Family Memories

By Edna “Eddie” Linenberger Moore

The first memories I have of my childhood are when we lived at Grinell, KS.  At the age of about four, I remember it being a nice house which had an ironing board that folded into the wall, also a bath tub, but no running water.  The tub sticks in my mind because on Christmas Eve, after getting a doll I cherished, I couldn’t enjoy it because I got sick.  I broke out with red blotches all over my body, (hives, I presume).  Mom had me stand in what I remember as a bath tub and sponged me with soda water intermittently.

I remember Frances taking us kids fishing, (with a seine); she took a picnic lunch of fudge, which she made.  I don’t know if this was at Grinell or at a relative’s place.

I can remember going to grandma Kinderknecht and going to a “play”, which really frightened me; I was very young, but don’t know how young.  I found out later the “play” was Grandfather’s Story acted out by relatives.

We moved to Orion, Kansas, when I was five, I guess.  Grandpa Kinderknecht helped daddy build the house on the Orion farm.  We must have stayed with grandma and Grandpa K. in transit to our new home, because I remember he and daddy coming home to grandma’s and grandpa teasing me by pretending he was going to brush my hair with a steel brush.  I can also remember grandma going to her bedroom and coming out with corn candy for us kids.  I still have a picture in my mind of the sod roof and floor plan of the house.  I also remember all the other buildings on the farm.

I started first grade at Unions School which was 2½ miles from our farm.  We went to school in a one-horse buggy.  Al was in the 8th grade, I think, when I started.  I was painfully shy and always afraid I would do something wrong.  Al was my strength and comfort; I am sure I would have been a first grade drop out had Al not been there for me.  Here is an example:  I had to go to the toilet, but was too bashful to raise my hand and ask permission--I wet my pants.  Then I was too embarrassed to go to the front to the recitation bench, instead I sat next to Al in his seat.  He didn’t make me ho up front; I stayed with him the rest of the day.  Incidentally, I was the only pupil in my grade until the 7th grade.

While living at Orion, we had many experiences dealing with the depression and the dust storms.  Here are some of my most vivid memories.  One time a storm moved in while we were in school.  It was toward the end of the school day.  I was standing at the teacher’s desk for my reading, when all of a sudden it got so dark, no one in the one-room country school could see anything.  The teacher took my hand and didn’t let me move.  She instructed all of us to remain where we were until it got light enough to see again.  I think some of the parents who lived close by came to help get everyone home.  I think we were all dismissed at about 5 p.m.

I can remember Jack’s first concern was his dog when a storm moved in.  He was just frantic during one storm when he was too late to retrieve the dog dish; the wind had taken it bye bye.

Another incident that sticks in my mind was on my 6th or 7th birthday.  Mom was ready to serve my birthday cake after supper when all of a sudden it got too dark to see each other.  The wind blew so hard it blew open the west door, (a door we never used).  By the time Daddy got it forced shut, the wind had literally ripped the wall paper off the one living room wall.  There was enough dust in the living room by that time for the kids to make roads and hills and play with their cars.

I remember at bedtime during dust storms, Mom had us put a damp cloth over our nose and mouth when we went to bed.  This was her invention of a mask to protect us from inhaling too much dust.  Not only was the dust in the air, but the bedding was saturated with dust.

I remember during one dust storm season there were enough storms for the dust to collect around the garden fence posts forming a hill high enough for us to go “dust skiing”.  We would climb up the dust pile on the outside of the garden, sit down and slide down on our bottoms ending up inside the garden.  We did this until the hill was worn down below the fence.

During the summer months we played mostly outside.  One time our play almost turned into a tragic disaster.  Jack, 3 or 4 years old, Haddie and I, (I don’t think Agnes was in on this), climbed into Daddy’s two-wheel trailer which was in the yard.  We were having a grand old time, when suddenly I noticed Jack walking to the “up” side of the trailer.  I was afraid he was going to climb out and fall.  I told Haddie to help me catch him; we stupidly followed him up the trailer.  Of course our weight tipped the trailer.  This was just as Jack was climbing out.  The trailer fell on him and pinned him.  I jumped out and with my eight-year-old strength, I lifted the trailer off him.  As I carried him to the house, I just knew he would never walk again or he might even die.  I think his kidneys were bruised, but apparently he wasn’t injured for life as I thought.

One other tragedy at Orion was when Phil got into the lye.  Mom washed outside, she also made soap outside and used lye in both cases.  After one of these chores she or someone must have left an open lye can on the ground and Phil got into it.  He was just a toddler, so naturally he put some in his mouth.  His hands, face and especially his mouth was severely blistered, but I don’t know for how long, neither do I remember the final outcome of this episode.

