".

This second picture is shown only because the lighting  was better. My other "cooking" cast iron pieces includes four sizes of skillets, one my husband and I bought at a junk store soon after we were married, seventy years ago.
Wow! I did mention I was showing old stuff, didn't I? The crusty corn cob pan has a pat. date of 1920.

 This old clock has always been called "my dad's clock." I don't know the maker, but a clock hobbits/repair person said it was a coffee premium - however that worked! Probably had to buy many pounds of coffee and save labels to get the clock. Of course it had to be wound every night with its brass key and when it began to lose time, My dad would take off the back, and with a chicken feather dipped in kerosene (called coal oil in those days), proceed to dust and oil its very simple moving parts. It is in need of another feather and kerosene treatment, I fear, because  today, it runs only a short time. Beside it must be hung perfectly level or the pendulum will quit swinging.
The numerals and pendulum are brass.      
 My mother did this watercolor when she was about nine, making it 117 years old, Of course the framing came many years later when her younger sister surprised her with the little picture as a Christmas gift. I wonder how it survived, but it seems to be a family trait to hang on to everything.

This lamp goes back to the beginning of the decorative hammered aluminum
production that started in 1930 and lasted into the '50s-'60s. As an avid collector of these wares,when a large collection went on auction in the '80s, I bid via telephone until my competing bider finally gave up. Some collectors accumulated numerous lamps, ranging from table lamps like this, to desk lamps, and a great variety of bank lamps which were combined wit pin and ink sets and trays for deposits slips, etc. More recently, I have added a torchere - lousy if you want real light but great for a quiet atmosphere. Collectors just keep on keeping on....

A better use.
 Back to cast iron. My Dad bought this grinder (he called it a grist mill) at junk store called Fry's, He thought he'd use it to grind his own corn meal instead of bringing his corn in to Mr. Brown's mill. This was in the late '30s, the midst of the depression, and if you could save a few pennies long enough, you might accumulate a dollar. In this case, Dad soon decided the hand turned grinder was a bad idea: he said the meal was much too coarse for cornbread but never mentioned the tiresome wheel turning! Anyway, he continued to be a customer of Brown's Mill.

Below right, another purchase from Fry's second hand store. This kettle sat on the back of Mother's old wood burning cookstove and furnished an almost constant supply of hot to warm water - if used sparingly and kept refilled. The cast iron cookstove plus the cast iron kettle retained the heat long after the fire burned out.

Rural areas did not have access to electricity until after WWII ended - at least not in this part of the country. President Roosevelt's administration had introduced the Rural Electrification Act, but the war put everything on hold for many years. A very few had limited electricity from a generator and some had propane for heat and cooking. Most rural homes had wood burning stoves and kerosene lamps with glass globes that soon smoked up from the wick being turned up too high. Or a puff of wind that made the flame flare up. Small hands usually had the chore of cleaning those fragile globes.

 Maybe I can find a few more oldies for sharing later. And maybe you can find some of your own to share. The memories are great - and check in to the Old Dusty Things site. I enjoyed the postings.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Open Road

       Did you know that in addition to our town"s historical courthouse and marvelous old homes, it also has a bit of history preserved in a portion of the old Bankhead Highway? The Bankhead extended from Washington, DC to San Diego, CA and was a part of the National Auto Trail system. It was a symbol  of our nation’s modernization. It made possible travel from coast to coast, which in 1930 was considered quiet a feat. The route was marked by a pole marker that was white with yellow stripes on the top and bottom and the letters "BH" in black. 
          The Texas Historical Commission is charged with focusing attention on historic highways and byways of Texas, and we can hope the Bankhead is on its list.  
           Like many other highways of that era it had many branches or splits.  In Texas, there were a total of 11 splits as it took different routs through the state before they all came together at El Paso,
           . The main route passed through Texarkana, TX, before arriving at Fort Worth, where it turned into former U.S. Highway 80, and continued westward, going on through Midland and Odessa before rejoining the branch route at El Paso. The route from Fort Worth to El Paso is now followed by Interstates 20 and 10.
        Browsing through the records of that bygone era, will soon make it evident that standardizing the system was a great improvement. Never mind that we sometimes take the wrong exit or in a complicated interchange get on the wrong highway. Believe me, what we presently have is a vast improvement!

    Todays signs are highly 
    visab even on 
     foggy days.
    Steep grades on today's
    have deep sand escape lanes
    for runaway trucks

    Four lanes are far
    differentfrom old
     dirt roads of the past.

