October 1, 1966
7 lbs 5 ½ ozs
19 inches long
1. Rachel was born in Thief River Falls on a Saturday. Her grandfather, Stanley Ranum, took me to the hospital at 8 o’clock in the morning. I was to be induced. I would be instructed to walk about to get labor started. Her dad was in the Army Reserves and was at basis training. He would fly in from Texas in the early afternoon. We would walk and talk and play double solitaire until around six in the evening when labor started. In that era, once labor started one was confined to bed. Our healthy baby daughter was born near midnight. This blog is dedicated to her.
2. She wanted to ‘break in’ her white wedding shoes. She wore them to an all city garage sale and walked on rugged ground. She received, as her plight, tendinitis, and the bride wore tennis shoes with pink ribbon for laces.
3. After playing outside in the summer, she came in and announced she had “rain under her hair”.
4. As an infant she was rocked as she lay on a pillow in my lap and coo-ed.
5. She liked to be read to. It didn’t matter if she could read it better and faster. We read Tom Sawyer on vacation one year. She was old enough and had a vivid imagination enough to write a book herself.
6. On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, I took her and her brother to T G & Y and let them select a toy each. She bought Jane West and Bud bought Johnnie West. They each had a horse. . Jane’s body, except for her hands and face where aqua. Thank goodness they didn’t ask for the accessories. Jane and Johnnie went on vacation one year. Rachel and Bud used them as road graders in the Isaac Walton Campground.
7. Rachel liked to design her own clothes. She especially liked to pick out buttons. She would not be rushed as she looked at each type of button carefully before selecting the perfect ones. She was taught to take a part of the fabric on the bolt in her hand and crunch it up, if it wrinkled, it was not something we would buy. She generally picked out pastel colors.
One summer all she wanted was bathing suits. She lived in them. I suppose she was maybe five. One suit was green and white check with a little heart on it. Oh, yes, she was specific about those embellishments too.
8. She did not do well in large crowds. One time we went to Kansas City to see a baseball game. It was Royals Kodak Camera Day. One could go down on the track and take pictures of the players. She was bogged down in a mass of knees. The problem was solved when her dad put her on his shoulders.
9. Rachel helped a Danish girl named Lotte learn how to read in English. When they had the program, Lotte read with a bit of a Kansas twang. I think it was first grade.
10. A third graders mother told her that she, as a kindergartner, she answered the phone better than her child.
11. She memorized vast amount of lines without much effort. She often got the biggest parts because of it.
12. When we got the VIC 20 computer like thing, Rachel was interested in making computer programs for it. The first video game we had was Pong. She and Bud would go to Montgomery Wards and play it. Later she would have a hand held game called Merlin.
13. By her birthday on October 1, she generally knew what she wanted to be for Halloween. She only repeated once; the bride of Frankenstein must have been really intriguing. October first was also the first day of cat dittos handed out in second grade. The teacher was alarmed at Rachel’s rainbow cats by the middle of the month. I explained to the teacher that when you hand out the same ditto over and over, children with imagination are going to look for ways to refresh it.
14. She and Allyson Downs were good friends for several years. One year, she gave Allyson enough cards to get Allyson to 45 years of age.
15. Rachel had the crappy cars. One had to have the fly wheel banged on regularly. For another, she carried bottles of water to cool the engine off.
16. A long time friend was Renee. Her parents wouldn’t let her ride in Rachel’s cars. That was okay, Renee’s car got them two and from without a phone call to say, “My car won’t run.”
17. She liked to get her feet wet and make “seat pots” on the sidewalk.
18. It was near Christmas. She was really little. We were going to go into the music store. She stopped just at the threshold and said, MESSY. She would not budge.
19. Her first word was BATH
20. She liked to ride her Pokey Pony on the hardwood floors at the apartment. Her father, who worked graveyard at the time, had a hard time sleeping to that.
21. She liked to visit her cousin, Lynelle and play with the kittens hidden in the barn. Lynelle was part of the wedding party when Rachel got married. Her brother, Bud, was a usher and her other brother, Ryen, was her personal attendant. The only way Ryen would wear a bow tie was clipped to one side of his collar.