I seem to remember all the unpleasant things that happened at Orion.  It was a bad time with the depression and dust storms.  No one could grow crops or a garden.  Daddy had to work for the W.P.A and we received government food commodities.  Mom got dust pneumonia every March, Daddy got sick with kidney stones and had Quinsy (tonsillitis) often.  That place was full of snakes, some non-poisonous, but also rattlers, blue racers, and copperheads.  They were in the toilet, the cellars, in the chicken house, around machinery, and even on the outside step of the house.

I remember one time at about age 5 or 6, Daddy, Frances and Issie tried to get me to take a pill for my constipation, (which Victor swears I was born with).  They tried to camouflage it with all kinds of food without results.  Mom was sick in bed; she must have had enough of the fussing for she got up, sat me in a chair, held my head with one hand and jammed the pill down my throat with the other.  She did it so fast I didn’t know what happened.

I guess one of the saddest events I remember at Orion was when the government came to our place and killed all but four, I think, of the folks’ cattle and hauled them off.  I will never forget the crying and sadness of that day and evening.  The only other time I saw Daddy cry, was when he passed kidney stones.  I never did understand the reason for this act by the government.  I think this was in about 1935.

There was laughter through all of these hard times too.  Like the time Al, Omer and maybe Elmer got caught taking mom’s jar of tea leaves so they cold roll their own cigarettes while herding cattle on the range.  Another one of the older boys’ tricks was to put a tea towel over Phil’s head before carrying him to the basement at bedtime.  Phil was afraid of the dark and this was to keep him from knowing it was dark.  Mom really scolded them for scaring him even more.

We always had fun playing cards as a family, especially Elmer.  When Dad was Elmer’s partner, he always made sure Dad sat with his back to the mirror.  Elmer could see Dad’s cards this way.  I think Mom finally caught on and put a stop to it.

I can remember Mom keeping us busy embroidering.  She drew free hand designs on any material she had for us to embroidery on.  I still have one of those items--pot holder.  She also made jigsaw puzzles for us.  She pasted colorful magazine pictures to cardboard, like from a tablet, then without thread in the sewing machine needle she stitched designs, then she cut on the stitching.

Elmer was always good for a laugh even though the folks didn’t always see things the same way.  I am referring to the time Grandma Kinderknecht and some of Mom’ family visited us.  They were there for dinner and Elmer was seated next to Grandma and I was next to Elmer.  As the serving bowls were passed from person to person, Elmer made sure Grandma held a serving dish because it clanked on her plate as she shook.  He and I thought this was funny, so we kept passing the food again and again past Grandma just to see her shake and the dishes clank.  Now I know why Grandma shook, she had shaking palsy.  Grandma never caught on, but Mom sure did.  That was the end of that entertainment.

The folks lost this place, the only farm they ever owned.  They moved to Enosdale, Kansas, which was further east; it was in Washington County.

The tales of the move itself could make a book if each of us told our recollection of the event.  This is what I remember; Frances, Victor and Issie were already married and, I think, living in Washington County.  Al was also in Washington County.  He was working for and living with Leo Miller.  I think Leo helped find a farm for the folks to rent--The Collins place by Enosdale.

When the time came to move, Elmer and Omer went before the rest of us. They went with the truck, or trucks, that moved the livestock.  I think the drivers were complete strangers to the boys.  I am anxious to hear the accounting of their experiences.  I don’t know how the machinery and furniture got there.  The rest of us left later--I don’t know the exact time frame, but I do remember staying at Grandma Kinderknecht’s one night.  It was in the big two story farm house, the one with the porch around three sides.  It was about 240 miles from Park to Enosdale, but because of the roads they had in 1936, driving a 1929 Chevrolet, and pulling a two-wheel trailer, it must have seemed like 800 miles to the folks.

Picture this scene:  Dad, Mom holding Agnes or Phil, and Jack in the front seat.  Irene, Haddie, Agnes or Phil and me on the back seat and Betty, an infant, on the floor on Irene’s feet.  Irene was “the Mom” in the back.  Mom had the food and drink for all 9 of us at her feet.  I don’t remember us stopping along the side of the road to eat except for the one time when Dad had a blowout on the trailer, so we must have eaten in the car.  This isn’t all we did in the car.  We had a covered coffee can which was on the floor by Haddie and my feet.  When one of us kids had to “potty”, this is what we used.  Dad stopped every once in a while so we could empty the can, but not often enough to suite Haddie and me, so we threatened to throw it out the window.  We drove the folks nuts with a chant of “slam it out the window” until Dad finally stopped.  I don’t remember any details about arriving at the farm by Enosdale.

