Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Man's Journey - Part XIII



There were two families that were particular friends of our family besides Uncle Andy and Aunt Ellen and the boys. The Connells, who lived in the Central Cove area about ten miles northwest of our place. These people were the parents of Pearl Stocker and so were Mack Stocker’s in-laws. The Connells had three other children – Roy, Ellis and Cleo. Both Roy and Ellis were in the late teen-age group. Cleo is about three years older than I am. Colonel and I always liked to visit the Connells because they gave us the run of the place. Their house had a wide veranda all the way around and a lot of shade trees, so it was almost like a picnic. They had a lot of horses which we were allowed to ride. Both Roy and Ellis had worked as cowboys on their Pendleton ranch, so they had all the trappings, including saddles, ropes, sheepskin chaps and guns. So, these two could keep two little boys entertained all day. Roy considered himself quite a rider, but managed to get himself dumped every time he got on a bucker. Our usual stay at their place was one day. Roy and Ellis had a couple of greyhound-type dogs that Colonel and I admired. One time on our way home, these dogs followed us. About five miles from our house I spotted a coyote standing along side of the road. (That guy sure liked to live dangerously.) Colonel and I both started to yell for the dogs. They came and they went after that coyote. We watched them for a long way, since the country is flat, but we never did find out if they caught up with the coyote. (Maybe I’ll have more about Roy later.)

The William Weicks were also special friends of the family. They were from Germany, so had heavy German accents. They had three children, two girls and a boy, Walter, who had drowned in an irrigation ditch. These people had taken their loss pretty hard, as did our parents on the death of Mildred. Perhaps that is why they were close friends. We didn’t visit them too often since it was a good two-day trip. Colonel and I liked to visit them mainly, I think, because of the food. Mrs. Weick really knew how to cook German-style food. We also got to sleep in feather beds, which we liked very much. I’ll never be able to describe to you the pleasure of sleeping in such a bed, especially after a hard day of traveling.

1910 Census: Caldwell Ward 1, Canyon County, Idaho

Bill Weick had served his term in the German army and apparently was not happy about the experience, but he seemed to retain a lot of love for Kaiser Wilhelm; and as the war in Europe continued and got closer to us, Bill couldn’t contain himself and spoke out vehemently in favor of Germany. That was the wrong thing to do and it wasn’t but a short time and Weick family was bound for Nebraska where they ended their years in semi-isolation.

Mack and Roy

I told you above that Mack Stocker didn’t want anything to do with his daughter, Vivian. Mama took care of the baby for about two months. Finally, Mack decided it wasn’t the baby’s fault, so he made a deal with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Connell, to take care of Vivian. That relieved Mama of a lot of work.

Mack wouldn’t stay in the house where Pearl had died, so decided to tear it down and rebuild it about 200’ closer to the river on a little knoll. To help him in this endeavor, he got Roy Connell. While this work was in progress, they lived in a tent close to the river and near the horse corrals. Colonel and I liked to visit them and eat in the tent. Of course, we both cared very much for both men, as they told us stories of cattle, horses, cowboys and Indians. One time, Roy tore the seat out of his pants. When he came to our place, he would enter the back door and then sidle around with his back to the wall to a bench or chair and would repeat the performance upon leaving. One morning, Mack got up early and fetched Roy’s pants over to Mama to patch up. There was a flour made that had a large red rooster on the sack. She cut that portion out of the sack and sewed it into the seat of Roy’s pants. Roy continued to wear the pants several months in that condition, receiving a lot of kidding. He wore the pants everywhere since it was the only pair he had.

The Meyers

via Wikimedia Commons
The Meyers had two boys, Ray and Homer. I think Ray might have been somewhat older than Homer and we didn’t know him as well. I believe Homer may have been 15-16 years old. He used to visit us quite often, tilt his chair up against the kitchen wall and roll a cigarette out of Bull Durham tobacco. Homer’s mother didn’t want him to smoke, or would not allow him to smoke at home. In any event, Homer was there almost every day and Colonel and I watched in bug-eyed wonder the process of manufacturing a cigarette with Bull Durham. As far as I know, Homer never went to school, although he did show up there once in a while since he had an ongoing feud with one of the older students. They usually staged the fisticuffs back of the school woodshed.

