Friday, July 31, 2009

OLD WIVES TALE Crust of bread

Many people refuse to eat the crust off a piece of bread. Some say they don’t like the way it tastes, others simply don’t like the texture, while others still have just heard one too many old wives tale about crust! Perhaps one of the most well known old wives tales that relates to crust is the one that says if you eat the crust on your bread it will make your hair curly. Some variants of the tale say that the hair will become unmanageably curly, something that most people do not want. Of course, there is no truth in this tale, as we know that curly hair comes from genetics, not from the eating or not eating of the crust on bread! This silly old wives tale probably stems from someone who ate the crust or favored the crust having very curly hair. Of course, the curls did not come from the crust, but the tale continues to live on.

Had Old Trunks known she could have had curly hair, she would have eaten the crust! But then, my grandfather always got it when grandma made bread, and believe it or not, his hair was curly.

But grandpa said the reason he had curly hair was because when he had lice, he drenched his scalp in kerosene and when it didn't kill the lice, he did it again and this time he set his hair on fire. Honest, that is what he told me!

Daddy didn't eat it, either because he had enough dry bread as a kid. By the way, it is the anniversary of my dad's birthday along with his second cousin Mildred. Daddy was born in 1914, Mildred in 1911.

Daddy would have been 95. That is not impossible, his father, Benhard died at 98. Happy days of remembering.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

OLD WIVES TALE Itchy hands

According to old wives tale, just about every bodily sensation can be explained. For instance, if the palm of your right hand is itchy, money will be coming your way. But, if you scratch the right hand while it is itchy, it’ll keep the money from coming.

Of course, if the left hand is itchy, this foretells that you will be paying money to someone, and you should scratch away to do away with the payments.

As odd as these old wives tales may seem, there are people who believe in them, and these theories are still being spread today from generation to generation.

Are they for real? Probably not, as an itch usually has to do with a nervous system response, and it’s unlikely that is has to do with money one way or the other. Should you refrain from scratching your right hand when it itches? Why not? You never know…


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


One little known old wives tale says that if someone whistles after dark that it will welcome burglars to their home and their most prized possessions will be taken from their home. There are variants of this old wives tale that say you must not whistle outside of your home, but all of them say the same thing, not to whistle after dark or you’ll lure the burglars to your home.

Where this old wives tale comes from is unknown. What is known is that whistling would tend to keep burglars away from your home, as they know that you are home and could ruin their plan to take your things!

This old wives tale may stem from the fact that homes used to be far from one another and burglars would often be drawn to areas where they heard people doing simple things, things such as whistling!

Thankfully, you are free to whistle and this will likely not be the direct cause of your home being broken into. There have been many break ins in Fargo recently. Let the whistling begin!

Speaking of whistles, since the time of play ground duty several decades ago, I have had a whistle on my key chain. Once, while entering an elevator, a gent looked at the whistle and stated he would not harm me!

My son bought me a new whistle at the whistle factory in Ohio before he left the state to move to California. I have one on each key chain!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

OLD WIVES TALES Fountain of Youth

The legend of the Fountain of Youth is far older than many of us can comprehend dating back to the time Marco Polo. However, no one really searched for the Fountain of Youth, they only dreamed of this miraculous spring from which flowed the water of healing and eternal youth.

One man did search for the Fountain of Youth and his name was Juan Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon was born around 1474 in San Tervas de Campos, Spain. There is no other record of him except that many referred to him as “the poor knight.”

During his childhood he trained himself in the arts of war and survival who knows the reasons why, maybe he knew in advance that he would be one of the most famous Conquistadors of Spain.

When Christopher Columbus headed on his second voyage to the Americas in 1493, Ponce de Leon was among the crew. He then settled on a Caribbean island named Hispaniola. Ponce de Leon was in search of wealth, power, and glory and had trained for these explorations since he was a young boy. While living on Hispaniola he became Hispaniola’s Military Commander and Deputy Governor. At the age of 28, in 1506, he found another island near by named Boringuin, which is now Puerto Rico. In 1508, Ponce de Leon became Governor of the Spanish Colony. None of this satisfied his desire for power and wealth so he went to the king and convinced him to give him enough men and ships to search for the “Fountain of Youth.” Where he heard about the infamous fountain is the center of much controversy, as some believe he heard rumors from natives while others realize the legend was around during Greek and Roman times.