This farm was a pleasant place to live.  We were out of the Dust Bowl, there were trees, the folks raised a garden and crops must have been average--things were looking up.  I remember how proud Daddy was to plant a windbreak of elm trees.  He loved to tend them and watch them grow.  One morning when he went out to do chores, he saw the damage our pet goat had done.  The goat had gotten into the garden and destroyed it along with eating all of Dad’s trees as high as it could reach.  I think by 9:00 a.m., the goat was on the butcher block, regardless of the begging for it’s mercy from us kids.

I think our school, Hawkeye School, was only 1½ miles from home, se we walked quite often.  If the weather was bad someone took us in a wagon or even the car.  I attended this school from 3rd or 4th through the 6th grade.  We had some grand times--we had a sled which we took to school sometimes to go sledding during recess.  We had one teacher that played the piano.  We did a lot of singing.  She even tried to teach us to tap dance.  She also put on good plays with different kinds of music, dances and recitations.  I also remember learning how to make snow ice cream at this school.

I remember one time an ice and snow storm came up while we were at school.  When school was dismissed, we started walking home.  Elmer was the oldest, anyway, I don’t remember Omer being with us.  Agnes, I think, was the youngest and I think there were neighbor kids with us.  It seemed like the farther we walked, the worse the storm and road got.  The girls and the younger ones just couldn’t handle the cold, snow overhead, and the icy road underfoot.  Elmer carried the little ones when he could and did all he could to keep us moving.  There was this one steep hill that we could not get up.  We took a few steps up and then slid back down it.  This is when Elmer’s leadership ability shone through.  he wouldn’t go on without us, so this is how we got to the top of the hill.  He took the big black metal lunch pail and chipped steps in the ice and snow for hand and foot grips.  By using these steps, we all were able to crawl to the top of the hill.  Elmer was our hero!  It seems that someone from home met us with a wagon at the bottom on the other side of the hill.

Mom was sick a lot during these years, it seemed, so Irene had to stay home from school a lot to help Mom.  She was the oldest girl at home at this time and was in charge of us younger ones.  Elmer, Haddie and I didn’t make it easy for her either, I’m sure.

I remember we got our first radio, battery operated, here at the Collins’ place.  Daddy’s favorite station was W.I.B.W., Topeka.  I remember Mom listening to a soap opera, ”Ma Perkins”.

I remember one time Dad and Elmer were culling the chickens.  When they finished Mom asked how many good laying hens they came up with and Dad said, “I don’t know, I got to three and got mixed up.”  Elmer and I about died laughing at Dad’s answer, but we didn’t let the folks catch us laughing.  Mom was already disgusted with Dad for not keeping track.

I can remember a couple of times when Mom’s “doctoring” ability was put to use while we lived on this farm.  It was early fall and Mom told me to dig the carrots.  I tried using the tile spade, but the ground was so hard, I couldn’t even scratch the dirt.  I took the spade in both hands and with all my strength was going to force it into the dirt and stand on it to make it penetrate the ground.  Instead of penetrating the dirt it came down on my bare foot and cut my toe really bad.  Mom poured some peroxide on the wound, had me soak my foot in Epsom salt water, then she put a glob of Vaseline and healing powder on it and bandaged it.  I couldn’t wear a shoe, so I had to wear a couple of thickness’ of socks.  I went to school this way.  I ended up with just a hair line scar.

The other time Mom’s doctoring skills came into good use was when Jack ran into the hand operating corn sheller.  He had a gash on his upper lip about an inch long and a half inch deep.  Mom pushed the cut together and again used healing powder and Vaseline.  I don’t know how she bandaged it.  A neighbor boy who witnessed Mom’s skills told his mother that if he ever got cut he wanted to be taken to Mrs. Linenberger and not to the doctor where he would have to have stitches.

I remember one time I really played a dirty trick on Haddie.  The folks were gone, it was late afternoon and the clothes were still on the line.  The clothes had to be in the house before the folks got home.  I thought Haddie should get them and she thought I should.  Haddie had a cold sore in the center of her upper lip and her lip was quite swollen.  In order to get her to get the clothes I made up this story.  I told her that I knew of a kid who had a lip like hers and when she didn’t do what she was told her lips grew together in the center permanently and that the girl had to eat by putting food into her mouth through the little spaces on either side of her mouth.  She must have believed the story because she brought the clothes in.

In the spring of 1943, we moved to the Nutsch place north of Morrowville.  This was a beautiful place.  The house was a large two story brick house.  Things seemed to be getting better for the folks, they began to have a little social life.  I remember them playing cards with friends and neighbors, they attended socials at the country school, Low Center.  Mom was active in the Church Alter Society and helped with the church bazaars.  She also belonged to a sewing, or quilting, club.  I remember a bunch of ladies coming to the house to quilt.  I remember one time the folks hosted the club’s wiener roast.  I thought they were really important.  I remember we used to have family picnics at the Fairbury Park.  Mom would take a large roaster of fried chicken, potato salad, and a couple of angel food cakes and I am sure lemonade, plus other food dishes.