Mr. Meyers liked his beer. I guess Mrs. Meyers didn’t like it, so he hid the supply in the barn. Ray and Homer also liked the stuff, so they would drink part of a bottle, brew some tea and fill the bottle back up. Colonel and I both witnessed this covert operation. I could never really understand how they got away with it. Surely Mr. Meyers could taste the difference. {James A. Myers, his wife Mollie and their two sons, Homer and Ray, lived just north of the Aitchison family.}

Winter sheep

Nearly every winter, Dad allowed a herd of sheep or cattle to winter over on the place. They were nearly always tended by Basque sheep herders who lived in a covered wagon, usually near where the sheep bedded down for the night. When the pasturage ran low, the herders purchased alfalfa hay from Dad and other local farmers. The last year we ran sheep, an early freeze occurred and the small potatoes left on the ground after harvest froze. The herd was driven across this ground and they attempted to eat the potatoes. As you know, like other kine, sheep swallow their food and later chew a cud. Well, the potatoes stuck in their throats and choked 15 to 20 to death. Lesson, never feed a sheep a frozen potato.
From this point on, Dad only ran cattle on the place in the winter. In this manner, he got rid of a lot of surplus hay as well as some beef and pork to feed the crews that lived with the cattle. These men were always housed in a tent. Their bathroom was the great outdoors and a bunch of bawling cattle to help them sleep. I can’t recall the owner’s name (of the cattle), but his son was retarded and since Colonel and I had never seen anyone before with this affliction, we spent a lot of time visiting the tent trying to get the boy to learn to read, etc. It was, at the time, a mystifying experience. The cowboy who handled the operation probably had never gone to school either, but he did know how to handle horses and cattle.

There is one thing that I shall always remember, this may seem crude, is the smell of a horse barn. I don’t know why I enjoy such an odor. Maybe it’s a primitive feeling, something from a distant past, but the smell of horse, harness, hay, and yes, manure, always brings back many memories.

The Bacons

Before I go much farther, I must say something about these people. As mentioned above, Giles and
Edmund were special friends of Colonel and me, and I could write reams on the things we did, but not on the things we shouldn’t have done. ??!!

Mr. Bacon was a short man and always went around with a smile on his face. Very quiet, I never heard him raise his voice at anyone or anything. I think these people had some access to money other than that which they could derive from their farming activities since they had things we could dream about, like the best of machinery, wagons, buggies and fancy harness as well as a bunk house where the hired hands stayed on occasion.

Mrs. Bacon was the matriarch and I’m guessing controlled the purse strings as well as members of the family to the nth degree. She was great on giving parties for the children on birthdays, Easter, etc. I remember one Easter in particular. She had colored up a lot of eggs which we had “found” and were invited in to partake of the feast. Of course, Colonel and I had been coached pretty well on table manners, etc., but we were not totally prepared for the ritual that we experienced. Mrs. Bacon sat at the head of the table while the rest of us took seats at various places around the table, Kathleen, the only girl present. We did not talk, only when spoken to by Mrs. Bacon. She would ask the questions and then we were expected to give our dissertations in answer. This went on until all those present were allowed to say their piece. And of course, all the edibles had disappeared, but we all seemed to like the arrangement since we were asked back many, many times. Robin was not included in these parties. He must have been quite a bit older than the other three children and took an interest in and did most of the operation of the farm. As far as I know, Robin never did attend the local school.

Giles was about my age, although he was a year ahead of me in school. I believe he’d had some schooling before they moved to the valley. Eddie was about Colonel’s age and they were in the same grade at school.

_And Kathleen_

I’m going to leave the Bacons here and come back to them later since there is a lot to write about the boys and our adventures.
to be continued ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

One Man's Journey - Part XII


I mentioned above a note on the sand dunes that covered about 40 to 60 acres north of the school. These dunes moved around. One day they would be ten to twelve feet high and the next day they would be down to three to six feet high. These dunes were a favorite place for us guys to play and dig. It’s a wonder that someone didn’t get buried. Fox and Hound was one of the usual games played in the dunes.

The teachers supplied us with a volley ball, which they must have paid for out of their own pocket, and sent my friend Giles Bacon and me down to the river to get a couple of poles to hang the net on. The river is about 1-1/2 miles due south of the school and about one mile south of the Bacon farm. We asked Giles’ dad for a couple of horses and so outfitted we proceeded to the river and cut a couple of poles about six to eight inches diameter and about ten to twelve feet long I don’t know who dug the holes, but I know we didn’t. The following spring, the poles started to sprout and eventually grew into sizable trees.

When we had only one school building, we played Anti over. In winter, it was Fox and Hen and/or Turkey. Turkey was played by having one guy stoop over with his back toward the group. When someone hit him in the backside, he was supposed to guess who threw the snowball.

