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Friday, March 18, 2011


Saturday, February 19, 2011

One Small Step For Man - Technology - Genea bloggers

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 19, 2011 through Friday, February 25, 2011.
Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 8: Technology.
What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid

Sissy writes:
I would say our parents and grandparents got the best improvements and technology. Milk in cartons from glass bottles, homemade bread to sliced bread in the store. Plowing with horses to tractors. Buggies to Cars. Air balloons to airplanes.

Air planes to space crafts flying to the moon.

I know technology has advanced so much more past space craft flying to the moon. But still the event of the moon walk was extra special for me to observe on television through their relay as the walk happened.

"On July 20 (July 21 GMT), 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. As he stepped onto the Moon's surface, in the Sea of Tranquility, Armstrong uttered the now-famous words: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."
1969 was a year after my graduation. I was home for the summer from college. It happened that I had to babysit that day, I was determined not to miss it. I saw it alone as I sat on the Reeds couch. I was on edge wondering if monsters would jump out and devour them, while I watched. It was such a relief. Such a feeling of pride with that relief, rushed over me to see such a feat accomplished.
It's hard to believe some people thought it was a staged event, but then some people believed Elvis, JFK and probably Michel Jackson, and Marlyn Manroe lived and were not dead. Even with technology testimonial, we have to use more technology to prove to sceptics. That is the way of the world
I am not a huge fan of science fiction, though I enjoyed several Old films like Buck Rodgers, Star Wars. I suppose I would like more of them, but I don't care to be scared by some horrible beast, who might evade my dreams some night. I do like to hear of the advance and what is going on as far as advancement of our space technology. As each dream becomes explored and realized it just adds to my faith in god and my fellow man and the possibility of human survival.

Dreams and Possibilites have to be remain open. As well as man kinds minds. Education in the highest degree must remain intact. Trust in the good and all hopefully will prevail with hard work at it all.

Yes, I agree with Sissy it is fantastic as a baby boomer to see many other events which came after it.

Sources : For the art :

Free clip Arts:
The Graphics Fairy;
Magic Moonlight Free Images;
The Vintage Moth;
Carol Anne's Boutique

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Favorites of the toy - Anything for Horse play- Genea Bloggers week 7

Week 7: Toys. What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (


I know times were hard, money was tight, The children had a few gifts that birthdays and Christmas brought them for their entertainment. If not they devised their own.

Sissy writes,

As far as playing with guests, most of you know that what you have is fine for one, not necessarily fine for two or three or a bunch of cousins of all ages. Sometimes you just can't play with toys cause of that factor, and you resort to games, including many kinds of board games.

More than likely an object most often thought of for toy play I would want to share when a girl guests came over to visit; I would say would be my doll. I had some kind of soft plastic doll, less than a foot long. I played with her with my accessories. I had the black doll and some more older shabbier dolls. I had doll furniture like my table and chairs, rocker, my dishes, my big doll bed, a buggy, my little cupboard. Any thing made of wood had been made by my grandfather. Except for the wood doll house resembling our new Meyer house and the other table given to us by my Grandmother Josie. [More on playing with dolls another time.]

A lot of my playmates, which were few, were boys or girls who were 'tom boys', who had real horses at home, so playing house with dolls was not their cup of tea. On my moms side of the family, the girls were usually outnumbered at least five to one and much younger than the others.. [In fact it runs in both families] So boys ways and ideas of playing were usually the way we went, unless we chose to segregate ourselves. You would think girl kind of play with another would be what we would be dying to do, since we were the only girls [similar in age ] in each of our familes. But that was not often the case.

Amy, I wonder at what you mean by toy? Winter or glorious Summer? .
If'Winter, I would select a sled, I would say our round shiny saucer sled. which I have discussed before. Not one seen that often today.

Horse play
[Spring and Summer toys ] - If it can be a swing, I would say our Horse swing and tire swing contributed to our favorite pass times. Hooked up just right you could get two people on it. I am amazed the creative things people can do with an old tire swing. I have seen crafted horses from them. I wish we had known how to make them then.

Or maybe mom and dad did. We were given a horse swing for Christmas that the boys saw at the hardware store. I suppose it was mostly for Steve. However, as fun as it was mounted in the basement to ride as hard, fast and high as he wanted by pumping with his arms by pushing a bar at the head, and alternating with a push with your feet, it could get old after awhile. Would I sound ungrateful, if I said it limited our play by the fact that it had a definite shape and a horse head. However, it was a favorite, especially in it's first years in our younger years. At one stage, it was moved outside. I think eventually it went to Steve's home for his boys. I haven't seen it much around, though I have seen it occasionally browsing. I am not sure if it's called a scouter swing. If I had the proper name, I am sure I would find it online for sure at ebay.

That horse was outside hanging from the mulberry tree for a long time. It was alright in our imaginative play, if we brought ourselves to the guy on the horse.
We had plenty of side walk up by the house. When Steve wanted to he could use his stick horse with a stuffed fabric shaped head and gallop by the person on the swing. Soon enough with moms guidance, the rest of us would be galloping around on mop and broomstick horses . If there were not enough broom sticks to go around to cousins, I made it a thing to select several sticks with a bunch [ his head] at the top. When I was busy at other things, I kept my horse 'Silver' and guest horses in my coral in a designated place in the yard.

My horse sticks from woods not in the picture below.