I finished the 7th and 8th grade at Low Center.  I remember one incident at this school; Betty was visiting school, I think.  As we were walking home, Betty couldn’t keep up with us due to the frozen ruts in the road.  I kept tugging at her to hurry until she tripped and fell.  She cried, but I didn’t know anything was wrong with her until we were almost home. By that time her nose and face was swollen badly and she had trouble breathing.  She had broken her nose and got an infection.  I was afraid she was going to die.  She suffered for many, many years because of this.

After I graduated from the 8th grade at age 14, I stayed home for two years before starting high school.  During those two years, I helped Mom at home and my married sisters and brothers when they needed me.

I painted the kitchen for Mom.  It was a huge kitchen with cupboards to the ceiling along one wall.  I painted the cupboards gray and Mom had me stipple the walls with a sponge using different colored paint.  She also had me rejuvenate the worn linoleum in the parlor.  I dipped large leaves in different colors of paint, placed them on the linoleum and when I lifted them I had a leaf design.  I varnished over the design to preserve it.

By Thanksgiving, I was in bed with pneumonia.  Everyone went to Issie’s for dinner except Haddie.  She had to stay home with me.  She must have been unhappy with me and bored because at one point she decided to remove my fingernail polish.  The odor from the nail polish remover made me so sick I thought I would die.  I guess Elmer thought so too, because when the family got home from Issie’s they checked on me and Elmer was concerned enough to suggest the folks take me to the doctor.  That is when I knew I was really sick.  However, the folks did not have to take me to the doctor.  Mom’s doctoring skills pulled me through.  Besides the pneumonia jacket she put on me, she also kept the palms of my hands and soles of my feet rubbed with turpentine and lard.

I remember Irene’s traumatic experience with Ludwig’s Angina as the result of having a wisdom tooth pulled.  The morning after she had the tooth pulled, she woke up looking like a toad.  She was swollen, full of infection, from her lower lip straight to her chest.  The folks had to get her to the doctor in Fairbury.  We had a terrible snow storm and the roads were blocked.  As I recall, they finally got her to Dr. Lynch’s Clinic by following the snow plow and by Elmer, Al and Daddy pushing the car when it got stuck in the snow.  When the folks got back home, Daddy called the doctor only to find out that he had already operated--it was an emergency.  Her recovery was painful to watch, she couldn’t open her mouth, she had drain tubes coming out of her lower jaw and safety pins in her mouth to keep the tubes in place.  Her tongue membrane was cut, which did not allow her to get her tongue over her bottom lip.  I hop Al, Elmer and Irene tell this story from their experience.

I can remember very vividly when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  It was Sunday, December 7, 1941.  Daddy was listening to Kate Smith on the radio when President F. D. Roosevelt interrupted with the news.  I was at the dining room table drawing a pattern to embroidery on some pillow cases.  Omer was the first of the boys to be drafted.  Al was married, but he too was drafted when Mary was a baby.  Elmer was also drafted.

Al and Josephine lived across the road from us when Mary was born.  I was to help Josephine with the baby when she came home from the hospital.  It was nothing new for me to help with caring for my nieces and nephews, but now I was in charge.  I think I flunked the course.  Mary had colic, she cried and cried and I couldn’t settle her down when finally Josephine, still in bed, had me bring her an eye dropper, and a bottle of whiskey, or wine.  I was horrified when she gave this new born a couple drops of liquor.  I was just as surprised when that did the trick and Mary slept like “a baby”.

In the summer Mom farmed us girls out to the older married kids.  I usually helped Frances, Haddie went to Issie and Agnes to Victor’s place.

This one time I remember, (my second year and Haddie’s first year out of grade school), Haddie was sent to Frances to help her get settle after moving.  I was sent to help Issie because she was expecting Larry, her third child.  I had never been present at child birth, but I didn’t worry because Angela, Ben’s sister, was to be there too.  A day or two after I arrived, Robert came home from school with scarlet fever, then the next day or so Betty Ann got sick with it.  The county doctor quarantined the entire household for 3 weeks.  We couldn’t leave.  Ben couldn’t even sell his mild and cream because of this contagious disease.  Dr. LeMaster delivered Larry at home into the scarlet fever environment.  Angela also came down with scarlet fever when Larry was just a few days old.

During this time Mom was very sick at home.  The doctor suspected internal scarlet fever.  The four “little ones” were in school and Dad needed me at home.  As I remember it, Haddie was to help me fumigate on Saturday at the end of the quarantine.  Then I was to go home on Sunday and Haddie would stay on to help Issie.  Well, Sunday morning came and Haddie woke up with scarlet fever.  Daddy took me home on Sunday so I wouldn’t get quarantined again.