    Even mountains don't stop the
         Today we expect nothing less than a well maintained route to get us to our destinations as easily and quickly as possible. For most of the present generations of travelers, good highways have always been a fact of life but not too many years ago, at least in the memory of some of our oldest citizens, navigating the country was a totally different experience. It was time consuming and at times, hazardous.
         In the 20s most of the roads were hardly more than the old wagon trails they had once been. The highways that were paved were usually in major cities and were, of all things, cobblestone.
         For years they were not marked until several trail association initiated change and by 1925 there were over 250 named highways.
        The first named was the Lincoln Highway: there was a Jefferson Highway, a Dixie Overland, the Glacier Trail, the Great White Way, and well over 200 more including the Bankhead Highway which ran from Washington, DC to San Diego, CA
         Each highway had their own type of colored signs and they were placed haphazardly on barn roofs or other flat surfaces that faced the oncoming traffic. Signs were sometimes placed on telephone poles.  
         The Federal Government recognized the confusion that was developing and advanced the radical idea that the highways should be standardized with a numbering system and standard signs. This proposed change was not popular: people had bonded with their highways’ names and disliked the idea of substituting numbers which had no meaning.

          It becomes easier to understand how the road system was so slow to become more efficient when you remember that in those years only the rich had automobiles, making extensive highway use nonexistent. Most people contented themselves with their horse and buggy or of streetcars in some of the cities. Longer trips were made by train. Only a few of the more daring automobile owners ventured out on sightseeing trips. At the time, to do so was an adventure comparable to an African safari.
    Trouble on the road.It was a brave
    person who dared take a picture of
    a man with car trouble.
          Think of them, wearing their dusters, poring over poor maps, and hoping they were fully prepared for emergencies, with cans of water, gas, spare tire a tire tool, and a tire pump.
         All  that changed with the popularity of Henry Ford’s Model “T”, They were affordable to almost anyone with a well paying job, dropping down to under $300 in 1920. Although they were not known for comfort, they made possible increased travel and an  increased demand for good roads. Thus our present highway system came into existence.  

         Although the names have mostly disappeared from our maps, the nostalgia remains. The people of those days of change were correct in their belief that the numbering system was a colder, less personal one, and the only numbered highway to find a special place in our memories is Route 66. The pathos of the travelers of the 30’s led to it being immortalized in song and fiction.
          The name is a magnet that pulls us to its old route and Texas has a small section running through Amarillo. That it was lined with antique stores was an added enticement when we occasionally visited that town, for in years past, I seldom willingly passed an opportunity to share with them most of my available cash.
          It appears that I am fascinated with the old days  and the changes that have been made. See more highway nostalgia in the July 16, 2010,Rocking Chair Journey.


    Friday, February 11, 2011

    The Good Old Days of Wintertime

         To this date I know of any legislative attempt to change our weather to a more pleasant year-round average so we may as well plan on enduring the extremes of both summer and winter.
         For me, my memories of each season are quiet vivid, for I grew up in the days of the Great Depression and comfort was not a high priority item, especially if one lived in the country.
         Of course, there were numerous nice country dwellings, but in general, the majority of the farm houses were box houses, built without a wall framework but instead of wide vertical boards striped with 1x4s to cover the crack between each board. A board of one-inch thickness does not keep out much
        Most of these houses were being lived in without the benefit of any repairs and their original poor construction and the effects of weather had taken their toll, resulting in wide cracks and humps in the floors.
         A winter in 1930 is the one I most often think of in terms of cold. We lived in a fairly well built house--I remember no wide cracks or missing windowpanes. As was the custom, it had two flues for the escaping wood smoke: one for the cook stove and one located in the living room for a wood burning heater.     
         My memory is of a wood heater sitting at an angle in a corner of the living room:  a stack of wood near by, my father’s rocker and a library table with a kerosene lamp lining the wall. My mother’s rocker was also near the table and lamp, for they both spent a few hours reading each night.
          As a four-year old, I was constantly on the move, standing by the heater until my legs were red and burning and then returning to my play across the room for only a few minutes before another thawing session by the stove.
          When I think of past winters, that is my first memory of being cold. Children’s winter clothing in those days was far different from that of today.  Although there were“long johns” for the boys, the girls had to contend with dresses and cotton stockings, which would not stay in place and were hated heartily. Surely there were under vests but I don’t remember any.