Outside when I would ride my horse, I loved how my horse stick would go scraping or thumpy thump on the side walk as I galloped off. It made me think of the galloping that I would hear on the radio when Lone ranger and Tonto road their horses. If I was on the dirt, it would raise a little dust to throw off the posse. However, it did leave a trail to follow in case I needed help from the good guys. We followed
the golden rule with no arguments " that the good guy always won". We would decide ahead who was to be the good guy or the bad guy.

Of course the boys would come along with accessories like hats, boots, play money, kerchiefs and cap guns. I remember one year when Steve was asked what he wanted for a gift from Amanda, he said a sheriff's badge. I remember how happy I was for him to get one.

I had to scramble around to find my own stuff to blend in with the boys omitting the boots.
Mom was always just the person to help. Garden hat or old hat of someones, it didn't matter.

If you had a pretend horse in those days, the next logical thing was to have pretend guns, preferably in our case cap guns with lots of cap shooting in the good parts of your play. I found them delightful and was so sad I had none.
Steve rounded up an old broken gun for me, [what a sweety] and I could join in too in the cowboy and robbers games too, but it didn't shoot caps. So Mom showed me how to take a hammer or a rock, and hit the caps one spot at a time. I did enjoy it. But it didn't work so well while one was threateningly fiercely robbing banks. I had to weed to earn money for those caps. I think I even asked Santa for a cap gun of my own too. He had to ask me, if he heard right. And the old dude heard me right and gave me one. What fun we had with our imaginations taken from stories, the radio, and pictures of action with those guns, and our stick horse with a name.

I can't decide which toy was the favorite in our western horse play. To add to the decision difficulty was our stage coach, or get away wagon. Well okay my chariot for the faerie princesses, my dolls or the dogs, [cats just won't ride].

The red flier wagon is so multi purpose I think it should be the winner. I especially think so as an adult now who has had children. That wagon was a godsend for other things around the yard. While mom and dad were weeding, the littlest kid would come by with his wagon and pick the weeds and throw them by hand over the fence to the cows.

I mean a sturdy red metal wagon, Radio Flier
. You can push someone in it while they steer, or you can pull at least two others.

Sure we may have wandered away to established games, but time and time again, we probably started out with our props for horse play.

Is it done today. WE had no side walks while I was raising my kids, and a limited drive way with cars in it, which would be an influence. It's hard to say. Games and such has changed with the time. It depends on the upbringing, some boys gravitate to climbing trees, or practicing skills of sports, rather than sit and play with dump trucks and construction toys in a sand box. Then too gun play of all kinds is frowned on in our day.
Influenced by other mothers actions, I changed my mind and took the guns away. But they did experience cap guns but not to the extent we did. So maybe cops and robbers play is not encouraged. But if it's Ninja turtle and Transformers they see and know, they are going to play it. I remember seeing my children at times playing in such a imaginative way with hats,and vests, I couldn't tell you if they used any pretend guns, but they were really enjoying themselves creating with props they found all along the way in play.
You can't predict. Only be there to help.

Sissy, I think
there is so much structured activities and games in children's lives these days, It's hard to say. If money is tight, it may influence everything. It depends on the parents own lives and their own ideas and what they want to have their children achieve.

For more reading about stick Horses :

How to make stick horses. I wish I could have thought of unicorn when I was young!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A favorite toy - Dolls

Week 7: Toys. What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (


I know times were hard, money was tight, The children had a few props for play, and many special items for play from birthdays and christmas gifts that brought them many a fun pass time. I wonder what their favorite toy was?
But of course,We will have to consult Sissy.

Sissy writes:
I never had a Barbie doll. I had a regular plastic doll and a few others, that I spent many days of my young years playing and pretending with them as little girls do. But I think the toy I was most proud to own and took much of my time in the age before teen was the paper doll.

A paper doll is a stiffed paper image of a person in their under clothes and it stands in various ways depending on the construction. The fun part was the clothes and acessories that one placed on them by folding back the tabs at the tops and and at other, various places .

I was given a set of dolls with tons of clothes to play with by Mrs Albert Shelley, while visiting her with my mother one afternoon. Of course my mother protested the generous move, while I held my breath. But Mrs Shelley said her daughter had out grown them, and they were not going to keep them, so I got to bring them home.
Those paper dolls opened up a new world of self expression for me. It also moved me from child to preteen who does care what she wears.

Not the same, but I don't remember for sure.
I think the doll was fashioned after a movie star because she had such glamorous clothes. It could have been Elizabeth Taylor or Natalie Wood or some other dark haired well known star.

After that I began to notice that the dime stores and drug stores held some amazing collections of paper dolls and so my begging and wanting for more began. So my economical, creative mother as they can be you know, demonstrated how I could take a few pictures out of a catalog, glue a back on them, cut out stands so they could stand, and select clothes from the catalog for them.

On one of my birthdays, I remember receiving several small flat plastic ballerinas with a little circle stand and clothes to go on her. Do you remember those? They came from Aunt Amanda just like the ones of Mary's that I had admired. Since I morn to this day, the missed opportunity to attend ballet classes, I'd say I still have an affection towards that little figure who filled in for my loss. She was designed to bring out your creativity, and I did get lost in it for hours. In Photo below is a poor attempt to reproduce the shape and look.

I am sure there are others now in similar make up. Though the vinyl with self stick clothes was a great improvement.

There came a time when my city cousin brought another influence to my paper doll collection. It came about because She and her mother invited me to go to the movie staring Pat Boone in "April Love".

