Alice DeVinny Hardy
(typed about 1992-94)
Toncrede Savaugeau's parents owned a large department store in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His doctor ordered that his father should get some employment out-of-doors. He moved from Montreal to Cleveland, Ohio where he bought a farm. His two sisters taught piano in Montreal. As far as I know, they never married.
Diantha's mother had eight brothers and seven sisters. She was the youngest in this large family. Her mother died in childbirth. An older sister raised Diantha. Her father owned a large farm when the Civil War broke out. He tried to persuade the government to let him have at least one son to help on the farm, but Uncle Sam refused. All eight boys died in the war.
Toncrede Savaugeau and Diantha Weldon met and married while Toncrede lived on the farm in Ohio. They did well on the farm. Toncrede and Diantha had three little girls while they lived on the farm, my mother Alice was the oldest, then Florence, and then the baby Louise.
Tragedy again struck when my Toncrede plowed his field with a team of horses. This left my grandmother (Diantha) a widow with no means of making a living. The grandparents in Montreal came, possessed the farm they had bought for their son, and also took the two oldest children, Alice and Florence. Louise, the baby, stayed with her mother. Alice was only five and Florence, three.
They enrolled my mother in a Catholic school for girls. She never forgot how terrified she was there. Sometimes she went down in the basement at night, cried and wanted to go back to her mother. Though her aunts were good to her, she never was happy there. The priest frightened her and she hid upstairs under her bed when he came.
She talked often about her life there. How she had to learn French in a hurry! She told what a fine life she had there when on vacation. She enjoyed the carriage rides. She spoke of her two maiden aunts who taught piano and of their large studio with two pianos. She reminisced about their summer cottage on a lake and how wonderful it was.
She remembered a lot about the big home in Montreal. They had several children --at least three boys and two girls whom Mama talked about a lot. The priest's son grew up to become a bishop. Later, I visited the grave of this priest. Her Grandma owned a carriage and two horses. She liked the rides out in the country. At different farms they bought fruit that tasted good to her.
Finally, when she was ten, she was allowed to return to her mother. She had almost forgotten her English. Her mother learned to cater to support her two daughters. Mom lived with her mother and her little sister, Louise, for the next three years. Florence always resented that she was separated from her family.
Not too many years after Ezekiel Jewel DeVinny and Frances Elizabeth Butterbaugh married, Frances's health was not good. They decided a move out west would be good. They moved to western Nebraska. The winters there were extremely cold. They found it hard to keep a fire going all night to keep warm. They had three girls and three boys: Harry, Belila, Molly, George, Alexander, and Arda. Alexander got ahold of lye and lived a short life. Frances forgot to put it away after making soap.
George (my Dad) remembered walking a long ways at times to obtain red hot coals from a neighbor to start their fire. Their main fuel was corn cobs--not a good fuel source as they do not hold a fire for long.
They must have lived in the country as Papa told me many times what a long ways he walked to school. People thought Arda was the most beautiful girl in the country. However, she had a cancerous mole removed from her upper arm and died shortly thereafter.
Papa played his guitar and went bicycling. Evidently, when he moved, he left his guitar with someone and never recovered it. [This is what Mom told me. I've always regretted that I never heard Grandpa play.--Lynn]
Uncle Harry was a horseshoer. [I've heard that he was a blacksmith by trade which included shoeing horses.--Lynn]
Papa entered a boys' academy when he was thirteen. He was a good student and wanted to finish his education, but his father could no longer afford the tuition. His family decided that the next best thing would be for him to live with his uncle who was a printer in Cozad, Nebraska. He lived there for thirteen years, about six years as an apprentice.
One day shortly after he started his apprenticeship, his uncle walked by as he sought to learn which box contained which letter and which symbol. Accidentally on purpose, his uncle knocked the whole thing on the floor. After my father picked them all up and returned them to their proper box, he learned a lesson which he never forgot. I still have one of his type boxes on my wall which he had kept from the time he sold his job printing shop here in Montrose. I scrubbed and scrubbed to clean out all the black ink. [I remember my Mom said to Dad, "I wish I still had one of Dad's print boxes." "You do," he said. "It's out in the packing shed." I remember her telling me how she recouped it and scrubbed it. I have that print box now.--Lynn]
When Mama was thirteen, she moved to Cozad, Nebraska to learn sewing from a seamstress. Her husband was a lawyer. Mama lived there about six years. She learned her trade well. When she learned to make women's blouses, she made eighteen buttonholes down the front. In this way she learned the trick of making really neat buttonholes. She repeated many times that the lawyer and his wife were fine people. They made her feel like part of the family.
Alice Savaugeau and George DeVinny met when Papa delivered something from the print shop to the lawyer where Mama was a seamstress. She answered the door, they fell in love, and they were both eighteen when they married.