Giles and the horse

During this period, the teacher was in need of a shovel, so she asked Giles and me to go to the Bacon place and get one. We borrowed a horse from one of the students that regularly rode to school for the trip. One the way down, it was agreed that Giles would ride in the saddle and coming back, I would get the saddle and Giles would ride behind carrying the shovel. About half way to the school, we crossed an irrigation ditch which was about four feet across and running full of water. About the time we got onto the small bridge, Giles wondered what the horse would do if he nudged him in the flank with the top of the shovel. Well, the results were immediate. The first jump caused Giles to land in the ditch with the shovel. I grabbed for the saddle horn and hung on for dear life. I thought that horse would never stop bucking all over the place. Giles go himself out of the ditch and stood there laughing. I finally got the horse quieted down and we proceeded the rest of the way to school without incident. How Giles got dried out I can’t remember. It was springtime, so I assumed nature took a hand and dried him out automatically. Maybe more on Giles and horses later.

There were so many things happening during this period, three to four years. It was a growing up period as well as a learning period. As stated above, we were still partly living in the 19th century. I just doubt that things had changed much in the past 50 years. We got a newspaper once a week, but we did have some books and these were read and reread, and book reviews was probably one of the best things that happened. We were still using text books that my mother had used in her schooling. There was a small book case in the corner of the schoolroom containing six to ten volumes and a few geographic magazines. I think most of the material was there during the entire eight years.


Maybe superstitions is not the word, but at this point I’m thinking of “Asafetida.” My World Book Encyclopedia describes asafetida as follows:
“A gum-like drug with a strong disagreeable odor, was used in medicine as a sedative, also worn as an amulet about the neck to prevent contagious diseases, this proven to be superstition. Drugs made from it had an odor stronger than garlic.”

In view of the fact that our toilet facilities were the most primitive kind, with no washing possible or required, since we didn’t have anything to wash in or soap or towels, and everybody drank out of the same bucket with the same dipper (I mentioned this somewhere above), we were expected to wear the stinking stuff around our necks to prevent contagion. Those seated close to the pot-bellied stove in the center of the room were the biggest offenders, but they couldn’t help the situation since they were doomed to be martyrs for the sake of science and future generations. How we all managed to get by the age of 12 years is hard to understand; many didn’t.

[I’ve written quite a bit about school and our activities. There is more to come later, but for now, I must get back to the farm.]

As mentioned above, Colonel and I had chores to do, but Dad did not let us do real heavy work. During haying times, we drove derrick horse. On page 54 {One Man’s Journey – Part X, paragraph 19}, I mentioned our derrick. When haying, racks were placed on the wagons to contain as much hay (alfalfa) as possible. Men in the field pitched the shocked hay onto these racks and it was arranged on the rack by the team driver. When the load arrived at the stacking area, the team driver would position the four-tined Jackson in the load so about 25% of the hay was lifted from the wagon each time to the top of the stack where it was positioned by the stacker. Since we used a Jackson fork, only one horse was used to pull up the loaded fork to the top of the stack, so the derrick horse driver drove the horse out, stopped and held the load until positioned by the stacker. The man on the wagon would then trip the fork load. The derrick horse driver would then back up the horse so another load cold be taken aloft. There wasn’t much rest to the job since another wagon from the field would be standing by, ready to be unloaded. A young boy had his job cut out for him since the single tree and the cable had to be controlled on the way back to the starting point. He also had the responsibility to other persons, particularly to the man on the wagon since if the fork was lowered too far, some danger to the man existed.

Work – a dirty word

As we grew older, we were allowed to handle the horses, i.e. – harness and care for them, hitch them to mowers, rakes or wagons and buggies. Dad did most of the mowing, but Colonel and I both used the rake to place the hay in windrows so it could be dried before shocking. Only one team was used for this purpose. One day, I was raking hay on the north 40, as usual I was barefoot. The rake had a tripping mechanism that was tripped with the right foot, allowing the rake to dump the load when the devise returned to its working position. It smashed my right big toe. Boy, that hurt!

After the hay was dry, we went into the fields and shocked the windrows in to cone-shaped piles that could be handled by the wagon loaders later in the operation.

We didn’t do much in the irrigation department. Dad did that, but where possible or necessary, we did a lot of the cultivating and hoeing. Our cultivating was always done with a single horse and Dad would handle the cultivator. Later on, Colonel would ride and I would handle the machine. We also earned a little money by helping Mack Stocker doing the same type of work.