At the time, it was explained to us that Pat Boone was religious in his actions, thoughts and deeds, therefore a reliable person to view in movies. No matter, he was romantic and sweet enough for us.
I think it was my first introduction into romantic thinking. My cousin and I shared being his most romantic fan. He was a popular name in our play. Can you imagine my excitement to discover he came in paper doll form. [He also appeared in a few television shows.] I wanted him so bad! And I got him. I did. I received him for Christmas one year.

Item Description: Whitman no. 1968 ©1959 by Pat Boone. 10.25x12" thin cardboard folder has nice photo on front of Boone smiling along with art images of records and film reels while back cover has photo of him in art image of TV screen surrounded by musical notes. Interior features art of teenage boy and girl looking over a brick wall and set consists of a 7.5x10" thick cardboard sheet with two different punch-out dolls plus 11.5x16" long fold-out paper sheet with color outfits and accessories. Front cover has very minor color rub at lower right, otherwise Exc. Contents are unused and N. Mint/Mint. Nicely designed. [Mine was used.]

I was getting a little older by then and did read more, so the paper doll did not get as worn out as the others. He didn't have to have a Popsicle stick on his backside. I believe I presented my actress paper doll collection from Mrs Shelley to some little girl one day. I forget who, but I almost felt obligated to share the love. I kept my ballerina set and my Pat Boone and I am sure if I dig deep enough I could find them.

They exist in many forms of fantasy and beauty today. They have their place, even though I know Barbies have replaced by far the joy of paper dolls. I know many a mother and daughter created clothes for them.
Just as I did with my other dolls, for I was not given a Barbie.

I never really asked for one, either. I did notice my city cousin, Mary had one, too. But I guess I knew it was useless. Cause you know when Sylvia made up her mind to 'no', there was no going around that
decision. [Same for the hoola hoop]

As I got older, I guess I turned to what the library offered for free in the form of many kinds of books. When one reads, one can go anywhere any way, any time, if one can find the right book. To this day, I especially love the authors who took the time to tell you what the heroine was wearing. Books were always my special favorite thing for a pass time and they fueled my imagination in play.

As adult and mother, I was feeling pretty crafty one year after purchasing some pretty clothes for my daughter that
coordinated together, I made up a paper doll of my daughter, with clothes resembling her new ones and let her play with those. I am sure that those and the other paper doll she had through out her years were not her favorite, cause well, she had the opportunity to go along with the Barbie craze and a few other types that faded in and out that caught our fancy. We should have made up some others as friends to play with her paper doll, but I didn't think of it at the time.

We will see what I do for the children as a grandmother, when the days roll around.

My gosh there were so many kinds of paper dolls out there, if Sissy had only known. If she would have had Internet, I'm afraid she would have had a serious case of I wants and wishes. That Pat Boone was eighty six dollars, maybe you should consider selling it?

On internet there would have been downloads available too.
I have noticed some very pretty paper dolls being offered for download, that make me wish I were young again. I didn't try any to pass along to you today. Use your virus and malware scanner cautiously and enjoy them with your youngsters.

So what was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?
I think you can join in this like I did with thoughts of your own about your childhood toys.
You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

I can think of a ton other play things that developed at the Meyer household and this will do for today. Maybe I have jogged your memory of your favorite toy. I hope so, it was part of my intent.

Amy says your to have fun and that you can interpret the topics any way you wish, just as I did. Think of how glad you would be if you you knew what was the favorite toy of your own grandparents. Take the time to jog your own memories and provide a wonderful wealth of historical information for those who will come after us.
Give it a try. You can start here with a comment.

See you next week.

Other reading:
"There is nothing quite like the feeling of digging in a box of assorted papers and suddenly finding in one's hand an exact replica of a childhood toy. The years slip away with lightning speed, and such a find awakens childhood with all its simplicities and joys. If the collecting bug for paper dolls has not yet bitten you, it just may. It can be an inexpensive pastime that requires little storage space, or it can grow into a hobby as extensive as collecting antique dolls. And best of all, it is an activity you can share with children of today, teaching them manual dexterity, history, fashion and art while you have great fun together. Once you begin collecting paper dolls, they can become one of life's great passions.
-Betsy Mc Call

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Favorite Television shows. Stay tuned for more after a few words from our sponsor.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (
). Facebook groupIn recent years, interest in genealogy has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s great that so many people are researching their ancestors, but what about our own personal histories? Are we so busy recording the events of others that we forget to preserve our own? There will be 52 topics (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

You should have fun with this project. You might interpret the topics any way you wish. Suppose you had this type of information about your own ancestors: what a treasure chest it would be! Take the time to jog your own memory and provide a wonderful wealth of historical information for those who will come after us.

Here at Lewisville, we are just interpreting it differently to do the Meyer family at the Sunnyslope farm. I should do this exactly as said for my personal family and my self, but I am not read
to that, when if fits so good into the Meyer family era's story that should be told.

I feel I need to remind you that the Meyer family did not get a television until Sissy was about eleven or twelve years of age, which was about 1962 -3. Sylvia refused to let them have a rotary box nor any kind of Antennae on top of the house. She was afraid of house fires, lightning hitting it, etc. [ In those days it was a good reason to worry]
Luckily they lived near the Lewisville TV tower which brought in a clear signal from the CBS channel 12 KEYC in Mankato to their tv set with the rabbit ears. The tower wasn't in Lewisville, but it wasn't very far away from there.