Ethel Florence and Edith Felice were born while Mama and Papa still lived in Cozad, Nebraska. A depression struck sometime after Ethel's birth. Mom said, "At that time I paid ten cents for a loaf of bread and five cents for a pound of butter." My Dad worked long hours: from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. He felt it was time for a change.
A friend of his came by who wanted to move to Colorado. He had heard of an irrigation project in the west end that people planned to develop for farmers. He had two covered wagons and asked Papa to drive one of them. He liked the sound of this change and agreed to do it. For six weeks they jostled along on dirt roads. Papa said he enjoyed the whole bit. Mama was expecting her second child and waited for the birth of Edith before she made the move.
When they arrived in Montrose, they camped out in the Elephant Corral. They set out for Nucla the next day. They looked over the irrigation project. It appeared to be a very dismal situation. Many folks there lived in dire poverty. When one obtained a piece of bacon, they passed it around to give several families an opportunity to season their beans.
Papa decided to go to Norwood where he had seen a sign about a newspaper. He applied for a job, but the owner said he didn't need any help. He wanted to leave this business himself, but he said if my father was interested, he would gladly turn the business over to him. My father took up this offer and moved into the living quarters on the second floor. He thought this looked like a good way to get started.
One evening Papa got lost in the woods. He had gone out hunting with his gun. When he couldn't find his way back to camp, he climbed a tree. He spent the night in that tree. He brought a large arrowhead into camp with him the next morning. I still have this arrowhead. [I saw that arrowhead when we were going through Mom's things. I think Carol Lee or Darel has it now.--Lynn]
Papa sent for his family to come on the train. Mama told her two little girls that a stagecoach would meet them in Placerville to take them on to Norwood. They spent the night in a hotel in Placerville where they gave them a good dinner and treated them royally. The next day they went on to continue their trip and an elderly man with a lumber wagon and horses greeted them. As they bounced on the straw, Ethel kept repeating, "You told us we would travel in a stagecoach, but this is just an ole lumber wagon." The driver never cracked a smile. Ethel had seen Buffalo Bill's big show in Nebraska. She had looked forward to riding in a stagecoach like she had seen. The stern-faced driver never spoke until they arrived in Norwood. Then he said, "Where shall I take you, Maam?' She described Papa, and he said, "Oh, I know him." He drove his wagon right to him.
One night Mama saw cowboys and coyotes at night from her window. The cowboys dragged the coyotes down the street. The cowboys yelled and the coyotes yelped.
While in Norwood, Mama's first son, George Jewell, was born. An extra bonus--he arrived on her birthday, April 5. They always celebrated their birthdays together. Mama and Papa were overjoyed to have a son, a great blessing for the whole family for his entire life.
In August 1902 decided to file a claim on a homestead at the foot of Mt. Sneffles. The family lived in a tent while he built a log house with help of two horses and Mama. He snapped a photo of this place with a stand and glass plates. He wore a dark cloth over his head. I have an enlarged photo of this place which George made. Years later Dex Walker, a local photographer and later Papa's good friend, colored it.
Before the completion of their log house, a fire destroyed everything Mama brought on the train with her. Most of all she hated losing the yards and yards of woven rugs which her mother had made for her.
Mama and Papa worked hard to clear off the oak brush from a large plot of ground in order to raise barley, potatoes and other crops. When we moved to town for the winters, we always left our potatoes in the ground. How good Mama's huge baked potatoes tasted when we returned and dug them out! Papa tried to sell them in Ridgeway, but the grocer would not buy them. He said, "These are fine potatoes, but you always pay for your groceries. I have to take potatoes in trade from my customers who cannot pay their bills."
When Mama worked in the barley fields, you could not see her because the barley grew so tall. We had pack rats like everyone else. Papa had taught Mama how to fire a gun in case of mountain lions or bears. One day a pack rat ran up Mama's leg and she shot it right then and there. It lay out in the yard in many pieces.
Papa also taught Mama how to milk our cow. She milked it while Papa was at work. We also had plenty of vegetables and other stuff to eat.
At times we all went for a Sunday drive in the wagon. I rode in the back and dangled my legs over. I had to watch carefully for stinging nettles that grew wild. The ride to Ridgeway and back took almost a full day. Other times I imagine that we all worked in the garden, but I cannot remember anything but the fun times.
Every year the neighbors (about 4 or 5 families) came to celebrate the fourth of July. One old bachelor always brought cream for ice cream. We used the snow to make it. He lived on a nearby hill. One year he slipped coming down the hill and spilled the cream. He started using words I'd never heard before because he got so mad. I don't remember whether we had enough cream to make up for this loss or not.
We had an icehouse over the creek that kept things cold. Mama stored buckets of milk and cream in it. We had a big freezer to crank the ice cream by hand. It wore out your arm to turn the crank. Two boys, 7 or 8 years old (about George's age) loved the ice cream and they always asked for desert first, as they didn't have room for it if they ate other things first. Mama got tickled at these two boys.
Papa worked in the sawmills during the summer. He moved to town with the arrival of winter, working both for the Enterprise and the Daily Press.