No matter, where he heard the about the Fountain of Youth, he and his crew set out for the mainland of what is now Florida in 1513. In his quest for the Fountain of Youth, he was the first European to set foot on “Pascua de Florida” which translates into feast of flowers, which is the name of a Spanish Easter holiday, which is the day in which he and his crews landed on here.

Ponce de Leon searched the Florida coast and many of the interior parts between 1513 and 1521 for the Fountain of Youth. He in famous for founding the city of St. Augustine, Florida, however, he never located the miraculous spring. If there is a Fountain of Youth somewhere in Florida, it is still hidden from humanity.

If you find it, let me know, I have some years I would like to roll off.


Monday, July 27, 2009


If the cows are standing, the fish are biting.

If the cows are lying in the pasture, the fish are not biting.

Take a look at the closest cow pasture before you go fishing if you wish to catch the most fish.

Old Trunks thinks if the herd is scattered, that is half standing and half resting on the ground, the fish are scattered.

We talked about this on the way to the lake recently, Tom had learned that laying down cows meant it was going to storm.

There are no cows close to the lake, except Garfield, they must have been standing recently!


Sunday, July 26, 2009


Many popular old wives tales center around length of life, or how many years you have left to live.

One of the more interesting old wives tales associated with this is the one that says if you blow on the head of a dandelion, you’ll live as many years as there are seeds left upon the head of the dandelion.

While this old wives tale is not known to prove true or accurate, it’s a fun game for both the young and old to play.

Where this old wives tale came from no one can be quite sure, but this is done all over the world, with many different types of flowers. Though this old wives tale isn’t thought to be rooted in fact, it’s fun, and who knows, every now and again, it might just be right!

So, the next time you have the opportunity to blow on the head of a dandelion, blow on it just for fun.


Saturday, July 25, 2009


If a large black snail appears at your front door in England, do not step on it. This could be the spirit of a deceased family member.

If you happen to notice a storm petrel while visiting Scotland, the legend is that someone will die soon. It is believed the storm petrel is a sailor that died at sea.

In some African tribes, it is believed that a white bird coming into the prayer hut is the spirit of an ancestor that came to bring blessings.

If you hear the cry of an owl, someone will die soon. If the owl builds his next nearby, spirits will haunt the area until the owl moves away.

The real meaning of a rooster crowing at sun up has nothing to do with time to rise and shine and many of us think. The superstition is that the rooster crows to tell wandering spirits that it is time for them to hide until night comes once again.

Horses, dogs, and cats can sense when spirits are nearby.



Friday, July 24, 2009

OLD WIVES TALE Cranberry juice

One of the most widespread old wives tales that pertains to ones health is the one concerning cranberry juice and your kidneys or urinary tract. For generations, mothers have been telling their children that drinking cranberry juice when they are suffering from a kidney or urinary tract infection that cranberry juice will cure the infection.

Well, despite the handing down of this information generation after generation, people are still turning to their doctors for help with a kidney or urinary tract infection.

Where this old wives tale started is unknown, but it probably has something to do with the fact that cranberry juice is one of the few juices that is not an irritant to the urinary system.

This information was probably given to patients who assumed that if it wasn’t bad for the system, it must be a possible cure as well.

Unfortunately, cranberry juice is not a cure for kidney or urinary tract infections and it is no substitute for antibiotics. While drinking cranberry juice is not a bad idea when you do have an infection, it’s not a cure; it will just help flush the urinary tract out without irritation.

So, if you have a kidney or urinary tract infection, it’s best to see a doctor. If you like cranberry juice, drink it to help flush the system out, but don’t count on cranberry juice alone, or you’ll soon find yourself in excruciating pain!

Odd how many people in nursing homes are encouraged to drink cranberry juice. A hot diet in 2008 was drinking cranberry juice to detox.


Thursday, July 23, 2009


We have all heard stories about witches riding their brooms across the moonlit sky; however, did you know there are even old wives tales and superstitions surrounded around the broom?

