Linenberger, Huddle, Burnett (that’s me) doesn’t have any personal stories
of western Kansas, specifically Orion, Ks. like my 6 brothers and 6 sisters
One memory I have
is being in a bed in the east room at the Collin’s place.
I looked out the east window and saw men with a lantern across the road.
Someone said they think dad and maybe Elmer or Omer were helping a cow
have a calf.
Anyway I do want
to tell you what Irene told me.
She said that she would lay on the bed and then put me on her chest to
keep me breathing when I had pneumonia.
She also said that not long after I was born dad came to her and asked
her to help take care of the kids, Elmer, Edna, Jack, Haddie, Agnes, Phil and me
because mom was so sick.
She told me about being so young, I think she was only about 12 or 13 and
had quite a time being in charge of cooking, cleaning, washing and getting the
kids to school.
I wish I could have taped her stories about a goat eating something that
was on the clothesline and about having to pay some one to polish all the shoes,
and about how she and daddy got very close as they worked together while mom was
I think we moved
from the Collins place around Enosdale which is west and south of Washington, to
the Nutsch’s place north of Morrowville.
I remember mom telling me I was five years old and was so lonesome for
Phil and Jack and Aggie that the teacher agreed to have me come to school.
Since I was born on Feb. 28, 1935, I must have been 5 years and 10 month
old when I started.
I sure remember
how Jack, Phil and I would pretend we were a neighbor called “Puddle Nutsch”.
I also remember that one day a brick had fallen on my right foot, then
the next day I stepped on a garden hoe and cut my big toe.
I don’t remember if it all hurt, but I sure remember feeling special
because dad carried me to the out house (toilet), upstairs to bed and I
even got to sit on his lap when we ate. Now that was something!
I remember that I
was sick a lot and would be put in mom and dad’s bed which was downstairs.
I can still hear mom telling Elmer not to make me laugh or to tease me
and make me cry because I was sick.
But as soon as the folks would be out of sight Elmer would come in and
tease me. No
harm done I guess because I’m still here.
I remember sitting
on the ground and playing under a wagon, and I was going to hit Agnes with
something and dad swatted me good on the behind.
I used to use a stick to draw things in the dirt until a chicken would
come and steal it.
Oh, since I went
to school when I was 5 I remember working so hard but then was told that I would
have to be in first grade again because I was supposed to wait until I was 6
that sure made me not want to try real hard in school, but then we moved to a
place south of Washington.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the school I started at was called Lowe
It was at that school that I broke my nose.
I’ll bet Edna remembers that better than I do, but I know the next day
my head was all swollen up and when mom
called the doctor he said as long
memories of Nutsch’s place are:
- Me bawling my
eyes out cause I couldn’t sleep with Irene cause she had a friend over.
- Agnes and I
getting so scared when our cats, Tebby and Tabby, came in the out house one
- Having to pick
soy beans by hand.
- Being in the car
that Elmer was driving when a wheel came off.
- Falling in the
slop pail, a bucket we throwed table scraps in for the pigs, making a big mess.
- A white dog we
- Using small
bones for toys, the little bones were cats and dogs and the bigger ones were
horses and cows.
- My teacher was
Then we moved to a
place south of Washington and went to a country school about 2 miles north and
teachers name was Miss Evans and she would give me a ride on her shoulders.
I got scarlet fever just a day or two before the quarantine was to be
lifted and that meant another 6 weeks of having a red quarantine sign on the
house. Boy not too many of the family was happy about that.
Agnes, Phil and Jack were just getting over their bout and then I get it!
All the while they
had scarlet fever Elmer and dad lived in a car in the garage. They couldn’t
come in the house at all.
One time Elmer ran from the east porch through the kitchen and out the
back porch saying “now maybe I’ll get it so I can lay in bed and not have to
do any work”.
Sorry Elmer if that isn’t how it was but that’s how I remember it.
When we all got
well the walls had to be washed down with some kind of soap.
The mattress’s had to be aired out and when we finally got back to
school the books had burned pages because since scarlet fever was so contagious
the books had to be baked to kill any germs.
memories from about 6 or 7 to when I started in “town school” which was
about when I was in the 4th grade:
- Having to wear
brown long stockings and overalls to school.
- Jack and I
making tiny little bricks out of mud, drying them in the sun and then building a
barn with a silo out of them.
- Taking a little
ant, dropped it in white shoe polish and following it from the back porch all
the way across the yard and then chickened out when it went into the pig pen.