We moved from Norwood in a lumber wagon with all our furniture loaded into it. Mama was always afraid of mountain roads. When we reached Norwood Hill, she refused to ride over this stretch, and walked with George in her arms and the two girls, Ethel and Edith, at her sides until she reached the foot of the hill. Papa had to stay in the wagon to hold down our furniture.
One winter we stayed in Ridgeway. Papa worked at the depot. We lived near the river, and Ethel, my oldest sister, nearly drowned.
During the summer of 1903 Papa worked at the sawmill on the mountain near Elk Meadows. Mama held down the fort. She worked in the garden, fed the chickens, gathered eggs, milked the cow, and kept an eye on her children. She had heard mountain lions and knew she might have to use the gun.
It is one of the best spots in Colorado. The next year they welcomed me, Alice, into their family. My little sister, Dorothy, was also born on this place. In the winters they moved to Montrose for schooling of the older children.
When I put in my appearance on July 12, 1903, a doctor had come from New York City for a drug cure. At the time he was up at the sawmill. Grandpa rode up the mountain on a horse to the sawmill. He found the doctor and he helped me into the world. Midwives helped Mama's other six children when the time came for their arrival.
My second brother, Theron, entered the world about two years after my arrival. Mama's mother, Diantha, came from Washington to assist her. Grandma Savaugeau bought a small house in Ridgeway where she resided two or three years. She loved my brother, George, and always made a special little pie for him. My little brother suffered from a defective heart that he was born with. He only survived about six months. We moved to Montrose that winter in order to have a doctor's care for him.
Grandma Savaugeau was a strict Catholic. She thought if the priest christened Theron, God might perform a miracle. For good measure Ethel, Edith, George and I were all christened. No miracle happened. Papa brought a burial plot on Miami Road. Six graves have been dug in this place. [Alice Hardy makes the seventh.--Lynn]
During the 1906-07 school year we lived on 9th St. We all walked down to the artesian well to draw water. When the water set all night, it was fit to drink. [Grandpa DeVinny liked to drink straight from this well.--Lynn]
We lived about a block from the poor house. I was afraid of those old people. The place was painted an icky green.
When I turned five, Papa decided we would have to sell this place and move to Montrose. It was just too hard to move to town (Ouray, Ridgeway or Montrose) to work in a print shop for the winter and they move the family back up to the mountains in the spring. Some people by the name of Fournier needed a place to run their cattle during the summer months. He owned a farm in Pleasant Valley, a few miles out of Ridgeway. Papa sold our homestead to him. [It is a beautiful place. I hiked in about three times. I wish it was still in the family.--Lynn]
One time I hiked into the homestead with my son, Darel. We couldn't drive in as they kept the gate padlocked. We drove out of Ridgeway up to Elk Meadows and hiked from there. We happened to go down the hill at just the right spot to find the remains of the house, part of the barn, and the chicken house. The only thing of value that we found was the iron decoration from the old kitchen stove which says Indian Chief. We carried it home. [Carol Lee or Darel must have that piece now.--Lynn] I cherish the memory of that day.
In 1908 we lived in a house at 700 S. 6th street in Montrose. It was small for seven people, but I can't remember worrying too much about it. We had good neighbors. The Thompson family lived just across the alley on 8th St. They had four children (the girls were Hazel and Mary). They were about the same age as ours. We had many good times with them. Another family, the Bonades lived on the same side of the street with us. They had three children: Rosie, Stella, and Lena.
We didn't have any inside bathroom. Our outhouse was out in the alley. I hated to go out there at night, but I didn't want to set on Mama's potty either. In this house we had an eisenglass stove in the corner. Through the door I could watch the pretty flames. I enjoyed the nice warm house, too. With the help of the coal stove in our kitchen the heat filled every nick and cranny. I loved that stove in the corner, but it was hot in back of it. One time I had to stay there when I was sick. We had a swing in the garage at this place.
A large trap door in the kitchen floor opened to a stairway down into the basement. We stored root vegetables there, such as, potatoes, onions and carrots, as well as apples. Shelves housed our canned goods. Two five gallon containers held our dill pickles and sauerkraut.
Mama knew how to organize. She gave each child certain chores to do. I helped her cook along with Ethel, the shopper. Her main task was to buy groceries. Edith liked to iron and it kept her busy with eight in the family. George pushed the lever back and forth on the washing machine until we finally got electricity and many other chores. Dorothy, about 3 years younger than me, dried the dishes from an early age.
Just to the east of us lay the arroyo about a block away and nearly a block wide. Cattails filled this swampy area. We found this a wonderful place for hide and seek with the neighborhood kids in back of us.
We were cramped in this little house. Papa bought the house on the other end of the block, 736 S. 6th St. Though much larger, it contained only one clothes closet. Each of us were allotted a few hangers on which to hang our clothes. This house had a pantry in the middle of the house off the dining room. It was pretty nice. I think my sister and her husband (Edith and Joe Meyer) had the pantry made into a bathroom when they bought this house.