While you are sweeping near your front door, if the broom drops be expecting company before the day is through.If you find a broom lying on the ground or floor, pick it up for good luck. (Old Trunks knows some folks who need to pick up a few brooms!)

When you are sweeping up dirt by your back door be sure to sweep it out the back door instead of inward or you will be sweeping away the friendship of your best friend.

Do not sweep at all using a broom on New Year’s Day or bad luck will follow you all year long.

Any trash that you do decide to sweep up on New Year’s Day be sure to burn it so you will have money all year long.

When you are carrying a broom, carry it under your arm for good luck, if you carry it over your shoulder you are sure to have bad luck.

Do not sweep your home and a guest leaves or you will be sending them bad luck.

If the broom you are using happens to fall, it will bring you bad luck. But if you pick it up, it is good luck, what's the deal?

Never sweep dirt out of your home before the sun comes up or you will be calling for bad luck to enter.

If a broom falls over in front of you and you stoop over and pick it up you will become ill. What about the luck of picking up the broom?

If you wish for someone that just entered your home to go away all you have to do is sweep in front of them. This is a sign that you do not want them in your home.

If you are visiting someone and you have to step over a broom in her home or outside her home, this means that she is not a good housekeeper. Duh?

Never hand someone a broom through an open window, it can bring you bad luck.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OLD WIVES TALES Butter on a burn

Old Trunks remembers butter on the burn. Maybe the butter dish was handier than the water faucet. Maybe they didn't have a water faucet.

The real truth about putting butter or anything greasy such as lotion on a burn is not the thing to do. The lotion, butter, or other greasy substances actually hold in the heat, causing the burn to become worse.

A cool cloth or even running cool water over a burn will reduce the heat and may even minimize the damage to the skin.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There has long been an old wives tale that says if a black cat walks toward you that it brings good luck. This is a new one on Old Trunks.

Yet, the old wives tale continues to say that if it walks away it takes all good luck and fortune with it. This is another classic old wives tale that is told many different ways, but the message is usually the same. And so is this one.

The only black cat story Old Trunks knows is if it crosses your path. That is when to beware! Yet, both my daughter and my oldest son have black cats. All three cats are friendly!

Most children and even adults are wary when they cross the path of a black cat, yet this is an old wives tale that holds very little weight for most people.The black cat old wives tales are likely rooted in early Christianity when those who usually had cats, black or not, were those closely associated with witchcraft.

Now, most of us know that cats come in all colors, and are owned not just by those who are involved in witchcraft, but also those that simply love cats in a variety of colors! So, choose to come into contact with a black cat, or not, you’ll likely be safe either way.

Happy day, Jas, Bass, and Penny!


Monday, July 20, 2009

OLD WIVES TALES Bee in the House

There is an old wives tale that says if a bee enters your home you should expect a visitor.

If you kill the bee, something bad will happen, or the visitor will not be a pleasant one. If you let the bee find its way out, or you capture it and then set it free, you will have a pleasant visitor.

While many people still believe in this old wives tale, it’s more likely that when a bee is in your home, it simply got there by mistake. Many of us have bees enter our homes without ever getting a visitor, and many people get visitors without ever having been in their home!

This old wives tale is thought to have been started to calm the fear that many people have of bees. When people would see a bee in the house they would get scared and kill it, but when they related the bee to a possible visitor they were more relaxed and usually helped the bee outdoors.

Where this old wives tale started is unknown, but there are a surprising number of people who still incorporate this one into their belief system today!

C D B?


Sunday, July 19, 2009


It’s not uncommon for children to want to have bare feet and because of this many parents struggle with their children to keep their shoes on even when it’s cold, wet, or muddy.

One of the old wives tales that many parents pass onto their children is the one that says walking with bare feet will give you worms. While there is no direct link between walking with bare feet and worms, parents have told their children and grandchildren this for a long, long time.

The origin of this old wives tale is unknown, though many families continue to pass this onto their children when they know it to be untrue. Threatening worms might work for few weeks, months, or even years, but sooner or later children figure out that they can safely walk with bare feet without getting worms!

Until moving to Fargo, I went barefooted whenever possible. I went barefoot as a kid. The only time I didn't go barefoot was while riding a bike. The reason for that was mother always showed me her scar where she got her ankle caught in the spokes and it got infected. It was just easier to wear shoes while riding bike. I also always wore shoes/boots while riding horse back with a saddle.