- Riding behind
the saddle on the pony Elmer used to get the cows, then falling off when Elmer
would go up a steep creek bank, but would be raring to go the next time he said,
“hey, candy armed, knocked kneed and pigeon toes, do you want to go with me to
get the cows?” and old dummy me would go.
- Getting stuck up
high on the windmill with Phil after Jack talked us into going up as high as he
did to see if we could tell when mom and dad got to town.
Then Jack would have to go “take a leek” get down and leave us
screaming and scared as we’d close our eyes as we climbed down.
- Having to wash
the white woodwork in the kitchen while Agnes baked pies, cookies and cake, then
getting mad when all the married kids would come home on Sundays and brag about
her goodies but never saying a word about the clean woodwork in the kitchen.
- Celebrating with
a big dinner when Elmer came home from the army and watching him get under the
table when our cat jumped from a chair on the floor.
- Getting to sing
in the choir and singing a solo.
- Being so scared
the first day I went to school in town.
I don’t remember if Phil was the first to go or if it was me but I sure
missed not having Phil, Agnes and Jack close by.
My memories of
Miss Thompson, as my 4th grade teacher are not clear, but that’s when I got to
play a band instrument.
It was the trombone, but I had to switch to a French horn because then
the folks didn’t have to pay rent on it.
I was in the marching band and I also got to be one of the May Fete
I started working
as a waitress at the Colonial
Cafe that Aggie and her husband Paul Green owned.
I helped take care of their baby girl, Patti, when I was 13 and the first
day I worked at the cafe was during the Washington County fair.
We served over 200 people at the noon meal and boy did I learn fast.
I’ll never forget when a family came in from Kentucky and asked for a soda.
I went back to the kitchen to ask Eva Wilbrandt for a box of soda.
She said “What the Hell are you going to do with soda?"
When I told her that’s what the customer ordered she said “what they
want is pop. Where
they come from it’s called soda, Dummy!”.
She was my best buddy and always joked with me, so I went to Paul to see
if she was right, and of course she was.
One night two
young guys came in the cafe that worked for the Kansas Power and Light Company.
They were both from Cedar Vale, Kansas.
Their names were Cordis A. Huddle and Don Slaughter.
I ended up marrying Cordis who I found out was nick-named Duff because
when his brother Curt, saw him for the first time he said, “man that’s a
little duffer,” and the name stuck.
We became engaged
the night I graduated from high school and I don’t remember a thing the
speaker said. We
were married on October 24, 1953 and rented the upstairs apartment from Mr. and
Mrs. King. In
1955 on November 10th, our son Christopher was born.
Duff and I moved to Wichita when he was three month old.
On February 13,
1956 Duff was killed while working for the Pioneer Chemical Company.
He had inhaled benzene hexachloride while cleaning out a storage tank.
Chris and I moved back to Washington and it was during this time I got to spend
time with my dad.
He helped me rent a house, buy furniture and he really seemed to be
enjoying our times together.
In April I took dad to Concordia.
Agnes and mom took him back to Concordia in July and were told that dad
had cancer of the kidney.
When he died I was sure that any man I ever loved or would love would
in October of 1956 a letter came from Jim Burnett that said, “you don’t know
me but I’m John and Anna Burnett’s son and I hope you will write to me”.
When I asked mom if she knew him she said “no not really, because he’s been
in the Navy” and I shouldn’t answer the letter because he was much older
than me. Anyway,
you know kids, I wrote to him out of loneliness and curiosity.
Jim proposed to me
before Christmas of 1956 and were married on February 14, 1957.
Because he had used up his furlough time and if we would not get married
in February, we would have to wait another 18 months when he would get time off
from the Navy.
We lived in Naval housing in Long Beach California for 3 months then got
sent to San Diego until 1959.
He got out of the Navy in January 23, 1959 but we couldn’t leave
California because Lisa Leigh Ann was born on January 24th.
Richard was born
in Rochester, MN. on Sept 21, 1960 and we then moved to Cannon Falls Minnesota.
In 1963 our youngest daughter was born on April 9th.
We lived in Cannon Falls until 1968 then moved to Wymore, NE. for a year.
Moved back to Cannon Falls in 1969.
In 1971 we moved to Rochester and worked at Saint Mary’s Hospital until
Jim retired in July 1986.
We moved to Warsaw, Mo. and stayed there until 1995.
We left because Jim’s heart was not right and since he had Mayo Clinic
Insurance we moved back to Minnesota.