When I was eleven years old, my mother called me in one day. She said that Mrs. Wilson, my neighbor down the street, had invited us to spend the night at her house. We thought that was great as we were good friends with her children. The next day when we came home, here was my mother with a little baby girl beside her. It seems impossible that I really did not know that another baby was on the way. Believe me, those days were different! Then children were that ignorant. Anyway, we thought it was wonderful and helped to spoil this cute little baby. About a year later, my baby sister, Evelyn , stepped on some hot ashes that a neighbor had dumped in the alley. She suffered awful burns on her feet.
Our house had a flat top shed and a chicken house. We spread sheets on top of the shed, seeded apricots, laid them on top of the sheets, and covered them with mosquito netting to dry them.
We also grew horseradish in our garden. I helped to grind them up in the fall for sauce. It made me weep worse that onions. I was glad in later years to be able to buy horseradish in a jar in the grocery store. We used the chicken house to raise chickens and I didn't relish my job of dressing them after George killed them.
Papa bought a car in 1910, a Dodge from Hartman Brothers. Our flat shed made a fine garage. Every year before winter he put our car up on sawhorses. He first drained out the water and removed the tires. They had no anti-freeze in those days. What a delight in the spring when he replaced the tires and took us for rides in the evenings after work! Often we rode out to a country store in Uncompahgre for ice cream cones. What a treat!
Our little black water spaniel would run up and down the ditches in the water. If he heard thunder or any other loud noise, he would howl. One day I walked down to the Black Canyon and fished.
Mama had a large pansy bed on the north side of the house. It bloomed year after year for many years. Pansies do not seem to like much sun.
When it came time for fruit canning, Papa bought a cherry tree from the Smith farm. We all found a pair of scissors to clip the cherry stems. Mr. Smith had said, "You'll not have a cherry crop next year if you pull the cherries from the tree." I doubt that anyone else had the same idea.
Mama sewed a lot to keep all eight of us clothed. She arose early, went to town for her sewing needs, and arrived back home in time to send us all off to school. In those days the stores opened before 8:00 a.m.
After we moved to Montrose, Papa worked as a printer until he retired. He has run three full-time print shops of his own. He worked as a linotype operator for the Enterprise, and then the Daily Press. The Denver Post offered him a job. They wanted him because as they wrote him up, he was the most artistic job printer in Colorado. He refused this job because he did not want to raise his family in a large city.
My first school was Morgan. They offered manual training for boys and cooking and sewing for the girls. Mrs. Wilson was my teacher. I don't think I ever got less than an A. I missed a whole year of school. All that I can remember about that is how much I liked my first grade teacher for that three weeks of school I attended.
George took the manual training class and built a beautiful oak buffet for our mother that she used for many years.
When I started to school, I felt very sick after the first three weeks and had to stay home. I had a case of hepatitis which they used to call yellow jaundice. Before I fully recovered from that, I came down with typhoid fever, as half the town did. They turned the basement of the Catholic Church into a hospital. Many people died of the fever.
My Mom would not let me go there. She cared for me at home. I can still remember the awful taste of egg white, castor oil and orange juice that was the main diet for typhoid fever at that time.
One day, Mama told me, I was unconscious. She couldn't get ahold of the doctor. They didn't have telephones at that time. She ran across the street to get Mrs. Thompson. She was a reader in the Christian Science church. She came over and told my Mom to go out and close the door.
About one hour later she came out of the room. She told my mother she could go back in that I was going to be all right. After that, Mama sent all of us children to the Christian Science church for quite sometime.
The next year I went back to Morgan School where I continued for five years. Then I was transferred to the new Johnson School on East Main (McDonalds sits there now). I attended there for the sixth and seventh grades. I carried my lunch to school as it was too far to walk home. Then I was transferred back to Morgan on 3rd and Cascade. I was glad because I dreaded the walk to Johnson School and back on bad days because of all the mud and snow. When temperatures plummeted, I suffered frostbite and chill blaines even though I wore overshoes. Mama rubbed my feet with turpentine to try to relieve the swelling. There were no sidewalks at that time.
Our neighbors, the Thompsons, had very large cottonwood trees in their yard. Every chance I could get, I would go down there and climb the trees. My mother said that many times Mrs. Thompson would walk down the alley and tell her that Allie was up in the trees again. She feared that I would fall out of the tree and break my ankle.
We didn't have a bathtub, but an old galvanized tub in which everyone had their turn on the kitchen floor for bathing. One day my brother, George, was in the tub on the floor. He was about twelve. Hazel and Mary Thompson, who were about the same age, suddenly came to the door, opened it, walked in and embarrassed all of them. No one thought of locking doors at that time.
One year Papa traveled with a friend from Delta, selling printing jobs. They traveled down into New and Old Mexico.