I nearly had a severe accident one time. I had finished the job and was riding the horse back to the place when she shied at a piece of hay alongside the road. The horse, Nell, weighed about 1800 pounds. She was as round as a barrel and sitting on her was like sitting on brother Gene’s oil tank. In any event, as she jumped to the left, I rolled to the right and my right leg hung up in the tug, and then she started to run. As I went over, I failed to grasp the hame. {hame (h m) n. One of the two curved wooden or metal pieces of a harness that fits around the neck of a draft animal and to which the traces are attached.} As a result, my head was inches from the ground and less than that from flying hooves. I did have a good hold on the right line so I could pull her head to the right, so she only ran about 100 feet and I was able to pull her into the fence. No damage done, but a scared kid.

The sheep and me

This is kind of a “funny.” As I told you earlier, we had to go about three to four miles to pick up our mail, at the point I told you about when we first entered the valley on the curve {One Man's Journey - Part VI, paragraph 4}. Whenever anyone living in the area happened to be near the mail boxes, he would bring all of the mail to his home. The rest of us would then pick it up there. On this day, Mr. Meyer had picked up the mail and I was chosen to get ours from the Meyer residence which was about a mile from our house. A corner of their field was just about across the road from our house. I went around the road going, but coming back I took a shortcut through the Meyer’s pasture, no knowing that Mr. Meyer had pastured a couple of rams in the field. It probably wouldn’t have made any difference if I had known, since being raised around animals, I didn’t have any particular fear of them.

About halfway across the field, I heard the freight train coming, and I’m telling [you], that sheep meant business. Of course, I took off at a dead gallop with the sheep gaining every second. Of course, I was hollering my head off. Dad heard. Mr. Meyer heard me and both armed with pitchforks, started in opposite directions. I really don’t know what stopped the ram. Whether it was the racket I was making or if it was the noise that Dad and Mr. Meyer were making. Anyway, he stopped a very short time before I met Dad. That sheep was a lot bigger than I was. There was one other time that I ran faster and longer and was more frightened. That experience will be told in due course.

to be continued...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Bacon/Black

Mary (Bacon) Black
1844 - 1909

Traveling through Idaho, we stopped at the Georgetown Cemetery in Georgetown, Idaho. This headstone caught my eye, so I share it with you this week. Very dear sentiment.

Dear mother, in earth's thorny paths,
How long thy feet have trod,
To find at last the peaceful rest,
Safe in the arms of God.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I don't live anywhere near New York City, but 9/11 is indelibly imprinted on my mind as it is in millions of others'. Where was I? Home. Safe. Secure.

Our television was off, so I learned about the horrific attack on our nation through a frantic phone call from a friend. All feelings of safety and security fled, at least for a while. As I watched the replays, and followed the events from afar, my heart was filled with sorrow for those families who were forever impacted. I still feel sadness. Not only were their lives intimately touched, but an entire nation was changed. We pulled together, and we've carried on.

I, for one, will never forget the heroes of nine-eleven nor those whose lives were senselessly ended. We who remain, and remember, can honor them through memory and action. God Bless America!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

More Midwest Expo

The first day of the Midwest Family History Expo has ended. It ran from registration beginning at 1:00 p.m until the exhibit hall closed at 9:00 p.m. And, of course, it's been great!

Holly Hansen opened the event and made everyone feel welcome. Ruby Coleman did a fine job of sharing how she became involved in family history at the tender age of nine years old. She told stories from her own life and research in a way that could be related to all of us who attended. Oh! The beginning was a good omen.

Hundreds of super friendly folks have come from all over the Midwest, some from further, to feed their habit, or learn a new one. More than once, I've watched as one guest recognized another and gleefully exchanged greetings and/or hugs. This is a happy place to spend two days!

The exhibitors are distributed throughout the venue; in halls, rooms and in the lobby. The displays of their wares are inviting, and more than a little tempting. There is pleasant chatter and serious discussion. The whole air of the event is exhilarating and refreshing.

I'm looking forward to Day Two!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tomorrow's the Day!

The Midwest Family History Expo is finally here! I've been counting the days (and being reminded through Twitter) until I get to spend two quality days with fellow family history researchers. I can't wait!

As lighthearted as I sound, this can be serious business. For many, genealogy seems difficult and overwhelming, even with an intense desire to learn more about their families. The Expo will offer researchers of all levels assistance, ideas and encouragement. The atmosphere is always friendly and exciting, and just being there gives a person courage to go forward!