But still the Meyer children saw other shows on other channels and the desire to view these at home was there.

Sometimes after a storm, they would accidentally notice other channels coming in pretty good. So then they would be motivated to try again.
Many memorable Schemes and plans and experiments were conducted to bring in other channels to view what other people were watching on other Channels. Like Bonanza; or Father knows Best; The Loretta Young show; Axels Tree House; the Mickey Mouse Club; Mighty Mouse cartoons.American Bandstand. Sometimes the methods worked slightly, and a skimpy time period, if it went well. Eventually they did get a little rotary box, but it was still nothing to brag about.

I might post something about some of the shows that they tried so hard to get. Each kid had their own desires, you know.

When Sissy moved away, it was probably a pleasure to have a different channel than CBS.

I hope to cover a few Posts on this TV topic, but they don't exactly fall under the exact question prompt as it reads.

Stay tuned for more after a few words from our sponsor.
A rootdigger

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tennessee Ernie Ford; Harry Belafonte; and Ferdy Borchert Won Me Over.

It is
Week 6 Already of the Genea Bloggers 52 weeks of Personal Genealogy and History! Radio and Television. The prompt question is :

What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

Oh gosh, - TV, my all time favorite necessity of the media, along with the Internet. How blessed are we?

I just at look how Sissy dives right into this with her unique interpretation of the subject and questions.

This Story hour is brought to you

a rootdigger.

Sissy writes:
This is a long story, but well worth it.
My special momental encounter of a television program at a very young age occurred with a large screen television set at the home of the relative to those Borcherts and Gollwitzers in Truman, who built our house and gave me the
nickname Sissy, and Sonny his.
In fact, these neighbors lived a mile north and was Sonnie's Godparents. So that means for every birthday in December he had, we saw Ferdy Borchert and his wife Cordelia. They were fellow members of our St Paul's Evangelical church in St James and old family friends of Grandpa and my dad.

Usually their older only child, Lucille was absent, so it was us kids and the grown ups. To my young eyes at the time Cordelia seemed to be so strictly seriously religious. Now as an adult looking back, I do recall the twinkle in her eyes, her smiles that I often missed, when she went along with Ferdy. Or you could say it was there as she reeled him back to the right path with a reminder, when he would get carried away with all his joking and teasing. She would be explaining his actions or apologizing for him. because he loved to put one over on you with his humor and teasing. I would have to say that night I was a perfect target for that humor as a naive young girl. And I could say after that night, I grew to love it and him enough to seek him out at church on Sundays.

After the birthday supper, we were turned out into the large rectangle shaped living room with the television on in clear view of everyone. I suppose it is considered a social 'no no' nowadays, but I think that it often occurred sooner or later, when we visited someone.

Now a word from our sponser.

This Sissy Story Hour is being brought to you

by a rootdigger.

Stay tuned and


will resume in a


In very olden days men retired to the smoking room, while the women did their own thing, and I like to think that the television viewing was the men's substitute for that smoking room. The television entertainment was an offer just as cigar, candy or a drink was an offering.

Sissie's Story Hour continues

I could take a guess that it was offered to us, because they knew we had none at home. It may also have been something for us kids to do. I think in this case, that Ferdy wanted to share the program and the music with us knowing full well what would be on at that time. The singers on that particular program often sang religious songs and it was kept in mind as something appropriate to have on. They all loved music. And they still could have conversation with each other.

As I had wandered around looking at things, occasionally doing something with Steve, I wasn't listening that closely to the TV until I heard-

"Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong"

and then I was trying harder to listen and liking what I heard-

"You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt

I liked how Tennessee Ernie Ford would belt out the catchy phrase ending-

"Saint Peter don't you call me '
cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store"

I was drawn to the singer and song and his show that the others were watching - Tennessee Ernie Ford's songs sometimes had been of the religious nature and those were were not like "Sixteen Ton" with "I owe my soul to the company store"

My Grandfather had been a miner, as they knew and I am sure he identified with the songs message. Grandpa also had been musical and had taken part in some music groups in his youth like Ferdy and his father did and at the time of this story was in the St. Pauls Ev. church choir, though I didn't know those things about their youth at that time.

I hadn't been listening to the men's conversations either, until the song ended. with his spectacular delivery of the end of the song.
Then I found myself listening to an enthusiastic discussion by Ferdy about Harry Belafonte and his marvelous singing, who was soon to sing. When he began to sing, I was struck, entranced, ignorant about this dark colored man singing a song on that gorgeous island, in native Island garb. The music was so different than I had ever heard. New to viewing television, too, I thought he lived on that Island in another area of the world. I was watching everything. He gave Some kind of deep native call and then it developed to.

"Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home"

And I listened to the rest of the song, with questions or comments of a childish nature.

A little later, some thought must have occurred to Ferdy about my interest and questions about Harry Belafonte.
So much so that later, when I began petting his short little black and brown haired dog, he said to me, that

"maybe I shouldn't, cause I might get my hand black."

Startled I stopped, as a child does in alert fashion. But still with trust, I had stopped and looked at my hands. Unsure. And from then on he thought I believed that the black of the fur would rub off. I am sure I actually knew it wouldn't, I had petted colored animals on the farm, and just knew it from blind experience it wouldn't, but no matter. As far as he was concerned, I had fallen into his joke at my young age.