I don’t know the exact time frame, but I think during the first week I was home, Jack, Agnes and Phil woke up with scarlet fever.  A friend of theirs had spent the night.  Dad and Elmer took her home before Dad contacted the doctor otherwise, she would have been quarantined with us.  To prevent Dad and Elmer from being quarantined with us they didn’t come back into the house, but I gave them their clothes, some bedding and some cooking and eating ware.  This way they could continue to sell the produce, because it wasn’t contaminated.  They used the car with a good radio for their living room and transportation.  The other car was converted into their bedroom.  They used the basement, which had an outside entrance, for their kitchen and eating area.  They had to wash the milk separator themselves.  That was the good part, for I hated to do that slimy job.

Haddie came home from Issie’s during the last week of our quarantine, as I remember.  It was more fun with her there, we could do things together.  Before that it seemed like the place was a hospital and I was the only nurse, cook and housekeeper.  Agnes and Phil were especially sick.  During the early part of their sickness, Dr. Bitzer came out daily, it seemed, and swabbed their throats.  Jack wasn’t as bad, and he was old enough to entertain himself.  Betty was perfectly well and bored.  Mom was still very sick, and about all I could do for her was fix her food and talk to her.  We were just counting the days, two I think, until our 3 weeks of quarantine would be up, when Betty came down with scarlet fever!  We could have wrung her neck, why couldn’t she have gotten sick when the other three did?  As if she had control!  So, we were quarantined for another three weeks, talk about Cabin Fever!  During this last three week quarantine, Omer was discharged from the Army.  He came to the house, but couldn’t come in.  Mom wanted to see him so bad because he had just been released from the Army hospital after a long hospitalization.  She pulled herself out of bed and with Haddie and my help walked the few steps to the porch door.  She leaned against the door jam and they visited through the screen.  It was so hard on both of them.

Finally, the last three weeks were up and it was time to fumigate.  That meant burn all hooks and paper, wash everything washable and air everything else in full sunlight.  Then, we scrubbed the walls and floors with a formaldehyde solution of this two-story five-bedroom house.  Thank goodness Omer came out and helped Haddie and me.  Through nine weeks of quarantine I never did have scarlet fever.

One day during that summer, 1943, the folks announced that they had a job for me at the Washington Hotel and that I could live right there with Mrs. Welch.  I was 16 years old, knew nothing about town living, and scared to death.  I had a downstairs room down the hall from Mrs. Welch and next to the dining room with a public bath next door.  I was to help cook, wash dishes, help make beds, and help with the laundry.  I got my room, meals and $10.00 a month.  I was so homesick and scared that by the second day, I left the hotel and walked home the 1½ miles in the heat of the day without telling anyone.  When I got home, tired and in tears, Dad called Mrs. Welch to let her know where I was.  The next day, Dad took me back to town and things got better.  I ended up being the dining room waitress, plus I also had some of the above duties.

In the fall of 1943, I started high school, age 16, and worked strictly for my board, room, and tips.  In the summer I got the $10.00 a month again.  I also got a log of hand-me-down clothes from Nadine, Mrs. Welch’s daughter.  My school schedule was arranged around my work.  I went to school one hour later, got out one hour earlier than the other kids and had two hours for lunch.  Before school I cooked and served breakfast and got the dining room ready for lunch.  We used cloth table cloths and cloth napkins which I folded into fans.  It took two hours at noon to serve, clean up the dining room and eat my own lunch, shopped for groceries, finished getting the dining room set up, especially if we had a party, and sometimes started cooking.  Louise Stoker was the main cook and lived in the country.  Many times after the dining room and kitchen were closed I would mangle sheets before I could begin doing my studying.  The dining room closed at 7:00 p.m. and my last customer always was Harry Young, a deaf mute, who worked at Holloway Hardware Store.  When I could I would eat supper with him.  We sat at the counter and visited by writing notes and making motions.  This was a special time for me.

As the year progressed, I was given more responsibility.  I rented rooms and sold bus tickets, the hotel was the bus stop.  By the time I was a sophomore, Mrs. Welch took trips out of town on weekends or holidays and I was left alone and in charge of everything.

As a high school junior, I tried out and was selected for the lead role in the class play.  This was the first time I participated in any extra curricular activity, I didn’t even date yet.  Play practice was at night and sometimes when I had to serve a party in the dining room, it was difficult to make all the practices on time.  I guess all this stress and responsibility finally caught up with me and I became very ill.  Once with the croup, once blockage of the bowels and once with pneumonia.  That is when Dr. Gomel gave Mrs. Welch a good reaming out.  He said I needed to relax.  He instructed me to go outside when I first got up and scream and yell until I could feel my body relaxing.  He told Mrs. Welch to make sure there was time for me to attend all the home basketball games.  Then he told me he wanted me to scream and yell at those games until I felt I was making a fool of myself.  In my senior year I also had the lead role in the class play.

