Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family History

On a crafting forum I frequent, we were invited to tell our best story. Sometimes the best stories are the simplest stories, so I told some stories about my grandpa growing up on a farm in western Wisconsin. I wanted to put one or two of them here for posterity.

Anna Skroch, the woman on the right, is my great, great, great grandmother.

My grandfather was a farm boy in western Wisconsin. My great grandparents had four children, and when my grandfather was two my great grandpa was jumping off the barn roof into the haystacks for fun with friends, only they forgot to take the pitchfork out and he landed on that and died. The farm was sold, and the four kids were split up, my grandpa and "aunt sally" (as we knew her) going to their grandparent's farm, while his mother and the other two children moved to "town."

The two horses on the farm were named Dexter and Prince. They were Clydesdale's, enormous. They were for pulling machinery, wagons, or the sleighs during the winter. Dexter was gentle, and would often wander into the cow pasture - he thought he was a cow. Sometimes when the farm kids were bored they would saddle up the different animals and see how long they could stay on them. Pigs were the worst, running and squealing, but the cows would just stand there. They would ride the horses bareback but they were not ever saddled.

My great, great uncle was the very first person to have a car in that tiny Wisconsin farming town. He was a debonair and dashing with a movie star mustache. He made all the girls swoon. When my grandpa was very young, maybe five or six, Uncle Al came puttering up to the farm to fetch my grandpa and take him into town for his very first taste of ice cream! They put, put, putted along, startling all the horses on the way into town, all the farmers shaking their fists and staring at the car for scaring the chickens. As my grandpa told it all the eligible girls along the route came out to take a look at my great uncle in his automobile whenever they went somewhere.

They eventually made it to town, feeling like they were flying at 20 mph, and someone had packed ice in sawdust and hay and kept it until June in a cellar, and they were making ice cream! They had not yet wired that tiny farming town for electricity, and the farm was too far out for the iceman to come and put ice in the icebox, or perhaps they could not afford it so they had never made it before.

Anyways, they stood in line and got ice cream, and then piled back into the car. They started put, put, putting back to the farm in the car and my grandpa took one lick of the ice cream and PLOP! it fell off the cone, went through the floor (I'm not sure how this worked, but apparently part of the floor was open in this car) and right into the road!

So much for ice cream!

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