    It was cold and you lived with it.
         By the time I was ten we had moved into our very own home with four large rooms and two wonderful porches all interestingly dilapidated
         This house was also of box construction, but as a much larger one, it showed more serious effects of settling, creating cracks along in the flooring that made sweeping out the dirt an easy chore.  Its large “L” shaped back porch had buckled with the settling resulting in a huge hump at one end.
         The walls were insulated with layers of newspapers and magazine pages that today would probably be worth more than the old house itself.
         None of these flaws bothered me in the least, for I loved that old house at first sight.
         In this house the heater had a short wall of its own making it easier to crowd around when the weather turned cold. Despite this old house’s construction flaws, it never seemed to be as severely cold as the earlier one…  except for the north bedroom with its one north window. I expect a glass of water would have frozen hard overnight.

         School closings were unheard of in those days. There was no way to communicate such notices, and after walking some distance in snow only to reach a locked schoolhouse was unthinkable.
          One’s common sense was the guideline and I have no memories of missed days. There are, however, quite a few of crowding around a huge wood burning stove with a roaring fire, trying to warm feet that felt frozen from tramping a mile over a frozen and rutted road.
          Realistically, there was no way that red hot stove was going to warm a large room in near freezing temperatures, so when completely chilled, students would again hover around the stove.
          Once, after a snow storm arrived during the school day, I choose when going home, to take a shortcut through the woods, reasoning that there would be less time in the cold and a nice windbreak from the blowing wind. My mother was not happy with my decision. In fact, she was extremely unhappy, for as every mother knows, children get disorientated in the snow and are lost and suffer all sorts of other terrible consequences….

    I believe these are a few of the days sometimes spoken of as “The good ole days.”

    Monday, January 31, 2011


          Some browsing on a long, long day, took me to Facebook where I found a recent posting by Karen Rutherford telling of her love of the New Yorker magazine. I was  reminded of the magazines of my younger days.
         As a child, I remember the Saturday Evening Post, which came bi-monthly to our mailbox.  I don’t know what we did without in order to subscribe but my father always managed somehow. I Googled the Saturday Evening Post and found that in those days the newsstand cost was 5¢ so he had to dig up about $1 for a one-year subscription! Remember that these were deep depression days when the listing of flour on the weekly grocery list always threw him into a panic; a 24 lb. bag cost almost $1, a loaf of bread was 8¢, a quart of peanut butter was 23¢, and a can or pork and beans was 5¢.
          The Post always had three or four short stories: several, featuring characters such as Tugboat Anne and her rival Bullwinkle, appeared often, and there was always one serialized novel. The one I remember most vividly was Mutiny on the Bounty, which my dad read to me while holding me in his lap.
         Today, issues of the Saturday Evening Post from that era are priced at $35 to $65 dollars; what a pity the mice made nests of all those old copies!
         As a beginning reader, one magazine that I looked forward to carried a children’s short, one-page story featuring Peter Painter and his magic paintbrush. With all the information that the Internet makes available, I cannot find a trace of this feature.  I did learn that there is an old Chinese folktale that could have been the basis of the stories I enjoyed so much. 
         Other magazines of those years were Colliers and the Country Gentleman. Another periodical was the Progressive Farmer. A Progressive Farmer salesman often appeared at the door with his subscription pad and seldom left without a new subscription, for if cash was short, they would take almost anything in trade.
         In the ‘60s a salesman stopped by my husband’s business attempting to make a sale and apparently did not understand “no.” He finally proposed taking an old radiator in trade so my husband said “Go for it,” since there was about half an acre of old car parts behind his shop. The salesman worked over half an hour trying to collect his payment and finally had to be helped. The stack of Progressive Farmer issues that collected on the desk were never read but somehow my husband got some satisfaction from the hard work the poor salesman did in order to get something of value for the subscription.  
          Changing interest and increased publishing costs have changed our world of magazines. The Cosmopolitan changed drastically and Good housekeeping, Redbook, Lady’s Home Journal and others that we enjoyed so much in the ‘60s and ‘70s no longer feature short stories or novelettes.  The much thinner publications of today, have large sections of recipes, “how to “ articles, or decorating features. Another loss from the good ole days!

    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    The Flying Fortress


    After its 31 years of residency in Fort Worth, the B-17 is leaving Texas.  I regret that I never went the short distance to view it on the ground.

    The B-17, or Flying Fortress, as it was generally called, was an icon of WWII. It was massive, for planes of those years, and it steadily and effectively carried out its mission as a bombing machine. It soon became known as a very tough plane, sustaining terrible damage and still managing to return its crew home and then be repaired and returned to battle.