22. She mastered a home photo processing enlarger at home in the bathroom with the windows covered with black bags. Sometimes all three of them were in the bathroom at once processing pictures.
23. Her long blond hair was washed in Ivory Dish Soap and rinsed in Downy Fabric Softener. A hint from a clerk at the T,G & Y Store.
24. Rachel and her friends liked to play a game called Light as a Feather. They would kneel around a person laying on the floor and with two fingers each lift the person off the floor while chanting…light as a feather.
25. Rachel was heard saying, “Will you drive me, I can’t angle park.”
26. JINX! Buy me a Coke!
27. Wanna split a Magic Wok?
28. His name was Scott. She called him Sottie and he called himself Cottie. They were four.
29. She attended Small World Nursery School and First Presbyterian Nursery School.
30. She would read all her books before we got home from the library. There was a 10 rule limit and that is all that fit in a beer flat. The head librarian suggested she was ready for books with chapters.
31. She would be sad when her friends got cold and went inside. She had an Arctic Cat snow mobile suit and was still warm.
32. The lilac bushes were on the east side of the house under her window. She liked to have the window open so she could smell them. She also picked the old blooms off the Petunias each day which made them bloom more and look healthier. She learned his from her grandmother with the magic bag.
33. She acted as a chauffeur for Bud when he was not old enough to drive to a formal dance in junior high.
34. She was given a beagle puppy for her third birthday. She named the dog, Jubilation Boxcar. When Jubal was thirteen, she had a stroke. Dr. Lewis told Rachel to bring her home and love her. The dog had a leaky heart and lots of arthritis in her spine but never let on. When you went out side she would greet you with her warble.
34. One of the games she liked to play was concentration. She and the neighbor would play it for hours. The cards got so bent up they were matching by the bends. They were not happy when I backed them with new heavy paper.
35. She and her friends liked to play Little House on the Prairie at recess in elementary school. The Little House books at the school library were sort of reserved for the older kids. The librarian was a crusty old woman and wouldn’t let Rachel check them out. I talked with the principal about it. She suggested that Rachel read to the librarian, proving she was able to read the books. That Christmas, we bought her a complete set.
36. She was one of fifteen first grade Brownies were taken to Ballad of Black Jack in Baldwin, Kansas. The ballad is given along with the Maple Leaf Festival in October. The girls went to the bathroom in pairs until the intermission. After that, we went to the park and played with the acorns. Baldwin has more oak trees than maple trees.
37. Rachel played with the Bonham kids who lived in the house north of us. The kids ran in and out of the houses as a group. Rachel had been going to Bonham’s for sometime when Carl, the father, asked her why she never talked to him. She told him that she had been told never to talk to strangers. He introduced himself and after that she always said hello.
38. From old notes. Rachel took debate in high school. She was telling me the other day that the kids in her debate group liked her to read the oral material because she could read so fast. I used to stand outside her door and listen as she practiced her affirmative speech; she talked fast but with understanding. The first year was oil, F-15, and Arabs. Her partner was Allyson Downs. The next two years she debated with Allyson Marquis. (The subjects appear to have been solar energy and criminal placement for insane). The notes state she spent the second semester of her senior year making a film to show new debaters. She had a black case on a suitcase traveler filled with index cards. She called it/them, her OX BOX.
39. Ser e a na moss car is the sun worship yoga move she practiced in 1987. Our mantra was Pepsi.
40. It was decided that we would order the Nancy Drew Series for Rachel. The books would arrive one at a time on a monthly basis for two years. The series cost $34.95 plus postage and handling. I dutifully paid for all of it in four monthly installments. The mailman delivered the last 22 books all at once; she read them all by the end of the week.
41. Rachel did four winters of gymnastics with the Park and Recreation Department Every Saturday in the winter, we would take her auditorium. One winter she had a green tie dye body suit with green leotards. This is when she learned to twirl on the bars. When she was taking gymnastics and Bud was taking tumbling, they had a long time feud on who could get closest to the floor while doing the splits. Who got the closest? I will never tell. I will tell you what I told them, “You guys are the very same”.
Happy Birthday, Rachel!!!