Haddie started high school the same time I did and was working and living in town.  On my 18th birthday, I believe, she had a party for me at Brown’s where she lived.  She invited five of her girlfriends and from then on they included me in their circle.

By the end of my junior year the hotel dining room quit serving meals and I was out of a job.  That is when I went to work at Bob King’s grocery store.  I rented a room from Mrs. Ella Stewart, she lived almost across the street from the Lahoughs.  I had regular work and school hours and had time to make a few friends and strengthen my friendship with Mary Alice Lahough and Herbie Darby especially.  I worked at King’s Grocery through the summer after high school graduation, then I started college in the fall.

With the help and encouragement of some very nice people, I won a scholarship to the University of Kansas. The two people who probably were the most instrumental in me going to college were Herb Darby, school superintendent and a business man from Kansas City, Mr. Cal Marrow, whom I met at the Hotel.  Mr. Marrow promised to put up an endowment for me at K.U. if I would apply for the scholarship.  I never used any of the endowment money, however.  I also had money I had saved, mostly from my tips.

I lived at Watkins Hall, a scholarship hall.  All the girls there had various household duties besides their kitchen responsibilities.  There were nine girls assigned to each kitchen where we cooked and ate together.  We planned all our menus by a budget, we bought our own groceries, then split the cost nine ways.  Each of us had to take turns cooking, serving and cleaning the kitchen.  I also worked at the Student Union.  The “Watkins girls” got to work the big special parties at the Union.  Pearl Kitsmiller, who was in charge of parties, always made sure that my friend Carolyn Miller, of Oberlin, KS, and I got first chance to work.  I only went to K.U. one year, but it was a memorable year.  In order to return to Watkins, one had to maintain a B+ average.  I ended the year with a B-.

I know Mom and Dad were proud of me because I was told that the time Mom had to be taken to K.C. by ambulance, they asked the drive, I believe Harry George, if he could show them where the university was because they had a daughter who had attended there.  Mr. George, I guess, drove through the campus and past Watkins Hall.

After completing the one year at K.U., I got a job in Lincoln, Nebraska, at Latches, a stationery store.  I rented a room in a home and ate all my meals in a restaurant.  Haddie was already living in Lincoln attending nursing school.  She was dating Al Smith.  He had a roommate they thought I should meet.  That is how I met John.  He and Al were attending the University of Nebraska.  About a year later, John and I got married.  John was already attending mortuary school in Kansas City, Kansas.  We were married September 17, 1949 in Lincoln.

Before I leave this family and get into my married life story, I want to share some memories of things that are very nostalgic of my childhood.  Such as the things the folks did to provide for our needs and pleasures.  I remember baking bread every few days.  Mom used a “starter” which was mixed in the evening, then the bread was finished and baked the next day.  Oh, the tantalizing aroma!  I can still hear the butter churn paddles slap the cream as it turned into butter.  I always remember Daddy churning the butter with the square butter churn between his legs while sitting and listening to the radio.

Canning and pickling and making jelly was a busy time at our house.  Mom canned anything that grew, especially vegetables.  I remember at the Nutch place she even pickled radish seed pods.  I guess she couldn’t throw anything away.  She always made some type of sweet pickles and my favorite, summer dills in a big crock.  I used to tell Mom I wished they made perfume that smelled like dill, I liked it so much.

Our main source of meat was chicken and pork, still my favorite.  I remember Mom couldn’t kill a chicken, so we all had to learn to do it in case Daddy or the “big” boys weren’t available.  When Daddy butchered a hog, Mom would go into her bedroom, shut the door and windows and read, because she couldn’t stand to hear the hog squeal.  I can remember the folks making pork sausage.  I can still hear the grinding sound of fresh meat.  They also made lard, cheese and liverwurst.  They preserved the meat by curing it with smoke salt, putting it in salt brine or frying it down in lard, it was usually stored in crocks in the cellar.

Mom also made her own cottage cheese and hard cheese like longhorn.  I never liked milk or even the smell of it, so this was not my favorite thing.