    War is a terrible thing with its death and destruction and the B-17 was made for war. However, when freedom or servitude, life or death, are at stake, as they were at that time, this B-17 tough fighting machine soon became a heroic  symbol of  our nation’s knowhow and determination to do what was necessary for our survival,
    Bombing raids were carried out
    often with more than a hundred
    Flying Fortresses

     One of my most memorable moments of the wartime years, was the day a deep roar brought the entire neighborhood to their yards to gaze upward as the sky was filled with these monstrous planes passing overhead. There were too many to count; there were probably hundreds, for the flight went on and on and the air vibrated with the awesome roar of the engines.

     We had no hint of their designation but we knew their purpose and the sight and sound of these Flying Fortresses going about their   business of saving the world from Nazism was sobering.

    Photos are from Wikipedia's files and from a Federal Government page. Many of the stories found in the Flying Fortress archives and other wartime pages, told by the men who survived,  make a good argument that none of our movies or novels have been exaggerated....except, perhaps the female character, who seems able to always  appear beautiful.

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    More Cars

         Remember the Studebaker with its great gas mileage? We had several. We also had small children loaded into the back seat where there was absolutely no air circulation when the car was stopped at a traffic light or for anything else. My husband remembered those fondly, a sentiment I did not share.
         The first new car was a '48 4-door Chevrolet to be delivered the next day. My husband was wide awake at 11:00 trying to understand why he'd taken the plunge to spend $1600 of his hard-earned money for a car.  At 12:00 he was still fretting and so it went for a few more hours until he finally decided what was done was done and went to sleep.
         Ah-h, the lure of that new car scent! It had reeled him in. That and a good friend who was a salesman at the dealership where they both worked.
         For a short time these two friends were partners in their own car lot. All went well, but they had one experience neither ever forgot: A dairyman interested in a car on their lot, stopped by to see if they could work out a trade so after a lot of circling each car and checking under the hoods and kicking the tires, a deal was made and a happy dairyman drove away.
         The two salesmen pocketed their money, also well pleased with themselves. They were busy for a few hours before they decided to clean up their newest acquiescence and calculate their hoped for profit. Upon opening the doors, they were almost knocked over by the reek of spoiled milk.  The car had been used to transport the dairyman's cans of milk and a few hours in the hot sun had made the smell one they never forgot.
          This was in the days before some many forms of deodorants were available so they did the best they knew how...they went to Duke & Aryes and stocked up on Evening of Paris  perfume in hopes of disguising the sour milk odor. It was quiet a while before we wives learned about the dairy car.
         Despite having a steady supply of clunkers, there were also new cars. One was a great bargain because it had slight hail damage and we drove it for several years and another that we had for only one day.
        We were coming home from a vacation when we decided to stop at a car lot in a neighboring town. My husband found a new Plymouth at a price he couldn't resist and although he wasn't a 'Plymoith man', he did  appreciate a bargain so we brought it home with us.
         A local dealer spotted him driving it to work the next morning and it seems he had a customer looking for that exact model, color, etc. so another irresistible deal was made and my trader husband returned home that evening in a new Chevrolet.
         With the new cars, my opinion was always asked. The clunkers just appeared!
          Many of our unusual and temperamental vehicles were ones for the kids to drive. They were "good ole cars" but always had a few peculiarities. There was an old Mercedes that when the ignition quit working, Papa furnished a pair of pliers with instructions on which wires to twist together.
         There was a Volvo that our eldest teen aged daughter drove and which had the peculiar habit of dying at red lights on the square. Fortunately, enough teen aged boys always appeared to move her out of the traffic lane until the car would again start and move on its own.
         The youngest daughter had an old BMW that she drove the 286 miles to Texas Tech for four years.  It was remarkably dependable and had a simplified  owners manual that enabled the girls to fix a few problems on their own. After graduation and a job that had her working late hours it seems sensible to upgrade to a more secure system with automatic windows, locks and that wonderful luxury...air conditioning. An old car collector bought it to restore.
          Another vehicle with character was an old green wrecker. It was a dependable old thing, maybe of the early '50s and after the shop was closed it was kept it parked here at the house.
         My husband was now pursuing what he loved: raising horses and a few cattle and went daily to the farm to do whatever needed doing out there. It was late one afternoon when he called and said that he'd like for me to bring the wrecker out in order to lift a cow out of a ditch.
         My reaction was definite: "No way!"  He assured me that I could handle the chore, that the cow had fallen into the ditch and had landed on her back and could not get her feet under her enabling her to rise on her own. And it would soon be dark, so hurry!
           Okay, we had a lot of space in front of the house so I tentatively tried out the was a stick shift, of course...and found everything slightly familiar so we growled our way out of the yard and on to the road and off  for the 14 mile trip and  then located the trouble spot far down in the pasture. Feeling pretty cocky by that time, I quickly lost my confidence when I was instructed to back toward the ditch where the unfortunate cow lay. Me? Back toward a ditch?  It got worse. I was instructed to push this or that doodad to lower the cable down to the cow.