I did learn that walking in oat stubble was a trick without shoes, no matter how tough the soles of my feet where. When I was pregnant with Rachel, mother had me soak my feet in oiled water so when my feet where up in the stirrups, the doctor wouldn't see my feet. Like that was the limelight?

My children ran barefoot, except when riding bikes. To my knowledge, it was followed. Heavy on the to my knowledge. They know the mother story.

I do not wear shoes in the house. When deliveries come, I do not tell people to take off their shoes. Tom ALWAYS wears shoes. He puts on his shoes before breakfast!

Shoes protect feet. Out of three children, only one had high tops. That was to keep the shoes on, but it didn't work. That is a story for another time and day.

Wiggle your toes and s t r e t c h !!!


Saturday, July 18, 2009


How many times have you been washing dishes, putting away the silverware, or setting the table and you happened to drop a spoon, a knife, or a fork?

Did you know that there is an Old Wife’s Tale that foretells the future by the dropping of silverware?

If you drop a spoon, a baby is coming. This literally means that someone in your family is going to have a baby.

If you drop a fork, a woman is coming. When you drop a fork that means that a woman is coming to your door. It could be a friend, a family member, or even just a delivery person. Sometime during the next 24 hours a woman will knock on your door or ring your doorbell.

If you drop a knife, a man is coming. This is the same as for dropping a fork only it will be a man.

Mother rarely used wives tales but this is one she always did. For her, it was spoon was women and fork was man. I still think about that when I drop silverware, (five second rule does not apply). Only in doing research did the spoon+dropping= baby. The knife had no connection.


Friday, July 17, 2009


Anyone who has experienced leg cramps knows how uncomfortable they can be, especially if you get them at night. Unfortunately, doctors have not had a lot of luck treating legs that cramp or are restless at night.

Because of this lack of treatment for a long, long time, this was the perfect ailment to be solved by an old wives tale. One of the more common says that a bar of soap between the sheets at night will not only stop the leg cramps, but cure them from coming back again.

There are variations of the old wives tale that say you must use the bar of soap just once, while others say it needs to be used for one week or as long as one month.Unfortunately for those that have leg cramps, this is an old wives tale that has not proven true for many if any people. This probably started as an attempt to find a cure for painful leg cramps, but it has not proved very effective.

Soap in the sheets, huh? Interesting. They have some products now but the best way for me to avoid being kicked is to feed Tom a banana every day.

As an after thought, since it is an old wive's tale, I am wondering if, since they did not change there beds as much as we do today, maybe at least, the bed smelled better. Well, that doesn't make sense either, because the soap was lye soap!


Thursday, July 16, 2009


There are a lot of old wives tales about cemetery’s and the dead, but one of the most persistent is the old wives tale that says you must hold your breath when you drive past a cemetery or you’ll breathe in the spirit of someone who died and was buried there recently.

There is a similar old wives tale that says you shouldn’t step on a grave, but if you should have to you should walk quickly and hold your breath so that you do not inhale the spirit of the person in the grave.

This is an old wives tale that is rooted more in spooky tales than it is in fact. You can safely breathe when you drive past or even walk through a cemetery. While it’s not nice to step on a grave, you can do so without inhaling the spirit of the recently departed! Cemeteries and death are fuel for much speculation and old wives tales, so when you pass them along, do it with humor!

I still watch my step, how about you?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

St. Swithin's Day is 15 July, a day on which people watch the weather for tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St. Swithin's Day, it will continue so for the next forty days.

There is a weather-rhyme is well known throughout the British Isles since Elizabethan times.

'St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain
Full forty days, it will remain
St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair
For forty days, t'will rain no more.'

Who was St. Swithin?

St. Swithin (or more properly, Swithun) was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. He was born in the kingdom of Wessex and educated in its capital, Winchester. He was famous for charitable gifts and building churches.

Why do people watch the weather on St. Swithin's day?

A legend says that as the Bishop lay on his deathbed, he asked to be buried out of doors, where he would be trodden on and rained on. For nine years, his wishes were followed, but then, the monks of Winchester attempted to remove his remains to a splendid shrine inside the cathedral on 15 July 971. According to legend there was a heavy rain storm either during the ceremony or on its anniversary.