I guess one of my very special memories is how the folks handled Christmas.  I think they deserved an academy award.  We always put up a little table size tree.  First an artificial one, then later a small cedar tree that Dad cut from the pasture.  This was done on Christmas Eve day.  After supper on Christmas Eve, Dad and we kids would go into the living room in anticipation of the arrival of Santa.  Mom always went to their bedroom to “change her dress”.  That sounded reasonable to us kids.  Periodically she came into the living room.  On one of those occasions we lit the candles on the trees, on others she might say, “I better check to see if the bedroom window is open enough for Santa to get in.”  Mom and Dad always had some comment to make about Santa’s arrival whenever Mom entered the living room.  At one point, Daddy would say to us kids, “We better go see if Santa has arrived”.  He would open the bedroom door a little, let one of us peek in and then report to the rest of the kids, “No, he hadn’t come yet”.  We had no electricity so the bedroom was quite dark, only light from a lamp from the adjoining room.  After several trips to the bedroom and no Santa, Mom would usually say, “I better go check and see if everything is ready for Santa.”  After that last check by Mom, Dad would recruit another apprehensive, but excited, kid and say, “We better take a lamp this time so we can really see.”  Sure enough, Santa had arrived and the announcement could clearly be heard by the rest of the kids in the living room.  The folks’ bed was covered with gifts for all, none were wrapped or tagged.  Santa also brought our Christmas candy, apples, oranges, peanuts and mixed nuts, in the shell, and left them on the bedroom floor in bowls.

When I got older, I learned how the folks pulled out this performance, maybe I was the only one so naive as not to catch on.  Mom said she and Dad had signals.  She had all the things in their closet, so when she went into the bedroom to change she only changed her apron.  She then started putting things on the bed.  In order to not raise suspicion she came into the living room periodically.  Dad knew as long as she had that apron on she wasn’t ready.  Every time she left the bedroom, she put a bedspread over the gifts so when the little ones would check for Santa, they couldn’t see anything.  When she had everything ready, she left the top bedspread off and came into the living room without the apron.  Dad knew then it was time to take a lamp because the gifts would be there.  Mom said even when things didn’t go as planned, they were able to communicate without the kids catching on.  Such was the time when the 100# sack of peanuts were placed outside their bedroom window.  When she got ready to reach through the window to get a bowl of peanuts, she couldn’t find them.  This time she asked Dad to help her open the window.  They both went into the bedroom, between the two of them they got to the peanuts.  I understood that the goat knocked the sack over and was eating the peanuts.

Now back to 1949.  After John and my two-day honeymoon to Omaha, it was time for John to get back to Mortuary School in Kansas City.  John’s dad drove us down, unloaded our wedding gifts, looked around at the “apartment” and said, “I am glad you are the bride and not me.”  You see, the apartment was a third floor one room place with the bathroom on the second floor.

In October, less than a month after we were married I got sick and had an appendectomy.  At Christmas time, John wanted to go home, so we each sold a pint of blood for train fare.  The day after we arrived in Friend, Nebraska (Christmas Day) I became deathly ill.  I was taken to Lincoln and had two feet of gangrenous bowel resected.  I guess I had developed adhesions, a blood clot after the appendectomy. 

After Christmas break, John went back to Kansas City and I stayed with his folds for a couple of weeks until I was strong enough to take the train back to Kansas City.  When I got back I discovered I no longer had a job.  I had worked in the statistical department of a bank in downtown Kansas City for only about a month before going home for Christmas.

I managed to find a part-time job for an eccentric judge--this time in Kansas City, Kansas where we lived.  I didn’t know what I was working on when I started, but on my last day the judge handed me a printed legal brief and said, “This is what you have been typing.”

After John’s graduation in March 1950, we moved to Friend and lived with his folks until John found a job.  He found work at Kremer’s Mortuary in Omaha.  I worked in the business office of a cleaning establishment.  After a few months we moved to Valley, Nebraska, where John worked for Charles Swanson Mortuary.  Our next move was back to Omaha; John worked for John A. Gentlemen Mortuary and I worked for Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company.  After about a year we moved to Kearney, Nebraska.  John worked for Nielson Mortuary and I went to work for Doctors Wilcox and Richards.  We moved five times in three years, but we weren’t through moving yet.

While we lived in Kearney, John’s dad had a nervous breakdown.  His dad wanted John to move to Friend and help him.  In April, 1953, we moved to Friend and formed a business partnership with his folks.  We bought and remodeled a house acreoss the street from the Mortuary on Maple Street.  We also opened and operated a children’s clothing store--The Little Friends Shop--we carried size from heaven to seven.

Like most young couples we wanted a family.  While we lived in Kearney, we went through extensive examinations and tests.  I was told I had an infantile uterus and it was doubtful that I could get pregnant, and if I did it might be during my menopausal years.  The doctor suggested we might want to adopt a baby and referred us to Child Savings Institute in Omaha.  We made application almost immediately, but the agency didn’t work on our application until we had been married 5 years, which was a couple of months in the future.  When the process started we did the things necessary to be approved as adoptive parents.  We joined a church, we had a cross section of people write character reference letters for us, and we had a case worker visit in our home a couple of times.  Each time the case worker left us wandering if we qualified or not.  We must have passed the test because on November 19 or 20, 1955, we were notified by Child Savings Institute that they had a 4-month-old baby boy for us.  We were so excited!  On November 22, 1955, we went to Omaha to meet and pick up our baby--we decided to name him Norman Lee.  We told John’s family that we were going to Omaha on business, but no details--this was to be our special joy.  I will never forget Norm’s big smile when the lady brought him to the office to meet us.  They dressed him in the clothes we brought for him, told us which shots he had received, and gave us his formula recipe and feeding schedule.  When the lady handed him to me, I said, “Is he really ours?  Can we take him home?”  His first home was the house in Friend on Maple St.  We were so happy!  Norm was a good baby, even the case worker agreed that we had the “cream of the crop”.  She called on us a couple of times that first year.  By state law, (or the agency’s rules), we had to wait a year before we could legally adopt him.