See you tomorrow!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Engholm

Mother & Son

Johanna W. Engholm
1836 - 1918

Albert H. Her son
1876 - 1914

Johanna was born in Sweden; Albert in Illinois.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Man's Journey - Part XI



via Wikimedia Commons
By this time, I was taking a more active part in the operations while Colonel still played and soaked in the river. Along about his time an epidemic of smallpox hit the valley. Unbeknown to us, Edgar and Clarence had contracted the disease someplace, somehow. He (Colonel) stayed all night with them. Of course, he came down with it in a short time, but was not very sick; but, with Papa and me it was a different story. We were very sick and nearly died. We were extremely sick. A number of the people did die. We were also fortunate that we were left with very few pox marks. I think Mama had already had the disease so I guess she was immune. How Arthur got by, I don’t know.

Corn Club

I first belonged to a corn club. I suppose it was a forerunner of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) or the 4-H organizations. The next two to three years it was potato club and then the pig club. I did well in all these efforts and won prizes at the various fairs.

via Wikipedia
About this time, we got our first guns that we could call our own. Mack Stocker had an old ten-gauge double-barrel with two hammers. He had showed us how to use it and loaned it to us on occasion. We didn’t use it much: #1 – it kicked like a mule, and #2 – ammunition was almost out of reach of our pocket books at 75 a box (25 shells).

Mack had planted 40 acres of potatoes in a field across the road from our place. He had plowed up an alfalfa field to plant the potatoes. After the potatoes came up, the alfalfa did, too. So, Mack hired Colonel and me at 25 per day to pull out the alfalfa that was threatening to crowd out his spuds. We worked nearly all summer. I believe it was about the first paying job that either one of us had. We earned enough on that job to buy ourselves a couple of shotguns and a box of shells for each. We paid $10.00 each for the guns. Colonel chose a 16-gauge Bay State 32” barrel and full choke. It is nearly as bad as Mack’s 10-gauge for kicking and if I was off balance when shooting, it would knock me flat; but, as I grew older and heavier, it was easier to handle. Colonel didn’t have much trouble with his gun.

From this time on, we trapped muskrat in the winter and sold the skins for 75 to $1.50 each. This enabled us to buy more shells. The guns opened up a whole new world for us. From that time on, we dined on duck, pheasant and rabbit more often. We also shot a lot of holes in a lot of things we shouldn’t have shot at, but we were out in the wide open spaces where we didn’t bother anyone, and no one was in danger except ourselves and Mack had done a good job in teaching us about guns.

Papa helped us out on the duck shooting. Each spring, or when he planted wheat, he would run the drill along the top of the bank above the river, planting a strip about six to eight feet wide of wheat about one quarter mile long. About the time the wheat matured in the fall, the ducks started coming in, literally by the thousands. Colonel and I would leave the house, sneak down the draw to the river, then upstream to where the ducks were in our wheat field, then up the bank twenty to thirty feet, and whango! The only problem I had was with the gun on the slope up from the river. We were off balance when shooting, and many a time I got knocked over. Colonel did alright and could get in maybe two or three shots (these were single-barrel guns).

Our parents

I think it was along about this time that we approached Mama and asked her if Papa would care if we called him Daddy. I don’t know why we were concerned about such a thing, but apparently we had talked it over between ourselves and decided to do something about it. Undoubtedly, we had heard something at school that prompted such action. I know other boys called their parents “Old man” or “Old lady,” but we could not do that, always referring to our parents as Mama and Papa or Mother and Father. Mama told us to go ahead and call him Daddy, which we did, but finally shortened it to Dad.

We continued to call our mother “Mama” for a number of years, which we finally shortened to “Ma.” Looking back, I don’t think she cared too much about being addressed as “Ma.” I now think she would have liked “Mom” or “Mother” better, but she didn’t say anything.

World War I

World War I started in July of 1914. Being so far from any communication, it was some time before we heard about it. It didn’t bother us for some time since it was a long way from us and the old folks were still talking about the Civil War and the more recent Spanish-American War. I don’t remember our teacher ever saying anything about the war. I’m sure, however, it must have had some effect on our farming operations in prices and quantity.


School was going ok. The number of students was increasing to a point where the one room was getting over-populated. We had a number of teachers, but none of them could stand the rigors of isolation, having to move every couple of weeks and trying to teach students that in some cases were older than the teacher; but, by this time the older students were getting thinned out to a point where both the teacher and younger children had some relief.