This led to the old wives' tale that if it rains on St Swithin's Day (July 15th), it will rain for the next 40 days in succession, and a fine 15th July will be followed by 40 days of fine weather.

copied from

It is also said that if it rains on the apples on the 15th of July, it is Swithin, blessing the crop.

My sweet Thomas must honor this saint, he watches the weather several times a day!!! How do you like them apples, as my dad used to say.

Monday, July 13, 2009


How many times did you swallow your gum as a child? Probably more than you should have, but were you ever told by parents or friends that is you swallow your gum it will stick to your ribs?

Or, perhaps you were told that your swallowed gum would take seven years to digest? This is another silly old wives tale that is simply not true, but still thought of as fact by children today.

Like everything else that you swallow, gum will go straight into your stomach and be digested without sticking to anything. Oh, and gum is digested at the same rate as other foods, it does not take seven years!

Even though the gum is sticky, the lining of the stomach won’t allow anything to stick to it. So, there are no worries if you have swallowed one piece of gum in your lifetime, or twenty! They’ve all been digested straight away!

Okay, what kind did you swallow?

Juicy Fruit?
Black Jack?

Or a big old glob of Bazooka bubble gum?


Sunday, July 12, 2009


As Old Trunks said in yesterday's post, my dad smoked Chesterfield cigarettes, so named for Chesterfield, Virginia. They aren't sold in the states anymore but contain popularity in Europe.

Interesting how many actors were featured in Chesterfield ads. Let's take a look, do you remember any of the actors or the advertisment?

In a series of advertisements made many years before he took office former US President Ronald Reagon was a spokesman for Chesterfields. In one of them he is seen addressing cartons of cigarettes as Christmas gifts for "all my friends."

Rod Serling advertised Chesterfield cigarettes in some of his Twilight Zone episodes.

Lucille Ball smoked Chesterfield cigarettes. Because L&M cigarettes sponsored the I Love Lucy Show, she put her Chesterfield's in her L&M pack so the sponsors wouldn't get upset!

In the 1960s, print ads for Chesterfield featured color photographs of four smokers from various walks of life with the headline "Chesterfield People: They like a mild smoke, but they don't like filters.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis' radio show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes.

And since it was James Bond's choice, they couldn't have been all bad, or are they?


Saturday, July 11, 2009


With everything we know about tobacco and cigarette smoking today, it’s almost impossible to believe that anyone ever believed these old wives tales.

One old wives tale that has a reasonable explanation is that it was once thought that it was bad luck to light three cigarettes off the same match. This tale came from times of war when armies would attack at night. Lighting three cigarettes off the same match gave the enemy enough time to spot the flame in the dark, making the smokers very easy targets. There’s one down, who knows about these other ones.

During the 1800s, tobacco was thought of as a cure for almost anything. It was used to dress wounds and it was also used to ease pain.

It was also believed that you could relieve the pain of a toothache by chewing on tobacco.
It was later thought that tobacco would cure anything from bad breath to cancer.

In the late 1500s exhaling smoke through the nose became very popular. Also in the late 1500s, there was a dramatic increase in the number of patients suffering from cancer of the nose.

Thomas Harriet encouraged smoking cigarettes in 1588 so that people could obtain their daily dosage of tobacco.

Spanish doctor, Nicholas Monardes wrote a book on the history of plants used for medicinal purposes. In the book, he stated that tobacco could be used as a cure for thirty-six health-related problems.

In the 1600s tobacco was often used as a form of currency. At $4.10 a pack, it IS currency. Odd how a person who never buys cigarettes is willing to pay .25 per cigarette. These folks can say they "don't carry". Do you know anyone like that?

My dad smoked a carton every two days. That is a five pack a day habit. I would guessamate cartons cost less than $2.00 a carton. He smoked Chesterfields.


Thursday, July 9, 2009


Old Trunks didn't know this rule until moving to Fargo. It must have been practiced by Tom's family...........