         Well the cow was hoisted up, the wrecker stayed on solid ground, and I never drove it again.

    The end of the car tales...I think!


    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    Cars in my Life

    1942  sold before we married
         Even before our marriage, my husband was buying and selling cars. When a sailor got his orders to ship out his car was usually for sale and my husband was ready to buy and then sell it himself. He'd make $25 or #30 dollars and in 1943 that was a tad more than pocket change. The only car he ever regretted selling was a '26 Chevy coupe.
         When we married we had a Plymouth coupe that was very picky about starting. On a damp, foggy morning it often took a push and that got so tiresome that it got a new owner.
    Had a mind of its own about starting
         Several cars later we had a faded maroon colored Graham-Paige. It was an ugly thing and I thought something about the forward projections over the headlights gave  it a characteristic of  Brahma cattle. I went to the hospital in that car; came home, ten days later in a different one.

         Its seems that we kept this one a while and came home in it three months later when my husband had leave. It was missing a window which was hardly noticeable on the coast but as we drove northward we missed it. We coped by using a blanket for a windbreak over the baby's bassinet and at bottle time. the new father drained hot water out of the radiator for a bottle warmer. Wartime made no allowances for little luxuries.
       I think that the only car he was not interested in buying was a Packard. No one, absolutely no one, wanted a big gas guzzler like that! That poor sailor may have had to leave it on the street if he couldn't afford to ship it home
         Almost everything was rationed in those days, including automobile tires. Of course when a car needed tires the local ration office  would issue permits or stamps or whatever made it legal to go purchase some retreads. After applying time and time again for more tires the ration board became very suspicious of this sailor's constant need for tires and were about ready to arrest him for black marketing!
         Once we came home in a care that developed a bad leak from the radiator. It must have become much worse at about the time we had to go home and therefore it didn't get repaired. We had to go for the Navy was not known for flexibility in viewing late arrivals...You were either on time or AWOL.
         With a few extra cans of water in the trunk we left for that 400 mile trip and there was not a service station in the entire distance that we passed without a fill-up.
         When we arrived back in Corpus there was not enough time to spare for detouring to take me to our apartment so we drove directly to the base. My sailor made a dash for the gate yelling "You can do it!" So there I was, a tiny baby, a leaky radiator, no driver's license, and worse, no driving experience.
         Since very little was worse than AWOL in wartime, I drove home....somehow.
    snow storm in 1946
         By the time the war was over, we either had replaced all the windows and leaky radiators or had a better car, so things were stable for a while. My determined husband insisted that I get a driver's license (now that I was all grown-up) and he got a job and soon resumed his trading habits.
          After he started his body shop there were always an available car he could trade for so he usually did. He had stayed in the reserve and once the squadron had a training week-end in Bemidji, MN, of all places. They flew up and while there, trader husband spotted an almost new Chrysler (I think) needing easy repair work and he bought it. He thought he could simply drive it home instead of flying back with the squadron.  That proved to be a no-no, so he left the car and flew back like a good boy, then loaded up with the next squadron and flew up again to get his car Fortunately, he escaped notice on his unauthorized trip.
         Another reason that car is remembered is that it had a record player! It came with several small records which we tried to listen  to on a trip to New Mexico but the dips in the highway made peculiar rhythms. Otherwise, it was a great car but soon someone else became interested in it so it moved on.
         Another large car we once owned was a Cadillac...a faded pink one, as I remember. It had only one fault, besides being pink, it needed shocks. When we drove out the driveway, at the dip it made a terrible sound, something like the braying of a donkey. The kids soon refused ride in it to school unless they could disembark several blocks away.
          There were a few others that created the same reaction. I don't know if their father ever caught on that they were not  being solicitous  of his time and convenience when they said "Just turn here, Dad, we'll walk the rest of the way."
         Somehow we became the owner of an old '39 four-door Plymouth. Stick shift, of course. Our daughters learned to drive with it. I can see it in my memory...backing and jerking to a stop, again and again as they struggled to get it out of the driveway.
          It became a tradition that the younger ones dreaded. It ended one morning when the third daughter called asking me to call her father because she had had a wreck on the way to school.