In June of 1959 we moved to Superior, Nebraska, where we had bought a mortuary.  By mid-November 1959, John had what we thought was a bad cold and cough that he was unable to get rid fo.  He kept getting worse instead of better, so he finally went to an ear, nose and throat specialist in Hastings.  After six to eight weeks of no relief, John demanded they do some blood tests.  When the doctors got the results of the test, they immediately made arrangements for him to check into St. Mary’s hospital at Mayos in Rochester, Minnesota.  By this time, he was very weak, his coughing was uncontrollable, he had trouble swallowing, he had lost a lot of weight and almost lost his voice.  Betty and Jim Burnett lived in Rochester, so Norm and I stayed with them while John was in the hospital.  They also were my transportation to and from the hospital.  They were my strength.  John was finally diagnosed as having Tuberculosis.  After about a month in Rochester he was transferred to the T.B. Sanatorium in Kearney, Nebraska, in February, 1960.  Norm and I went back to Superior with the intentions of me running the business. But, by March, 1960, I had to sell the business because the doctors said the only way John would get well was for him to have nothing to worry about and to have his family near.  The original owner of the mortuary, bought (or stole) back the business.  They finally agreed to pay me $250.00, which was just enough to move me to Kearney and pay for two weeks rent on a one bedroom apartment.

Through John’s cousin, Marian and her husband, who lived in Kearney, I got a job with Farar Realty, found a full-time babysitter for Norm and learned to drive.  I was allowed to visit John every evening, but Norm could only visit him on Sunday morning in the chapel.

John’s first outing was to come home for a couple of hours for Norm’s 5th birthday party on July 21, 1960.  As John got stronger, he was allowed to come home more frequently and for a longer duration, until he got to spend a day and night at home.  He was released from the Sanatorium at the end of November, 1960.  Norm had started Kindergarten in September, 1960.

By this time I had to find another job, because Farar was in trouble with the law--he was spending escrow money.  I was lucky to get back on with Doctors Wilcox, Richards and Gester as an aide.

John started classes at Kearney State Teachers’ College in January, 1961, and worked part-time selling nursery stock for Sherman Nursery.  In October, 1962, I found out I was pregnant.  In December, 1962, John earned his B.A. degree and had a job teaching at the Boy’s Training School-a school for delinquent boys.  Things were beginning to go great, then at my 8th month of pregnancy, there was a problem.  I spent about two weeks on my back in the hospital.  This wasn’t enough to save the baby.  He died intrauterine and a day later, on June 4, 1963, I delivered my dead baby.  This was devastating.  The world crashed in around all three of us.  I don’t know if Norm ever really recovered from that experience.  I know it took me a long time for me to handle it.  Thank God we had Norm.

We continued with our plans and moved to Holbrook, Arizona in August, 1963.  John had a teaching contract and I was just a mom and housewife (my favorite job) until Norm graduated from the 8th grade in 1968.

That summer we sold our house and moved to the Sundown Motel, which I managed until September, 1970.  Norm was a junior in High School when we moved into the house we are now living.  John continued teaching and I went to work for Dr. Davenport, a dentist, as his receptionist in 1971.  I worked there for four years after which I went to work for the Holbrook Hospital as an insurance billing clerk.  I stayed there until the hospital closed temporarily in November, 1984, with the exception of about a year when I worked as Dr. Olivares’ receptionist.

After the hospital closed and I was unemployed, but yet too young to retire, I worked part time as a librarian’s aide at an elementary school.  I worked there until John and I both retired in the spring of 1989.

Norm graduated from high school in 1973, attended and graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.  He attended and graduated from the University of Nebraska Law School in 1982 and moved back to Phoenix, Arizona.  He has worked for the Arizona House of Representatives uninterrupted for 12 years and periodically four years prior to that.  Presently he is the Chief Clerk of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Norm married Kathy Stofford in November 1978, they have two children.  Sara, born May 19, 1980 and Emily, born July 11, 1987.  They live in Phoenix, Arizona.

By Edna “Eddie” Linenberger Moore--1994