Continuing my mother’s hand-written book she gave to
our daughter years ago . . . see the “categories” list over on the
right? Just click on “memoir” and you’ll find the other parts to
this memoir . . .
“One year the horse Molly had a baby colt. It was black and we
named it Nancy. Nancy’s father was a race-horse and my father . . .
had plans to enter Nancy in the races at Pottersville Fair or at
Saratoga. Nancy did a lot of running around the pasture and
fields but as she got older she didn’t seem to care so much about
it. She just settled down and seemed quite content to stay home
and help with the plowing.
I don’t remember any special things more about that winter I was
four. I know we had a phonograph with a big blue horn on it.
That horn had white water-lilies painted on it. The records were
tube shaped and also blue. When one started to play it would give
the title of the song and then say ‘Edison Record!’
I knew all the songs by heart —also the comedy records like
‘Uncle Josh on the Farm’ and ‘Uncle Josh at the County Fair.’
My sister Kathryn used to make-believe wind me up by my arm,
set me on a table and I’d sing for them.
My sister Kathryn was very beautiful they said. She had long
black curly hair and big green eyes and very white skin, not like
my skin. Mine was white but covered with brown freckles. My
hair didn’t curl either except when my mother twisted it up in
rags and left it that way all night. Mostly I wore braids with
ribbons on them. Sometimes we would double the braids up
and tie the bows close to my head. Sometimes we would cross the
braids over and tie them.
When fall came Dennis and I started school but it was a long three
mile walk and too far for me in the winter. So that winter I became
five I had to stay home. I had my school books and kept up the work
at home though.
It was easy to read that First Year Primer. Also it was very
uninteresting. It was all about a boy named Dick and another
named Rollo and a dog that didn’t have a name. That book just
went over and over —‘See the dog . . .See Dick . . . See Rollo . . .
See Dick and Rollo . . .See Dick and Rollo see the dog.’
I learned that fast enough. I was always waiting for something
interesting to happen but it never did. No wonder I finished that
book! I was anxious to get on to real stories.”
********to be continued****