In the springtime after my twelfth birthday Edith, George and I picked strawberries around the Hogback for spending money. Since they watered them every other day, we picked on the dry days.
Our home was built on a slope, just great for learning to ride a bicycle. Papa and I used to ride our bicycles on Sunday afternoons out into the country. We rode out to North Mesa where Harry, my dad's brother, lived. It wasn't much like riding a bicycle on paved roads, but I loved it all. Once I went bicycling with George into a ditch. On my 75th birthday there was a bicycle with a red bow on it. I didn't know how to stop it. This time, too, I went into a ditch.
When I went to the new Johnson school, I met my best friend, Gladys Johnson. Her daughter called me just this year (on my 90 birthday) to tell me Gladys had just died. She had lived in California near this daughter for many years, but we were still best of friends.
About midway through my eighth school year, my teacher, Mrs. Montgomery, at Morgan School died. This is my first experience with death and the first funeral that I attended. She was a fine teacher and loved by all of us. [My sixth grade teacher died. This was also my first funeral.--Lynn]
In 1918 I had the flu. [Mom loved school. When she fell sick, she didn't tell her Mom, but went to school. When she found out that school was dismissed, she gladly came home and went to bed.--Lynn]
I graduated from the eighth grade that spring. I guess my year of sewing classes paid off because I made my own graduation dress that year. It was white batiste with a bolero edged with lace. Of course, my mother was my main teacher. I remember her making a full set of underwear for all of us. In those days there were many buttonholes and buttons on everything.
In my sophomore year I participated in a school play that we performed in the old Armory House. We practiced in the evenings. In the play I sat knitting away. I played the part of an aunt.
Papa got tired of driving me at night down to the old armory building on North 1st and Cascade for play practice. I was eager to drive that car anyway. He showed me how to drive. I had no doubts but that I could just take off and there would be nothing to it. I drove myself there and got there in good shape. When it was time to go home, I got into it, turned on the motor and started out. When it came time to shift to a higher gear, it made an horrible noise. I tried again and the same thing. I had to drive in low gear to get home. When I finally got home, I put the car in the garage. I went to bed, but I couldn't sleep. After a long time, I suddenly realized what I had been trying to do. I was trying to shift from low to reverse. I thanked my lucky stars that I had not ruined the car. I never did tell my father what I had done.
In those days you didn't have to have a license to drive. Papa never could persuade Mama to learn to drive. I couldn't understand it. She was never alone. She didn't have to stay home for lack of someone to drive her.
While George was still in high school, he started working for Mr. Fransden. That is how he learned the jewelry trade and watch making.
About this time Papa bought a piano for us. George knew how much I wanted to learn to play. He paid for my piano lessons for several years. I didn't mind the long walk to my teacher's house.
During World War I I had a lot of experience picking apples. They let high school out for about three weeks in order to get the apples picked. Emmett Feighner, my brother-in-law took off a year from college to stay home and run his father's fruit farm. I picked an hundred boxes a day, sometimes from the tops of twelve foot ladders. I earned 5 cents per box. Even at that I earned enough to pay for my school clothes for that year. That was in the year 1918 when most of the boys were in the service.
Since I had taken typing when I was a freshman, as soon as I was old enough, I started looking for work to use it. I landed a job in the clerk's office at the court house. All my spare time was spent there writing or typing the minutes of the board meeting, etc. I typed on large sheets of paper that fit into their books. They paid me 50 cents per hour. The first thing I remember buying for my mother was a dining room rug. It was a hard job to keep the dining room floor waxed and polished. That was money well spent to help her.
During my junior or senior year I had a date to the senior prom. I owned a nice pair of new high-heeled shoes that I wore. When we walked across the street, I stepped on a rock or something and broke my heel. I had to go back home and borrow my sister's shoes for the prom. None of the high school boys owned a car. We walked everywhere we went and didn't think much about it. I had made my own prom dress of peach colored taffeta with a cutout hole on each shoulder, a very daring outfit at that time.
The year that I graduated from high school, my father bought a house at 400 S. 4th St. What a thrill it was to have a nice house with three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Downstairs, there was a nice living room, a dining room, a nice pantry with many cupboards, and a kitchen. It had a high ceiling. It was a job for my father to paint it and wash it each year. The entry from a large screened in front porch was quite large with a nice stairway to the upstairs. My mother had a large round oak dining table with several leaves so she could seat quite a few people. She faithfully waxed and polished this table. She also polished the nice buffet that was also solid oak that my brother George made for her when he took manual training.
I went to Montrose schools all twelve years. Three of us tied for high school valedictorian when I graduated from high school in 1922. We drew for this honor and I felt relieved when a boy received it. I would probably have been speechless had I been chosen to give this speech.
I won a regent scholarship and the next year I went to Colorado University at Boulder, Colorado. I rode the narrow gauge back and forth to Boulder. The smoke from the coal made me sick. I guess that is why I never wanted to ride the train from Silverton to Durango. I had had all I wanted of narrow gauge riding.
