Mabel Faris Walker @ 2005 Reunion.
Mabel Faris Walker @ 2005 Reunion.
Dear Relatives:
     Lois Ann (Harness) asked me to write this for the next (2010) reunion book.

     To start with, I'll tell you about some things that took place during the depression days that many of you didn't live through.

     My Freshman year in high school in Moccasin was spent with Principal & wife and 2 girls.  I baby sat the girls whenever necessary.

     During my Sophomore and Junior years, sister Lois and I batched in a little house in Moccasin.  Don't think I ever knew how much Dad paid for rent for us.  It had a small kitchen, front room - bedroom and I think it was to have been a closet but was big enough for a folding cot.  Had a path to the toilet and running water when we carried it to the house.  The Junior year we did have a neighbor girl living with us so needed the cot.  Took turns sleeping in there. 

     On a weekend at home we baked bread, made cake or cookies & took vegetables we raised in the garden for use during the week.  Also washed clothes as we didn't have enuf clothes for the next week if we didn't.  Didn't have clothes like we do now!  There were some Fridays we walked to the house even tho we knew there was no food for dinner.  Don't think we ever told the folks we had eaten all our food.  We didn't waste food - saved every scrap!

     Dad usually took us on Monday mornings but sometimes on Sunday pm if weather was bad.  Dad gave me a quarter to be spent if necessary.  Some weeks we didn't spend it, but if we didn't we didn't get another quarter!  Money was scarce but we never knew we were poor as everyone else was in the same boat.

     Ralph & I were married in September of 1935. That year's crop was poor due to the lack of rain.  We knew we had to go somewhere to earn some money.  He had an aunt and uncle that needed help in Greeley, Colorado so we drove there just before Thanksgiving.

     We did live in one room of his Uncle's house so didn't have to pay rent.  We had a cookstove, folding table, bed and 2 folding chairs.  My cupboard was 3 apple boxes piled on the sides of each other.  Not much room for moving around.

     Ralph started working the day after we got there up in what they called the tipple - dumping coal in the trucks as they needed it.  He went to work at 6 am with lunch and usually got home by 6 pm, but occasionally it would be much later.  By Saturday night we got a check for $16.00.  I helped the Aunt take orders for coal during the day.  Who would work for $16.00 a week now?  Some make that in an hour and still go in debt.  We returned to Montana the last of March with more money than we went there with.  Those good old Depression years!

     Our first home after returning was a 4 room house on land we rented.  One room had some wheat in it and another had barley so we shut them off and painted the 2 rooms that were left.  Share our home with mice!  Never did like them.  Did sell off the wheat & barley so we cleaned up those rooms.  We lived there till the fall of 1942 when we bought 160 acres on the bench.

     We didn't get electric lights until 1946 when the R.E.A. made it possible.  Still carried water in and out.  This house had 5 rooms, but only 2 bedrooms.

     That fall Bob & Don came to help us harvest and brot Mom & Dad with them from Polson.  Dad was sick & Mom couldn't care for him alone.  With help from  relatives in the Falls who were good enuf to help us fix up a house for the folks.  Had moved in a governament grain bin that we planned to make into a garage but ended up a home.  The folks lived there until the spring of 1948 when Dad needed more Doctor's care, so they came to the Falls & took turns living with the sons or daughters that lived here.  Dad passed away in May of 1948 so Mom moved back to Polson for awhile where Bob lived then.  Sh did come backt to the Falls as her health declined.  She passed away in January of 1953.

     Continued living in the 5 room house with 7 children when we built a new house on the same property the summer of 1955.  It was December of 1957 when we got water that ran in & out without carrying it.

     We were married for 55 years & 3 months.  Enjoyed all the many visits of relatives whe they came to see us.

     Love to all, Mabel

Mable proudly presents her newest addition at 2005 Reunion!
Mable proudly presents her newest addition at 2005 Reunion!