There’s an old wives tale out there called the five-second rule. The old wives tale says that food remains edible if it’s been on the ground for just five seconds or less. Unfortunately, this is not true; well, if you don’t want to risk getting sick that is! The fact is, if there are bacteria on the floor that the food drops on, it doesn’t matter if the food is there for five seconds, ten seconds, or two seconds, your food will contain potentially hazardous bacteria.

Does your floor contain bacteria? Probably. It doesn’t matter how well you clean your floor, it’s likely that your floor contains bacteria. It’s worth noting that the moister the food is that you drop on the floor the more bacteria it will pick up. Should you eat the food off the floor? Probably not, but the five second rule will continue to live on. And, more likely than not, no one will be worse for the wear.

But.................Mother's floors were so clean you could eat off them!!!


Most people hear old wives tales and think that they are just that. Tales that someone made up back in the day to get us to do certain things a certain way.

But there are some tales that have a bit of truth to them and one of these is, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”Of course this tale is used to get people to eat more fruit. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not true.

Apples are made from many nutritional components that can help reduce the chance of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and many other health problems. While it’s true that increasing your amount of fruit to any level will help with these problems, apples seem to be especially prone to preventing the biggest health concerns that people seem to be most worried about. Protect yourself even further by making sure that you eat the skin of the apple as well as the flesh. Some even eat the seeds.

How about you? When is the last time you ate an apple?



Does anyone out there in the universe really have a list of why friendships remain over the years?

Does anyone know why friends, even if you have not seen them for months or years, have the ability to join the rank and march on as if no time has past?

Why is it that as we become adults, regardless of our trials, we can, with friends, be adults and not have long periods of reminiscing as we do with relatives?

I have more questions than answers this morning as I salute Soozi on her Medicare birthday.

We are both retired.

We both made a major move.

She was involved with a young girls' organization while I led a brownie troop.

She had three children; a daughter and two sons, as did I.

She worked in a DME, (durable medical equipment) which included fitting CPAP, (continuous positive airway pressure), and so did I.

But it wasn't about what we did, it is about who we are. There is a kind of naturalness here that true friendship IS. Neither of us led the friendship nor did either of us follow.

Wake Up, Little Susie!

Happy Birthday.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009


We met in 6th grade. She was a good friend from the beginning. We went to confirmation together.

She shaved her legs first and the razor took the top layer of skin on the bone from the ankle to the knee. She bled.

Once we made a cake, we forgot about it and threw the cake and the pan in the woods so her mother wouldn't find out. How did she know? We worked hard to get all the crust out of it.

The lived in the country two miles west and then again a couple of miles north. She has an older sister that married their second cousin by marriage and a younger sister we called "Chickie".

We would change clothes when we got to school. Mother caught on some how. Too bad, it was fun to share. Once we went to S&L, on the corner of LaBree and Third. We bought red and green plaid pants. We also tried on all the hats in the millinery department. All mother said was, "You wear them once, every one will remember those pants." It was an odd choice but we thought they were great. Have you ever tried on hats and laughed so hard you nearly wet your pants? We did.

Her grand parents lived in the forest like setting near Pinewood, MN. Her grandmother smoked Pall Malls as she cooked. Her grandfather was a noble, white haired man who went to the spring several times a day to get a bottle of home brew which was tied to shore bottle by bottle.

We crawled up a ladder nailed to the wall to an open attic where we slept on the floor. It was much like camping. She had a cousin named Bobby who was older but oh, so fine.

Speaking of So Fine, it was one of many of my records that melted in the back window of Aunt Shirley's 56 Chevy that summer.

My friend married early and we took different paths. I wonder where she is and I wonder how she is.

Happy birthday!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Happy Birthday to my cousin Cathy. The one I didn't know I had.

Interesting, isn't it, how people find one another later.

Mother had an older sister, Viola, who gave up her child. That child grew up in a foster home and loved her new parents but always wished to know her real parents. It seems this mother also gave up a son. There is a long, painful story about all of this.

Connie became an adult and had three children. Cathy is one of them. Cathy and her two siblings are first cousins, once removed. Her mother is my first cousin.

Why is it that she isn't my second cousin, isn't that easier?

Daddy called Mildred Ostgaard his second cousin.
Mildred was the child of Corina Ranum, Benhard's sister.