His wife entered in to explain him, in the usual way she did. We had a little conversation about fur and skin color that did not rub off. From then on he enjoyed the memory of I, a little girl falling for his little joke. We went home after that.
[I was to remember this incident several times in my later years.]

We'll resume the story after some Quick words
from the sponsor:

From then on, I would listen to the radio and the station on the radio in the barn in hopes of hearing the song. My brother had told me that he had heard it sometimes on certain numbers of the station dial. when I had a chance, I would go down to the barn to hear the radio.
Dad always had on Polka's and those songs of the New Ulm station of the German Bohemian nature on his radio in the barn. I asked my father, if he had ever heard the song that Tennessee Ernie Fords had sung. So sometimes he would turn his dial, so we could hear other songs and often I did hear Tennessee singing. I began to play with the radio station dial in the house, usually with the old plastic looking radio in the basement for more of Tennessee Ernie Ford. That's when I heard the songs of his that I was beginning to love - ". I owe my soul to the company store. and "Mathilda. But most of all I discovered my most favorite to this day of all of his songs. This old house.

"Ain't gonna need this house no longer
Ain't gonna need this house no more
Ain't got time to fix the shingles
Ain't got time to fix the floor
Ain't got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the window pane
Ain't gonna need this house no longer
I'm a-gettin' ready to meet the saints."

Now Back to the story

Ferdy and Cordelia gave me a gift that day too. Mom of course protested. They gave me a white blouse. I certainly needed one like that. Cordelia explained that Ferdy thought siblings should get presents when other siblings got birthday presents. [ I have remembered that idea myself for a long time. I tried it with my own children.]

We got Christmas presents too from them that year. I couldn't tell you what Sonny got, but I can tell you that when I opened the box and rolled back the tissue paper and saw what the Borcherts had given me; I knew with instant understanding why. He did explain it himself, though, why he had given me a twelve inch black doll. He explained to mom that he just had to do that, since he had teased me so about black fur and brown skin color joke. He even asked me, if I understood why I got the brown skinned doll, and if I liked it. I said I liked it. And I liked the attention from this man with the twinkles in his eyes. Even if it wasn't what I might have wanted, he said he was pleased he gave it to me. I knew or felt even at my young age with out his words, that there was more to this than just the joke. Words cannot express why I liked my gift of that doll. For some reason his gift was more than it was.

There are times now as I think about that, I wonder what prompted all that? What was behind it for him. Was there more to this than just a man of faith, and fun, who liked to play Jokes on children.?

We'll be Back again after a word from our

See I did find Harry Belafonte's songs and it thrills me to see all the words.
The song famously sung by Harry Belafonte The Banana song.**[ 1956]

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home

"Work all night on a drink of rum Daylight come and me wan' go home .........Day, me say day, me say day, me say day....ay-ay-o Daylight come and me wan' go home

Back to our final chapter

I told you my story was worth it. Advertisements, commercials and all. I am glad you didn't change the channel. Oh yes that's right we're a one channel blog. I have some favorite shows coming up that I'd like to remind you all about.

Be sure and stay tuned for the Family and
with Pizza;
Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda;
Mighty Mouse and the Mouse hater;
All brought to you by arootdigger


Yes, Sissy we are a one channel Blog. Now if we could only be a commercial free story hour!

Belafonte's songs became popular with the children. It was especially known to those who watched the Muppets. It sure brings back the memories. I want to sing for some reason.

So What do you think about Sissie"s story hour, should it stay a few more posts?

What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

Source for more of Bellafonte :
Island in the sun; Get an ugly girl to marry you;

Dayo Banana song. first one I found with sound. not any particular reason for it, I am not responsible for your visit there. As far as I know it's okay.

Tennessee Ernie Ford Sources :

Note : Editing will occur.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fences mean the good greener pasture is on the other side.

Sissy Writes:

I would like to share the story about berry picking in the white/purple berried Mulberry tree in the back yard at the Meyer farm. It's branches at various times held our tire swing, our board swing and our horse swing; and our childhood fun. It grew up over the sidewalk to shade Grandpa's pink rose bush next to the gate that stood left at the outer drip line of the mulberry tree..

Even though it was the perfect size for easy climbing like an apple or maple tree I didn't manage all that well, until Steve made and nailed in some boards along the trunk to make a ladder base. Once up to the branches it was a good go for me. Everyone knew I had issues when I got too high like a cat in a tree and that is another story for another time, about my fear of heights.

When young, we always had boundary rules, which we followed because the limits were set for our safety. The farmers took no chances. If it was a fence to keep things out or children in, it was a good tall sturdy fence, even if it was a wire fence. It did it's job.

As any captive prisoner will tell you, the first rule is to escape. Fences means the good greener pasture is on the other side.

One way to get over the fence we soon, or I should say Steve discovered was to climb the mulberry tree and let yourself down the branches like a squirrel. And he shared the secret passage with his big sister. But I was not as nimble as he, and I took less chances than he. Also, I didn't see that much over the fence to draw me out to take the risk.

I often fancied myself secretly hidden in the tree, but a mulberry tree is not really that dense. So you might say, I was content in my ahh hidden perch. My imagination ran wild. I could keep track of the outer limits, I could hear those conversations of the new arrivals exiting from the cars or those who were leaving. I called down my farewells, etc. I could try to hide from my mother with out success. You know, the usual stuff a kid does in a tree.