        Me: Are you okay?
        Daughter: Yes, just call Dad.
        Me: Why me?
       Daughter: Cause I don't want to. I hit a filling station.
       Me: What?
        Daughter: Mom.....!

     Call made. Husband dispatched. The "little dumplin's" brakes had failed and to avoid going into the intersection the kid had hoped to find a place to stop in the service station's parking area. At this point I had a simple two-word request: "Park it!"
         That was good-bye to an era. The fourth daughter and the son  learned to drive quite well without the "Little Dumplin's" tutoring
         So there it sat, in front of the shop, for years and years. Then one Sunday afternoon we got a phone call from someone interested in buying it. My husband went over to meet these potential buyers, three guys wanting to drive it to Mexico.
         They kicked tires, started it, hem and hawed and dickered over my husband's asking price. Finally, all three pooled their money and offered all they had for the little jewel but it was about fifty dollars short of the asking price, so my husband said,  'Sorry,' and pulled out to come home. After about half a block it struck him how stupid he was to leave that good money and quickly turned around and made the trade. He returned home amazed that he had almost not made the sale regardless of not getting his asking price.
        When we start remembering the cars the tales seem endless. Undoubtedly, with a little time there'll be more tales to tell. I am already remembering the one ........

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    An Old Album

    Some of this collection dates back to the early

    1900s giving a glimps at life 100 years ago. Look at those hats, those long dresses and underskirts with high topped lace up shoes peeking out. Look at those tiny waists! And the guys with their suits and their hats cocked so jauntily. It must have been a good time in their lives; they all look carefree. In the overloaded swing, Mother is left, holding Byrd. I brlieve Ruth and far right, Paulina. Halton Cowling is seated on the steps, obviously used to the girls antics and ignoring them completly. He and Martha, the oldest girl, were the first to married and Martha guided her siblings through their early years. Throughout most of their marriage, their house was filled with visiting relatives.

    What a pity the photography is usually of poor quality. These youngsters are Ruth's three boys, Billy, Ray,and Neil. Their father raised the boys after Ruth, their mother died.Martha raised their sister, Mary Lou.

    Take a close look at that little red wagon. How about those large wheels of 100 years ago!

    Left, brother Joe looks as though he is proposing to Kitty. A sweet picture and some tall stalks of cane.
    Mother is peeking around Paulina in
    the photo of the canoing group. May be would-be suitors and possibly brother John for a chaporone
    on a Sunday afternoon outing.

    I think this is the house at Estaline that was one of the houses that boarded several teachers. It looks substantial enough to be still standing. I hope it is.

    Estaline may be the town that had a nice small museum that we visited, thinking there might be some picture or memento of Mom. The nearest thing of that sort was an old fashioned friendship quilt with the name Fry. Mrs Fry was mother's landlady while she taught there.

    I have always believed these next pictures were taken at the "teacherage", as it was called. My impression has been that Mother and one sister, and friends were the ones here having silly fun.

    Mother is on the extreme left, the one with the short hair. when that was a new style she was among the first to "bob" her hair. It appears on the photo on the left that she is getting paid back for the pounding she was giving some one in the left picture.

    Such clowns! Trying to pretend they such nice young ladies! Mother is still

    on the left. Perhaps it is her sister Paulina by herr side. Only a few of her pictures are labeled. Very few of the ones of my own family are, and that's another project for another day.

    Shorter skirts became the new daring style but the ladies were not yet ready to give up their hats.
    One could speculate upon what our styles will be in another 80 or 100 years. What comes off next? Not much, I hope, or there will be an epidemic of skin cancer.
    There is an old saying, "The pendilum always swings back." Intreguing, huh?
    Look closely at the picture hanging on the wall. That appears to be that large oil painting of the mountains and the elk. . I had no idea that she had painted that so early in her life, but I guess she was in her mid-twenties here, so it wasn't so early, after all. She began very early to spend her summers in Boulder,taking art lessons.
    In the early '20s, when I think this picture was taken, it had become acceptable for women to wear pants when hiking. Mother, of course, with her bobbed hair and independant spirit, didn't hesitate to be among the first. Most of the remainder of her pictures preceeding her marriage in 1925, show her hiking in her beloved Colorado mountains, wearing her hiking pants, high, lace-up boots and that beaver hat. In this picture she is taking a rest stop with her sister Paulina.

    It's just an old album but it's a window into life so long ago. One hundred years!

    A wild flower that's also old..
    Indian Blanket