Lois Faris Tucker at the 2005 Reunion
Lois Faris Tucker at the 2005 Reunion
Musings and memories of Lois Faris Tucker
(as printed in 1995 Family Reunion Book)

Zelma, Ruth, Dora and Roy were all gone from home, by the time that I can remember.  I just barely remember Calvin leaving and going to White Sulphur Springs to work on a cattle ranch.

My first three years in grade school were at the country one-room school.  All eight grades with one teacher.  Perhaps fifteen to eighteen students.  The school was a one-room building and right next door was another smaller building where the teacher lived.  The school was built on land that Dad donated; one acre in the south-east corner of a forty acre section that Dad farmed.  It was located one-half mile west of our farm home.  I don't know how many years that school was held there, nor do I know what happened to the buildins after school was no longer held there.  Staring fourth grade, we were bused to Benchland.  The large (?) brick building had grades one thru eigh, divided into two rooms.  What a big school with 50-60 kids.  We had an indoor play room and separate library.  Right uptown. 

     High school-what fun!!!  Dad rented a little cabin in Moccasin, where Mabel and me lived during the week.  This was my first time away from daily parental care.  My wings were unclipped and I had a blast chumming around with the town kids.  I remember one Hal-loween when we were playing tricks on one another.  Some of the guys painted the seats of our two hole-er with tar.  Guess who went out and sat down.  You guessed and Mabel got the job of cleaning me up with kerosine.  From then on I was known as the Tar Baby.  I never see Norman Walker that he doesn't remind me.  Did I get even with them?? Here was my revenge:  We had a party and served chocolate cake that had been laced with X*LAX.  We managed a lot of good times and didn't get into any real trouble.  The last two years a bus came past the house so I was back home.

Don was a detective -- he knew the tire tracks of every car in the area; so he always knew who I left with and who brought me home.  Yes, not always the same car and or boy or girl friend.  I still correspond with two of the girls that I went to school with.  I also correspond with Cecile Carleton who was the wife of the principal L.J. Carleton.  He always wrote until his death in 1987.

Summers as a child were spent hearding cows, tending gardens and pitching hay.  We seldom missed going to Sunday school and church the year around.  This was always a day of rest.  Dad had an automobile from the time I can remember; but when the snow started to stay on the gound, the car was put up on blocks to keep the weight off the tires.  Then we traveled by hors and buggy or wagon and if there was enough snow we went by sleigh.  Dad had sleigh bells and it was always a treet when he used them.

We manufactured our own recreation; ante-over, kick the can, tag and hide and seek. We girls had paper dolls cut from catalogs that we played with hours on end.  We made wagons from match boxes and wooden cigar boxes.  We borrowed books from any that would loan them.

We helped Mom with ironing, cleaning house, baking - oh, that home made bread, canning and sewing.  I've never been good with the sewing, unless it was the handwork.  We pieced quilts, and many a winter the quilting frames were set up in the front room.  I preferred the outdoor work so I helped Dad with chores, milking, feeding chickens, cleaning barns, pitching hay and chopping ice from the animals drinking tank.  Usually we had a cople of picnics somewhere up the Judith River toward Yogo Canyon.  End of year school picnic and the Sunday School picnic.  Lots of food, home made ice cream, and fried chicken.  We ran races and played ball and had a good time.  The State Experiment Station picnic was another highlite.  People from all over the county came and brought their prize vegetables and grains and cattle to show.  There were traveling show concessions set up with merry-go-rounds and ferris wheels.  More ball games and a dance in the evening.  Dancing was the most consistant entertainment.  School dances in Moore, Hobson, Windham and Moccasin most eery week; and in the summer we danced down on Willow Creek in the open air pavillion. What fun!!!!!

In my younger years, I remember Mom reading to us in the evening and on cold Sunday afternoons.  We made taffy and pulled it, popped corn and sometimes had fudge.  Mom and Dad were real easy going people.  Hard workers but easy to be around.  Dad was mostly soft spoken, but he expected us to listen, and if he told us to do something he expected us to do it.  Mom was much the same, she didn't get mad, she got vexed.  Now look that up in the dictionary.  Sometimes we had a radio, but used it more for news than enertainment.  Dad played the mouth harp in the evening; songs like Red Wing, the Prisoners Song, Oh Them Golden Slippers, Turkey in the Straw.  The Old Rugged Cross and What a Friend We Have in Jesus were favorite hymns. Often on Sundays we had neighbors come for dinner after church and at other times we went their homes.  The Zimmers', the Barkoffs', and the Zimmermans' I remember particularly.

Butchering was a busy and fun time.  Usually neighbors helped each other.  We always butchered several hogs and at least one beef each year in Oct. or Nov.  Dad cured all the hams and bacon slabs, ground and seasoned the sausage.  Mom canned meat and fried down the sausage and kept it in 20 gallon crocks.  In the fall, trucks came around to each farm home and sold fruit.  The folks always bought a lot and we had all we could eat fresh and then they canned so we could have canned fruit the rest of the Yr.  Our cellar was always well stocked as long as I can remember.  We raised our own turkeys and chickens.  We sold most of the turkeys and that was probably where our Christmas money came from.  We always had at least one Christmas gift and a bag of hard candy.  Grain crops were sold and or exchanged for flour, corn meal, and oatmeal.  We bought sugar by the 100#, raisins by the 25#, and honey in 5 gallon cans, 120# at a time.

The Watkins man came around and we bought spices, vanilla and cow salve from him.  The Fuller brush man came and was welcomed, too.  Mom played games and read to us.  Dad whittled whistles, and tops, and sharpened pencils for us.  Dad usually did the churning; he cut pieces for Mom's quilts and tore strips to make rag rugs.  These were made from old coats, mens trousers that were not fit to wear.

We saved brown paper sacks, and all the string that was tied around packages.  Most things sold at the grocery store were sold in bulk and the grocer weighed out what ever amount that you wanted; candy, rice, brown sugar, tapioca, prunes and etc.  Yardage, thread and patterns were all sold at the same store.  Everything wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.  We rolled the string into balls to be used again.   That's why this generation is known as the string savers.  We save everything and most of us still doing it.  We might need it tomorrow; probably can't find it -- but we have it... somewhere.

Mom was a member of the Methodist Ladies Aid Society.  It was a social society and they did some missionary work.  There were lots of box socials, and pie socials.  We attended and took part in community socials.  Dad liked to square dance but Mom never danced.  However, she would attend and sit along the side and visit while Dad danced.  Moma and me rode a train to Indiana at Easter time the spring after Bob was born.  This was the only time that I ever remember Mom getting away from the farm.  Dad made a couple of trips east via cattle car.  I suppose that he got his fare free for watching after the cattle being shipped to the Chicago stock yards.  They visited with relatives in Indiana on these trips.

I don't remember the depression as such.  We never had money -- but no one I knew had any either!  We were always warm and dry, well fed and loved.  When I broke my arm was the only time I remember seeing a doctor. 

Life for the folks must have been quite difficult, but I wasn't aware of it.  Life was so much slower pace than now. We took time to smell the flowers.  You did whatever you could and the rest waited until tomorrow.

The folks never had electricity or a telephone as long I was home.  The only running water was what we ran from the pump to the house.  We bathed in a wash tub and or a wash basin and heated all water with the coal stove.

A generation of string savers
A generation of string savers