It was about this year that an addition was built on to the school. The addition was about the same size as the original, being connected on the south side so large doors could be installed allowing both rooms to be opened up to community gatherings. Both rooms were lighted by kerosene lamps bracketed on the wall about six feet above the floor. There were a number of these lamps around the rooms with a reflector at the back of the lamp. This arrangement gave us pretty good light, but not for studying. There were a lot of windows that gave us good light in the day time – school hours were nine-to-four.

When the new addition was built, it allowed four grades in each room, so it was necessary to hire two teachers. They were sisters by the name of McCormick. {The household of Maidie McCormick was enumerated in Homestead Precinct in 1910. Included in the household were three daughters of age to teach: Ora Pearl, Elsie Fern and H*** Rene} By this time, I was in the fifth grade and moved into the new part while Colonel had to stay in the old building another year. The grades were lined up from the teacher’s left to right, so I was on the west side of the room facing the teacher (south). When it was time for each class to recite, the teacher called u up front and were seated on a bench. She usually started calling on the student at her right.

The lower-grade student certainly had the advantage because he could listen in on upperclassmen’s recitations and learn a great deal at least a year before he got to it. I’m sure from this point I did a lot better in school. Not only were the teachers better equipped, but we didn’t have the pressure from older students. Colonel always did pretty well.

Prior to the advent of the teachers McCormick, I don’t remember that any of the previous teachers had any extracurricular activities, but the McCormicks changed all that and had plays and other social activities designed to create some learning abilities in their students. I one play, I planed the lead. My partner, Fern Johnson, was a couple of grades ahead of me and also about two inches taller. I was Uncle Sam and she was Miss Liberty. The teacher gave me a hat that improved my height, but not my feelings. I’ll never be able to understand why I was given the part.

Eska O'Neal

Black boxing glovesI should have written this down on the first day of school since Eska made my life miserable for three to four years. Although this guy was in my class, he was big and I suspect he may have been two to three years older than others in the class. His father was a railroad employee and evidently made pretty fair wages for the time. As a result, Eska, being the only child, was given most anything he wanted. Among the things Eska had were boxing gloves, and probably had some coaching in boxing. In any event, this guy liked to practice on other people with his bare fists. This sort of thing continued and all the time I was growing larger and stronger and I believe I was in the fifth grade when the usual daily ruckus started and I was invited to the sand dunes. It was always the sand dunes or at the back of the woodshed. I got at a slightly higher elevation than he was and managed to lay one across the side of his face. He fell over backwards and I was on top of him. Of course, we had a large audience, all who wanted to see Eska get his just desserts. After that, he left me alone, but continued his activities with younger and smaller people. I learned many years later that Eska moved to California where he did become a professional fighter.{The 1910 census shows Esca O'Neal, born about 1902, as the son of Edward and Lida. They were living in the Homestead Precinct, Canyon County, Idaho; the same area as the Aitchison family.}  Eska had a cousin, Harry Rogers, who also liked to torment other persons. Harry pretty well ended his activities when a three-foot piece of sage brush was bounced of the back of his head one day on our way home from school. This particular time, he was picking on Colonel. (Harry later became one of the largest sheep men in southern Idaho.) {Harry Rogers was born about 1902 and was the son of Fred and Annis, who also lived in the Homestead Precinct near the Aitchison family. Harry left Idaho by 1935 when he was a representative of 'sheep users' on the advisory board for the Dolores Grazing District in Colorado, under the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. The Dolores Grazing District was located in southwest Colorado.}

(Colonel and I fought quite a bit, but being older and somewhat larger, I think I got the best of him most of the time except when he got me at a disadvantage; but let anyone pick on either of us and the other would come to his aid.)

Mrs. O'Neal’s riding outfit

image found here
I must add here a short one on Eska O'Neal’s mother. All of the women I knew, when riding a horse, used a side saddle because they didn’t dare wear pants, only long dresses, not suitable to sit astride a horse. Mrs. O'Neal showed up at school one day wearing a split skirt outfit to about the knee and boots, gauntlet gloves and the whole ball of wax. That outfit certainly stirred up a lot of comment, and set up a lot of waging up and down the valley. All the woman was trying to do was to be comfortable. That sort of thing didn’t take hold very easily. I remember one time when Mama was helping Dad prepare the garden on the north side of the house. She was wearing a pair of Dad’s bib overalls, which certainly covered her completely. Someone came down the road and Dad shooed her into the house to get decent before anyone could see her. (I wonder what they would think of the dress of 1986.)
to be continued...

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