In summer there was a reward for the climb, the mulberries. If you were afraid to climb really high, You could only get those in your short reach, after that you were out of luck.. You also had to hold your pail and hang on at the same time, unless a experienced picker like mom showed you to tie your pail to the branch. [And it would put her in the mind for a story.]

I'd say the tree lasted a good long time in my childhood. I am not sure why mom wanted the tree gone, but to her the tree was as she said "achhhhaacckkk." I think Steve knew first and told me the reason, but I have forgotten. I think it hit me hard. I the last prisoner behind the fence, who maybe had more of an attachment, but then aren't girls sentimental about everything. Natural Hoarders of a good thing.

Steve told me it was going. So early in the mulberry season we decided to get the berries before the birds. We talked about our little problem of losing the tree. I think Steve came up with the idea of making a mulberry crisp from our berries. We could do this picking ourselves and have the crisp made to prove how good the tree was. So we picked by hooks and crooks, and ladders and blankets below, we got what we could. Mom was good, she offered help and suggestions and afterwards followed along with it and made us a crisp.

It really was lovely of her to try two ways to bring it to our accustomed taste of a crisp that is a little tart..The mulberries were bland and overly sweet. She didn't make much use of lemons or apple sauce to have it on hand. She didn't think of using nutmeg, and cloves, but she might have used cinamonn. She tried at such short notice to use something that could have drowned out the flavor or enhanced it. It might have been apples and some raspberries that had been picked [Maybe strawberries might have been good with it, but not in a cooked state.] In fact I can barely remember what she put it with. It smelled good and we ate it down pretty fast. We tasted, and judged, while we waited for the verdict from the others.

We were the proud providers of dessert, but we honestly had admitted to each other that we were a little disappointed in the end product. It was not anything that we would work so hard for again. But we were proud of our unique idea of making Mulberry crisp. Enough so, that I often want to browse the Internet, as I did today, just to see what combinations others have to share. Maybe there is a good way to prepare mulberries in a pie or crisp and we just haven't heard of it yet.

We wanted so badly for those mulberry desserts to be a hit, cause it might have saved the tree. I tried many a tactic, including trying to get dad on my side, but mom said to me outright to give it up, it was going, and that was that. Said that way; it was that. A Sure thing as a done deal. The final word and answer had been given. And the mulberry tree came down. We ate all the fresh mulberries that were still left on the tree. No more Mulberry crisp for us.

Okay we lost our tree, but I think the mulberries crisp taste failure seemed to help cushion the blow somehow. That and the fact that Steve and especially me were given a little more freedom. I was allowed out of the yard more and had other fences to cross. [ Wink ! ]


Source of photo: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Mulberry Pie and Crisp recipes :

Most of these recipes use oatmeal, which I would use, but that is not what Sylvia used in a Crisp. html

How did you Satisfy Your sweet tooth - What was your Favorite Indulgence

Sissy Writes for Genea Bloggers Personal and Family History Week #5 – Favorite Food

What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

Our family had desserts that had to satisfy our sweet tooth.
Farmers wives had to make use of what they had that was plentyful, when they planned meals or desserts. Like, Milk, and Cream, and eggs, and of course items from the garden, and an orchard. I am going to pass over cookies, and cake, which were easily made from those items, because we always had them at some point to make occasions special.

Fruit and what ever mom used was regional. By that I mean it was cheaper to use what we had or was given than to go to the store and buy frozen or something in a can. Mom probably loved blue berries and Boisen berries, but we lived in southern Minnesota and I never ever saw one single blue berry bush. Though dad liked to buy watermelon and cantelope when the price was good. Attempts were made to grow it too.

We usually ate what mom craved. Mom sometimes had cravings for certain old fashioned desserts, which were served on a daily basis. Like custard, bread pudding or sour cream pudding with raisins. Dad liked to request tapioca or rice pudding and something with rhubarb. So after she had announced it and she would get busy and make it.

Ice Cream
Once in awhile she made ice cream. Mostly though, our Ice cream was purchased at the grocery store.

I think the choice for Ice Cream was because of it's favoritism by Dad and his associations of it to his family, while growing up. He, Lyle and Herman also had various house keepers, so they were bound to pick up food influences from them.

When it was time for the Ice cream, mom sould say "Dwight go down and get the Ice Cream."

Ice cream was the old favorite everyone liked in our house, even served plain. But if Ice Cream didn't have to be plain, why should it be. You should have something with it, under it, or on it. I would say our family favorite choice was strawberries. Usually the choice was something with fruit, which was was a little more healthy for you than say a brownie.

We wouldn't think of throwing apples raw or canned or rhubarb on ice cream, so they were made into Fruit Crisps.

Fruit Crisps
There were a lot of choices. Because of availability, you could say that Moms fruit crisps were a favorite thing to have with a scoop of ice cream. Our crisps were made with what ever was handy and cheap. So we ended up with a slightly tart crisp sweeted by the crisp topping and mellowed by cream or Ice cream on top of all that.

Mom didn't make pie, and if you think about it, pie crust usually wasn't eaten anyway. She thought it was not worth the effort. Pies usually called for sweet fruit, and sweet fruit would be more expensive. The same way with something like Pinneapple upside down cake. It was sweet and rather blah.

When they went to a cafe they did like to order a pie with a little ice cream on top. I am trying to think of that Cafe in Lewiville? I am sure there was one.