Ethel and Edith, my two older sisters, were both married at this time. Dorothy had never taken much responsibility. Evelyn was only eleven. Ethel and Emmett lived in Boulder at the time. He was studying to be a lawyer. They asked me to come and live with them while attending the university. I was happy to do so.
My mother became ill. I was the logical one to stay home and keep house. In place of going back to Boulder at the end of the summer I enrolled in Hoel Ross Business College in Grand Junction. When I finished my course, I worked the the J.C. Penny office. Then I was offered a job working for C. E. Adams at the Daily Press office. I still dream of going to college and what a wonderful place it was. [This was mother's greatest disappointment. She was academically talented and always wanted to finish her undergraduate degree. I think she still resents the decision of her father not to let her return to Boulder.--Darel]
On February 13, 1902 Fred Waldo Hardy arrived in the home of Herbert Oscar and Miranda Eva Reed Hardy. He was born in Ames, Iowa. Florence Spencer rode a horse to school in the wintertime until Wendell got a car. Waldo and Wendell heated water for the car and drove to school. [Wendell and Florence later married. This couple and Mom and Dad met at family picnics and camping trips between the two families. Eva Hardy always chaperoned the young people.--Lynn]
Waldo graduated from Boulder in 1925 and spent two years in New York City with the Bethlehem Steel plant. He had taken engineering in college and thought he would try his luck in the big city. Then he moved out to Martinez, California to work for the Shell Oil Company.
In 1929 I traveled to Long Beach and cared for Billy Brisbane. [Her sister-in-law, Esther, had her first heart surgery. Much later, Dad and Grandma Hardy went to California when she had her second heart surgery. She bled too much and it claimed her life. While Dad was away, the pigs fell to Mom and me to water and feed them. The water froze up and we had to carry water across the creek. We filled Dad's old blue pickup with corn.--Lynn]
He persuaded me that he wanted me to become a part of his life in California. We married and spent the next six years there. I loved California
When Waldo and I first married, we lived in Martinez, California. This was a small town on the San Francisco Bay. It is mostly supported by the Shell Oil Company. They practically owned the whole town. It is hilly country and very pretty. At that time there was large fields of asparagus between Walnut Creek and other small towns. The only way to get to Oakland was by going around the peninsula on a really crooked road or by boat, which was fun to do. If we wanted to spend a day in Oakland, or San Francisco, we got on the ferry boat, had a good breakfast, and enjoyed seeing the sights. Of course, that was before the big bridge was across to San Francisco. Waldo got work at 4 o'clock on Friday's. We usually went on a trip to the redwoods or any number of places over the weekend. I was able to get a good job at the Coast Counties Gas and Electric Company. We had many nice trips. I loved to hear the sound of the fog horns. We heard them quite often as the fog did not usually lift until about 10 o'clock. I worked until shortly before Lynn arrived and then, of course, it was no trouble to take her along.
We had the best of landlords as they were an Italian couple who had come to the United States on a steerage boat some thirty years before we knew them (about 1900). They had operated a small hotel and restaurant for a good many years. She was a wonderful cook. She used to bring us something to eat several times a week. I became fond of Italian food. I never could manage to make things taste as good as she did. [Mom was the best cook in the country.--Lynn]
Her husband had a full basement in his home, which was next door to us. They were both rather short and plump. The doctor used to tell him that he would have to stop drinking the wine he made in his cellar if he wanted to live long. He told the doctor that he would just as soon die as to quit drinking. He didn't live long after we left California. I really missed all that good food when we moved away.
Carol Lee was also born in California. Shortly after she was born, Waldo almost lost his life from thyroid trouble.
We were just on the verge of buying a new home. In fact we had the papers ready to sign when Waldo came home and said that we were moving back to Colorado. He didn't want to live in California the rest of his life. I really loved it there, fog and all, but I decided that if he wanted it that way, that that was how it would have to be. California has so much to offer--the ocean, the red woods, mountains, desert, and most everything a short distance from Martinez.
Waldo drove me and the girls home. Mr. Frederickson, Bernice's father, helped Waldo to go back. Waldo rented a large truck to bring back all of our belongings. We moved into a large two-story house which we called red gables. We lived there until we moved into a really old house on the farm that Waldo's father had given us. Waldo's father gave him a choice of two farms. I thought it would be nice to live near the Oak Grove School. so this was our choice. This house had two bedrooms and one of them was papered with the 1884 newspapers. I should have saved them, but, of course, never thought of such a thing at that time.
The place still had an apple orchard and apricot trees that were large and old. This old house was just across Spring Creek from the corner where Waldo and a helper built our house in 1936.
I loved our big yard and enjoyed working in it. Taking care of the farm work was more than enough for Waldo. He finally purchased a riding mower and took care of the large area in back of the house. It was quite a job to keep four or five one hundred foot hoses for watering all the lawns. When it came to the orchards, I picked hundreds of boxes of apples.