It looks like this:

Stanley K Ranum
Benhard Ranum
Knute N Ranum (common denominator)
Corinna Ranum Ostgaard
Mildred Ostgaard

That means Benhard and Corinna were brother and sister, therefore, Mildred was the neice of Benhard and Corinna was the aunt of Stanley. The next group, Stanley and Mildred, are first cousins.

According to Family Tree Maker: Stanley and Mildred are first cousins. Mildred and I are first cousins, once removed.

Just when does it become second cousin?

So, if you know Cathy from Facebook, give her a shout on her birthday!


Monday, July 6, 2009


Old Trunks as been amiss in writing while at the lake for the Fourth of July weekend. What can she say except it came and went with fabulous weather.

I wonder what my grand parents did on the Fourth? It seems there were always gatherings of people for pot luck picnics and sand lot baseball games played between the Rosewood Boys and the fellows from Anita.

Can you imagine a hot holiday, dressed in layers and layers of petticoats and long dresses? How about all that hair tucked under a hat? Well, hats are really something to wear while in the sun, it keeps your head twenty degrees cooler and shades ones eyes.

Did they make ice cream? Where did the ice come from? The ice man of course. The Rosewood store surely had it. Old Trunks wonders if they bought it from the O'Hara brothers who had an ice house in Thief River Falls along with the dray company.

The ice was cut from the Thief River and the Red Lake River which confluences somewhere around the Eighth Street bridge. Soozi would know, her Dad used to catch great northern pike there in the summer using Dare Devils, (a brand and shape of a fishing lure).

The Fourth was generally a quiet holiday for our family. One year, daddy brought home several bags of night fireworks he had bought in Grand Forks. Greg and I shot them off in the middle of a sunny day. Like I told Shirley, it may have been so we could get away from painting the fence.

My family, that is Rachel, Bud, and Ryen had lots of smoke bombs, sparklers, and for Bud fire crackers. It would start the day, hour, minute, second, nano second the tents on the edge of town opened for business. Then, of course, there was the JayCee display at the hill on KU campus where were would lay in the grass and declare each display the best.

The kids are all grown up now and it sounded like Ryen watched the display in the fog of San Francisco along with his brother and his wife. As for Rachel, it appeared she watched a movie.

I wonder what my grand daughter, who is visiting her grand parents in Illinois did.

As for us, it was quiet. We heard one set of firecrackers go off on the 3rd about 10 in the evening. Although there were many cabins filled at the lake and most of the owned trailers setting on leased lots were occupied, it was very quiet.

We are old. We go to bed early because fishing starts at sunrise. We didn't eat potato salad, baked beans, Cole slaw, and chicken. We had a sandwich for lunch in the boat and hash for supper. Instead of ice cream and cake, we had pumpkin pie.

The Fourth is about being thankful for America as Eileen said. It is God Bless America. Thomas Jefferson said, "It is a time for fireworks."

For us it was seeing the first loon chick and naming her Liberty.

God Bless us one and all.


Thursday, July 2, 2009


In the last two posts, we have reviewed driver's licenses and driving education.

Today, Old Trunks reminds you of the day/days you took your test. One needs to be reminded that drivers education was a set amount of hours per student NOT keep the student in the case until they were ready for the big trip to the county court house where some man with hair in his ears and nose was sitting in the passenger seat. We are reminded this was an authoritative figure.

It was not as when my kids took it and you got your license in class!

And so Old Trunks was off to take her test in her mother's new T-Bird which she had never driven. She was only told you had to gun it when you started it to keep it running. At least that is what the mother said.

And the instructor said, "You may begin".

Before one had a chance to put the key in the ignition, he marked off two points.

When starting the vehicle and gunning it, he marked off more.

May I say there were no seat belts in the summer of 1960.

Driver puts on signal and proceeds. It was going well.

The only stop/go light was at Main Avenue and Third Street. Driver tried to beat the light.

Officer states, "Go back to the court house". Running a yellow light instead of stopping , was like an accident. Failure.

The next time driver was taking the test, those points for new driver and gunning were both demerits. That is okay, the driver thought, she knew that was coming.

"Proceed," the officer said. Around town through lights, park on the hill in Lover's Lane, drive on the highway. It was looking promising.

"Parallel park," was the next command.