When I started baking and cooking, I followed the recipes pretty closely, then I graduated to embellishing, which according to my husband and some of his family members, is not always a good thing. I started making a topping like dutch apple pie, whether it was suppose to be a pie or crisps it was all the same. I liked using oatmeal and brown sugar in my toppings. In fact I would put a thin layer on the bottom too, and so like mom skip a pie crust.

My all time favorite sweet indulgence is Chocolate and fudge. Which came in mid life, since we didn't have it much at my parents home. But do remember Steve and Sonny both usually received a box of candy bars for Christmas from Aunt Amanda. One year I announced, it would be fantastic to get such a gift too. and I did receive it.

I don't remember seeing my parents eating much chocolate, except when we were given Herseys chocolate sauce topping for the ice cream and dad would add peanuts on top. Once in a great while Mom would get a box of chocolates as a gift and she would take her time eating them. When Steve and I baby sat at the Reeds, it was a treat to have the brownies Norma kept on hand all the time. It's all their fault that I grew to love eating chocolate and brownies. But I don't remember my mother making much of them.

So that was us and me. What about you?

What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sonnie, Herman, Sissy

After the birth of Sissy in May in the year of 1950 there was a lot of picture taking going on at Sunnyslope farm. Dewey was the camera man.
I have some shots of Herman with his two granddaughters, which I will share as soon I get around to it.

Summer 1950. Would you like to see the writing on the back too?

This is the only decent baby picture I have of Sissy. That is why I separated her from the others. Maybe I should do the same with Sonny in this photo.

I shall have to edit in another one that I scanned earlier.

Enough today from Lewisville Minnesota.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Sonny and His Children and His Wives

Editing as I go.

Sonny's girl Patty Meyer.

Dewey Meyer probably on one of his work days [they all are] with his grandson from Steve's family. With Patty Meyer who is patiently waiting for her chance to hold him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Irma" s blue dishes.

Something from some Past Postings on Irma Martin Olson
Maybe you can see the blue cup and a blue plate there on the right side of the picture. Sissy got that a Lethea's / Irmas estate sale at Madelia. Irma had those when she stayed with her at the house in Madelia. She was told those dishes were collected each time Irma ate oat meal. Each box contained a dish.

I personally am in love with that blue color. Though the pink, and green are equally as nice. I saw for the first time this last year the yellow ones. Irma did not possess any yellow ones. The reason is a mystery.

Sissy said if she would have had the money she would have liked to get some dishes [ three or so] with Violets all over them. But she didn't, so she passed it up, and eyes sets like it every since then. Her mom was there encouraging her to get a few things. Sissy also got a scrapbook that had a page that refered to Oregon. Her mom and dad got a box of photos of Irmas.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cars Week three of Genea Bloggers Personal Stories

Genea blogger came up with a Personal way to blog about your Thoughts, Ideas, feelings towards various topics . [ --Week 3- Cars - I found it at Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( from 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Cars- Thomas MacEntee.
I thought it would be nice to follow the personal topic of 52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History

Week #3 – Cars

Cars at lewisville with the help of Sissy.

Cars, oh yes, Tears are already forming and dropping as I immediately think of the association of Cars and a personal story today. Tears falling could be because it involves my dear passed mother or Irma a dear personal relative. There are quite a few events that deal with the icon of car in my past, but I think I want to share the memories of the Meyer family at Sunnyslope Farm and Irma Martin Olson. Already Thinking about accumulation of events, content with Irma in our life brings the warm fuzzies. It may seem like it's all about her, but the association of car and Irma, mother, unites.

"Now then"
About the age of twelve I started noticing Irma Martin Olson coming to our home with her fully loaded station wagon of boxes and small pieces of furniture. She would be hauling her things to the house that once belonged to her mother. It was a big old home in Madelia, which was on the corner of Abbot and 1st St. S.E. I think mom got reacquainted with her because moms friend Janet Becker, who lived west across the street had been doing odd jobs painting in the old house as preparation for Irma's plan to rent out the lower section of the house. She kept the upper area for herself. She may at one time have rented that out too with her belongings in the attics. Then she decided to keep that portion for herself and use it for storage.

When she finished for the day or just when she felt she had time to catch up with the family; she would make a journey out to the Meyer home. She often brought something like ship images, or Heather. Something that showed she had Grandpa's old country German interests in mind. She would sit and talk about the family with Grandpa, who knew a lot about her Martin and Stolley family. He had so few visitors that it was a treat for him and I think it was for her too.

If I had only known more about her knowledge then, I could have asked her more about my Grandmother and other things. She had fond memories of Herman and Annie, although she may have been gone more from the home in Madelia through out her younger years, than I was thinking she was.

They moved here after 1920 from Iowa, and she married in 1930, made a home in Hazel Run at Yellow Medicine county, Minnesota. I think he died in the military and Irma never remarried. She was a large woman who had a scary heart attack once, but she carried on with a full life and had many dreams. She also did Genealogy, though I never saw the results of her work. She eventually lived in a trailer home as she taught special Education at Rosemount, in Northern Minnesota. She still kept her cottage in Hazel Run, and rented out the lower half of her mothers house in Madelia and made frequent trips with her station wagon full of boxes and or small furniture to her house in Madelia.

I think it often meant a chance for Dad to help her and do a little reminiscing with her as he would help her with her boxes.