It was a hard life on the farm. Waldo was not really cut out to be a hard working farmer. He started out working the eighty acres with a couple of huge workhorses and a plow. After a couple of years, he managed to get a tractor. Later, he bought a combine. I was not much of a farmer's wife, but I did take care of most of the gardening and raised chickens. I never milked a cow. We always had a milk cow and I made butter, cottage cheese, etc. In fact I bought my entire set of Haviland china, twelve of everything, including all the vegetable bowls, platters, creamer and sugar bowl, and soup bowls from the money I got from selling cream, cottage cheese and eggs for one whole year. It is still intact except for one plate and a small salad plate. [Darel and Linda have this set.--Lynn]
On April 23, 1940 Darel put in his appearance. I couldn't believe that I really had a little son. We had not built our house with a bedroom for him. We finally added a room when he was a sophomore in high school. He decided early on that farming was not the thing he wanted. He loved living in the country--but not to make a living at it. He always maintained that he could not learn to milk a cow. (Waldo claimed that he did it backwards, milking the milk back into the cow.) However, Waldo seemed to enjoy that part of farming, so he let Darel do his share with all the other things to do on the farm.
I remember when we would go on a picnic in the mountains, that was our only source of entertainment. We couldn't afford to take time to travel as a farm is a confining thing, unless one has a hired man to take care of things. One doesn't just walk away from a farm--it really ties one down. Everything has to be taken care of on a day to day basis. We all loved a few hours in the mountains.
In those days it was no crime to dig up evergreen trees and different plants and bring them home to plant. Soon the yard was full of things. When we drive out to our place and I see the trees that I planted so many years ago, I still can't believe that I dug a hole in the ground and put them in. I remember one occasion when they were widening the road. I wanted to dig up a small pine tree that were growing in the space they had leveled. Waldo said if they caught me, I would surely be arrested. I argued that it would just be leveled out of the ground when they started to work the next day. I just dug it out, kept it moist, and it is a good tall tree by now.
In 1944 the bomb on Hiroshima ended World War II.
When Carol Lee reached the 7th grade, she was ready to skip the 8th at Oak Grove. She started high school the next year and graduated at 16 as valedictorian. She had decided that a career in music was her goal.
[My brother shot a deer with a bow and arrow. Dad and Darel headed to the trash dump. As an afterthought, Dad said, "You might as well take along your bow and arrow and license." They saw a deer facing away from them going downhill. Darel shot it. They skinned it and gutted it out. They bought it into the house. Mom and I cleaned off the hair and cut it up. It had fed on alfalfa, a young deer. It all got eaten up; it was good meat.--Lynn]
Things went along about the same until Lynn went off to college. Colorado Women's College in Colorado Springs offered her a scholarship, but she didn't want to go there. She applied at Western State in Gunnison, that she didn't want to do, but that is where she went for her first year. She said it was too cold. [Mom's memories--I didn't like it because I didn't want to go there in the first place.--Lynn] Our minister thought Doane College in Crete, Nebraska would be a good place to go. She liked the schools and students all right. [I loved it there, but with only 300 students the curriculum was limited.--Lynn] Suddenly, she decided that she wanted to go to California because she was born there. She applied at Whittier College, was accepted, and went there for her last two years. [Someone suggested Whittier and I went there to learn French. I would have learned it better at a school where you have to speak the language all the time.--Lynn] She was fortunate that with all her changing schools, she never lost a credit. She graduated from Whittier. President Nixon (then a senator) was the speaker at her graduation. [Whittier was his Alma Mater.--Lynn]
While Lynn was at Doane, Waldo's cows got into some kind of poisonous weed which killed some of our cattle and made the rest sterile. I went back to work and worked for sixteen years for the County Superintendent of Schools as a bookkeeper. I worked under three superintendents: Hugh Summers (Evelyn's husband--my sister), Marvin Johansen and Phil Pratt--about five years for each one. Mr. Johansen felt he had to work on Saturdays to earn his salary. I was glad when Phil Pratt decided that was unnecessary.
We found time down through the years to see a lot of country. We made a trip to Canada with George and Bernice. We tripped to both coasts with Dorothy and Kenneth. I flew to Hawaii with Carol Lee and her family. Lynn's graduations took us across the country to both coasts. I didn't get my college degree, but encouraged our three children, ending up with two Ph. D's and one M.A.
Lynn became acquainted with some of the Baptist students at Whittier and started going to church with them. At this point she decided she wanted to get her Master's degree at Bob Jones University. [I had wanted to attend Bob Jones University from the time I heard about when I attended D.V.B.S. in the Oak Grove School.--Lynn] She applied, got accepted, and went there that fall (1954). That is where she got her M.A. in Christian Education.
