|Jack is older than I am, so these are basically his
memories. Mine are more modern..from 1950 on. His start in the 1940's.
One of his most memorable moments is shooting his grandmother with a rubber band gun when she was bent over. He used a piece of inner tube cut into a band. The first time, he got away with it. He was told 'Don't do that again.' Of course, that was a challenge and he waited for the right moment and did it again. His bottom was about 220 degrees for quite a while. He never did it again. At least not to his grandmother.
He wore knickers and he hated them. They were corduroy and the scratched and made constant noise when he walked. He called them his baseball pants. He remembers crock pickles, done in salt brine with grape leaves and dill. Large cucumbers were used this way.
When butchering was done, the pork chops were layered into a large crock and all the juice and fat was poured over them. When the fat rose to the top, it would create an airtight seal and that kept the pork chops until they were used.
Sauerkraut was made about every other fall. Cabbage was sliced and salted and a heavy plate was put on it until time to eat it. Vinegar was made from apple cider. Just let the air get to it and it would turn. The mother left from each batch was sealed in a jar to be used the next fall when a new batch would be started. We still use this method here at Fruitful Acres today.
Hams were smoked and hung in the cellar stairway. Corn was parched as a snack. After the first grade, summer was spent in a farm field picking beans, strawberries, and other produce. He was paid a nickel a quart basket. He started milking cows in the third grade. He wasn't allowed to drink the milk, because that was for sale, but he could drink all the buttermilk he wanted. After he churned the butter, he would snitch the milk by the cupful while he was milking.
His father died when he was six years old, so he was the man of the family. Farming was done with a Farmall with iron spades. There were two ponds with bullheads in them for fishing. They dried the fish for the winter. He started school in a one room schoolhouse. He walked about 2 miles to school, one way, every day. Even in the winter. It was a downhill walk to school and an uphill walk to get home again. The teacher taught 5 grades of children at all different levels.
He remembers his grandmother having old things, (antiques) all over the house.
I was born in Brooklyn, NY. In the middle of the city. Then we moved upstate and bought a house in the country. My first memories are of kindergarten. I picked peas for the farmer next door and collected his eggs for him. I shelled peas for my mother to dry.
We lost the chimney off the house when Hurricane Hazel went through. There was a lot of damage around us. My Dad worked for a farmer in Genoa. We had all the milk and cream we wanted and all the vegetables that we could grow. Also, one cow a year.
I remember my father putting spider webs on my head when I fell against the wood stove and cut my head open. My brothers and sisters still tell me my head is filled with cobwebs. The spiderwebs were an old fashioned blood coagulant. Like gauze is today.
Mom used peppermint tea to calm our tummies when we ate to much. We always had Halloween parties at home. We went to church every Sunday. The whole family. We were allowed to run and raise all the cain we wanted to as long as we did no permanent mischief or let the cows out of the fields. We climbed trees and fell out of them. I broke my elbow twice. Same one of course. We picked all the wild berries to eat and to store for winter. I had a wonderful childhood.
From the Homesteaders ~~ Everything from the 1800's
Jack and Kathy