It meant a change with some excitement for mom and I. We would get to see something pretty because Irma was an antique hound. It was one of her dreams [which didn't happen] to be an antique dealer some day in a little cottage by water. Which explains the so many transports of the boxes, in which she had items purchased for that some day in the future. Sometimes it was from Madelia to Hazel Run or vica versa [ I wished I had seen them all ]. After she died, her sister Letha had a sale of her things, and I'll share some with you, when I get around to it.

When I was going to school, there were occasions that I had to take boxes back and forth, which never went unnoticed. Even then Mom would recall Irma. But never being so vocal about it as she did when I had my own Blue Dodge car.
My car was just a plain old blue Dodge, which I barely remember it looks. It was my first car I ever drove after I got my license, which did not happen until I was age twenty five or so. At the time it was very important to me. Like for others it was a Passage to growing up, you might say.
As I drove from Fairmont to on my home on week end visits, I usually had laundry, garbage, and a few items in boxes or cases. Or I would be taking back some extra boxes from the house.
Mom would softly say " you put me in the mind of Irma". It was her way of an affectionate recalling of our Irma to my attenton, then giving me a soft little pinch at the same time.

Now and then when I see lots of boxes in my car I think of mom calling out "Here comes Irma" or "There goes Irma" and how for a moment or two we would both think of Irma.

Now then.
That should do it for today about cars.-

Oh my gosh Sissy, I need a kleenix. "Now then" is what Irma used to say when it was time for her to move on to something else after having been lost in thought. I can't wait for more stories about your association with Irma. So thats the Genea Bloggers personal story today about Cars affect on our life.

Week #3 – Cars

Week 3: Cars. What was your first car? Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle. You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

Comments are welcome!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Those who can talk the talk- Family stories

Sissy writes about speech, conversationalists, good 'talkers'

In high school, I signed up for oral story telling.
You told a story that had already been written, Usually there were short stories collected just for that distribution or find your own and adapted but needed to be a certain length. You could even order a few for the event. I didn't do too well at it for many reasons, but I credit that to the fact that I just didn't find the right good story. [ See I believe if you dream it, it will come]

We' ve all had speech class more than likely and writing in our English classes. But blogging it out may be different.

Preachers, and clergy men, woman
If you can't write or tell a story, or get along with people, you'd better not be in the church situation.
Women like Joyce Meyer can talk to an audience. It helps to that little comment you expect every now and then. what is it? oh amen, right?. Her pacing is donein a way, I don't mind it. Others, well it's distracting. Now I never have looked at her book, I doubt I would have the same interest.

Some of my favorite speakers ['talkers']
Over my life time, I had my favorite older men who seemed to have a good knack for conversation and mini story telling. I know they probably could talk / sell a freezer to the Eskimos. My first experience I can remember was a excursion to the Ben Johnson home so Grandpa could exchange stories with him. They both grew up in Germany, one high German and grandpa low German. I would curl up somewhere and idly play with something, and listen. Now I bareley remember the stories, but I remember most how it was told. Enthusiastic at times, loud and excited variation in tones, gestures, and usually the best stories had a lot of cussing in it. There was not the common word one hears now, if you know which one I mean, but old gentleman cussing. It was just part of my fascination with his stories.

I think that shaped my admiration for old men and their story telling. It was a part of my acceptance and, dare I say, my enjoyment of my job, as I waitressed the early morning shift around all those older men . I just enjoyed the personalty of those older men including their stories or stories told by others about them.

I am not saying I would copy that as an ideal family story telling method; cause well, I haven't the good cussing skills ol' Ben had. [Sure we kids made the mistake of discussing it once in front of mother and she tried to get us out of the room now and then. But if she was enjoying herself in the kitchen, then our placements were luckily forgotten.]

Okay, to be fair
I always enjoyed the young group of boys conversations . But these days it's just not done with out all the swear words [ not really nice cussing]. Equal time to women. Okay, I hope I am off the hook with the girls. One person who immediately came to mind was my moms Aunt Threasa [ Mc Mullin] An elderly catholic woman with Cataracs who loved to read and talk politics. She could talk the talk, but she needed a person, who could throw it back to her, I was too young then and not of her caliber. And then there was the time spent with 'the girls'. One just has to have those conversations.

I am right on with Sissy!
Blog, videos and speakers
Stage presence, or a good speaker [talker], Conversationalists.
This last week, I noticed that some blogs carry a 'listen to this' feature to listen to the content of the blog.
I also have seen a few videos being carried on blogs. I have to say, that if it sounds like your reading it in that certain voice, and I probably would.then that's not for me. Some people have stage presence, good speaking voices for good speech delivrance, and others don't. [That's why I am sticking to just writing the blog]

In another bloggers video, I was looking at her decor, loved it and didn't hear what she was saying. And with still another, I don't remember a thing she said, because I was appalled that she would tape with an unmade bed behind her, then I nearly jumped, when I saw a head move!

The video's is one good idea, and I am sure there are more Hints and Ideas to learn for good story telling.

I am trying to find 'How to' information.
I have been looking around the Internet for "How to tell a story." So far I have found a few. If you know of a good sites that tell you [ no money involved] the ins and outs of story telling. would you deposit them here?

Also too, I have been looking around for some webplaces of collected family stories that I enjoy reading. Maybe I can judge to see if they use the five senses and the five fundamentals- sound attitude, gesture, listening, attitude ] The beginning middle and end. written and oral. 'll see why I think they are good.

How are you doing?
If you have been one to tell family stories, then how are you doing?