Off to the flags in mother's T bird.

"Bumped the flag, go back to the courthouse." said the officer. It was an accident.

Mr. Edlund was at the courthouse with his blue Ford, shuffling one kid after another into the vehicle for driving tests. Little Miss Twice Failed was in tears.

"Perhaps, said Mr. Edlund, "It would be best if you used the school car."

And the third time she did.

The officer gave two marks before the engine started. Driver was wigged out by now. She is not sure what the marks were for but he seemed to be making a lot of them.

"Go back to the court house". he said.

She stopped the blue Ford in the front of the court house and the officer handed her the paper. She had passed.

Then, she asked for her license. He mumbled something about taking the test three times and she could wait for it to come in the mail.

She already had a car, Ragdoll was sitting by the curb at the house on Kneale Avenue. She waited and waited, and waited.

The license came two weeks later. The first trip was a drive on MN HWY ONE west of Thief River Falls. Daddy in the front seat trying to be okay and mother laying down in the back seat because she was scared.

Some kids got 98%, the only points off were for in experienced drivers. It was not going to happen and this driver knew it.

Now it may be three strikes and you are out.


It may be, the third times the charm.

Old Trunks still has imaginary man holes but then, she chases rainbows, too.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Driver's Education has been taught to teenagers for seventy-five years. The first driver’s ed class ever was taught in 1934 at State High in State College, Pa., by Amos Neyhart, an industrial engineering professor at nearby Penn State University.

While reading the Lawrence Journal World newspaper recently, there was an article about the program in Lawrence being fifty years old in this Kansas community.

"I was nervous,” says Stewart, who now is 88 years old. “My wife says it took me three years to get over my nerves and settle into it.”

Students no longer learn on standard transmissions. Stewart insisted on teaching the stick shift. “I was one of the old school,” he says. “I made sure they got both (standard and automatic).” He doesn’t think it’s a good idea to teach only automatic. “I still think it would be important because you have a little better understanding of what is happening with the car,” he explains. “You don’t get that with an automatic.”

His students didn’t always like it. He once had two girls almost in tears when he told them they’d be training on stick shift. “Oh, we’ll have fun,” he reassured them.

Sure enough, they did. They drove out clear south of town. The next time the girls had to go out, they requested the stick shift. Perhaps my children had him as a teacher.

When the paper said Driver's Ed in Lawrence, Kansas was fifty years old, I had to calculate just how long ago that was. Was it really that long ago? How can I remember the summer of 1960 and the lilac bush by the nun's house?

It seems as if Thief River Falls had two cars for this training. One was a blue 1960 Ford with an automatic transmission and the other a 1960 Chevrolet with a stick shift.

Mr. Edlund appeared to be in charge of the Ford and Mr. Adams had the Chevy with the chicken brakes.

Now, I hadn't driven much with a learning permit so I had no skills except a few hours on a tractor and riding lawn mower. What I expected out of my ordeal was the ability to drive without an accident and stay in my own lane. In other words, I expected to be a seasoned driver after just a few hours behind the wheel. If we had class room time, I do not remember it.

I did fine with Mr. Edlund. He was a soft spoken man and complimentary to turns well done. For example, he taught that every intersection as an imaginary man hole in the center and when making a left turn, one needs to 'find it' to make a proper turn.

Mr. Adams and the stick shift was a little different. I thought he told me to turn into the alley by the nun's house. What he meant was turn at the next intersection. We came to a halt under the lilac bush. I remember him trying to get the vehicle to stop using the brake he had on his side, commonly called the chicken brake.

Mr. Edlund taught us to start the turn into a parallel parking spot using an image of the end of the first car door. That is, when the car door matched up with the car in front of you, you made a tight turn to the right almost to the curb, when a tight turn to the left to get the car to place in the parking spot. Once in, you positioned your car in the center with wheels going forward. It is like a an "S". Oh, and remember to use your signal. Practice was held between two flags on a quiet street.

I would have liked to have Mr. Edlund as a teacher for a class during the winter months. He gave me visions to think about. I did have Mr. Adams for a science teacher and the only thing I remember is him slamming Gary against the lockers outside of the class room. He was more of a here-is-the-lesson-learn-it sort of teacher.