I got to see quite a bit of the country from going to her graduation in Whittier and then in South Carolina, going by train to the last one. I found out that the trains traveling east and west and much smoother than those going from north to south, but I still think the trains are interesting to travel on. Lynn was only two-years-old when we went from Grand Junction to San Francisco on the California Zepher (1934). I took the California Zepher when I went to Chicago on the way to Greenville, South Carolina.
The train that I took from Chicago to Atlanta, Georgia and then on to South Carolina was so rough that an old lady fell and broke her hip in the same car that I was riding in. When we landed in Atlanta, I was shocked to see the dirty condition of the depot when changing trains to go on to Greenville. After Lynn graduated, we went on to Washington, D.C. to visit a day or two with Eloyce, my oldest sister's daughter. Then we went on to Wilmington, Delaware to visit Marjorie Woods (my sister-in-law) and her family. Then we went to Chicago to board the California Zepher for Grand Junction.
The vegetable garden was pretty much up to me also. Waldo always planted all the tomatoes and Dad Hardy planted sweet corn every two weeks all summer. We never ran out of sweet corn. When the peas were ready, Waldo and I pulled the plants, carried them over to the backyard under the big weeping willow tree, and shelled them. This was after we had the big freezer in the garage, and I could freeze them instead of canning them. This freezer was big enough to hold all the beef and pork from butchering. I didn't like to go out there in the winter to bring in something I needed to cook. We finally sold these freezer and bought one that fit in the back porch beside the washer and dryer.
The big yard finally got to be too much for us to take care of. Waldo had been glad to retire on his 65th birthday (Jan. 13, 1967). I had gone back to work when I was 50 (1952) as the accountant. I worked until my 65th (1968) and loved every minute of it. I wanted to work another year and my boss didn't want me to quit. However, my mother had lived with me eight years and needed me at home. I remember mowing the yard at 6:30 many mornings and being at work at 8:00. I admit I was glad not to have to be on the job every morning more than anything else. I remember how glad I was when my last boss declared the board meetings would last no longer than midnight. However, those were the good old days. [Mom always said she regretted not learning computers. If she had worked one more year, she would have worked on a computer.--Lynn]
When the evergreens got to be really tall, the magpies used to love to build their nests in the top of them. I didn't like magpies anyway because they robbed the nests of the robins. They caught the baby chickens. They made a dreadful racket at daybreak, joining all the aunts and uncles, when all of them started feeding the ones in the nests. I started climbing the spruce trees to tear out their nests. They had hundreds of trees out along the creek to build nests in. I didn't feel sorry for them. I climbed the trees the last year we lived there, me being just eighty years old, and tore them out. I hung on with one hand and pulled the nest out with the other. I remember one nest especially that was a work of art, all built of sticks about a foot long with a roof over the top of the nest. These nests were large, some of them being at least two and one-half feet wide.
When my Dad finally retired at the age of seventy-two, he did a lot of traveling around the country with Dex Walker in a travel trailer. He spent much time sketching the scenery, especially in the arches country in Utah. He started pen and ink sketches at an early age and was very good at it. After his retirement, he took up oil painting and did this until the day he died. Mama and Papa spent many winters in Arizona with Ethel, their oldest daughter, and Emmett, her husband. Papa enrolled in art classes in the university while there. He loved this hobby from that time on.
Mama died in 1977 at the age of 102.
I doubt it I can use the typewriter at all anymore, but I thought it was worth a try anyway. The children were all here. We made a trip up to the old homestead (1994). They made it to the top of the hill just above the old place. I enjoyed looking at an old and interesting tree, but I made the mistake of taking a little step backward in order to get a better look. That step happened to be a little hole in the ground, and I sat down with a lot of force, snapped the hip bone that didn't feel too good, and that was my last step for a long time. I have a cane with a big foot on it and am getting around after a fashion, but hope that someday it will be easier.
It is wonderful how something like that will bring out one's friends and neighbors, but things do quiet down after a while and one gets along somehow. I did have a lot of good therapy which did help a lot. I still have my car in the garage, just in case someone flies in who can make use of it. Of course, the worst trouble of all is not being able to read, even a large headline in the newspaper, which, of course, I no longer subscribe to. I get my news from listening to the TV with the help of small binoculars.
[Mom's philosophy: I believe if you do the best you can, surely nothing too bad can happen to you. In 2000 she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. Her attitudes toward the Bible and life changed. She had a marvelous sense of humor and was full of spunk. I believe there was an inner consciousness that it did not all depend upon her, but upon the Lord. She laughed on May 26, 2001--the day before she departed this life. On May 19, 2001 she enjoyed the mother-daughter banquet at our church. I had a caregiver come when it was half over. She was enjoying herself and didn't want to leave. Our program consisted of fun things as well as more serious matters. Lynette, my daughter, came too. This was the first time both of them attended.--Lynn]
[Mother fell in her home on May 21, 2001, and her injuries led to pneumonia.
She had become very frail, and was not able to fight off this infection
even with modern medical care. She died on Sunday, May 27. She was surrounded
by family and friends, people who loved her very much.--Carol]