Thursday, January 31, 2008

Got Milk?

Sande Dairy Milk Coupons for one quart of milk each
Bridgeman milk delivery truck
Half pint milk bottles. These generally had a name on them so they would get back to the dairy that owned them. The name was embossed or painted on.
The method of milk delivery before motorized vehicles.

Today, we are going to talk about milk. MILK? Yes. Milk. For all of us who don’t drink it, perhaps we need an explanation of what it is.

an opaque white or bluish-white liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals, serving for the nourishment of their young.

this liquid as secreted by cows, goats, or certain other animals and used by humans for food or as a source of butter, cheeses, yogurt, etc.

Perhaps your family homesteaded and owned a cow. These precious animals needed to be cared for to product milk for the family. Old Trunks wonders, if during the harsh winters and cold spells as we are having now, the cows weren’t brought into the house to keep them safe and continuing to produce.

When the Soo Line began its line through Rosewood, the cream was put on the train and brought to town for sale. For many families, the cream meant some spending money for extras like flour, sugar, perhaps even taxes. It was the staple for many families making pennies stretch.

Milk came to our house in quart bottles. If it sat still, the cream went to the top. Since cream was heavier, why didn’t it sink? Tom has just answered my question, it is thicker but it is lighter. Since fat rises, how come I am not flying?

Milk was delivered to the door. Our milkman actually put it in the fridge. His name was Mr. Silk. The empty bottles was a prompt as to how much to leave. It was like an inventory. Cream and other dairy products may have been available. At one time, prepaid coupons were sold, each representing a quart of milk.

Mother would shake the bottle to mix it; Grandma gently poured off the cream. There were numbers of devices on the market to siphon the cream out.
In my day, The home delivery companyies were Bridgeman or City Dairy.
If people were having their groceries and milk delivered from the store before that, think about a horse and cart bringing it to the house.

In 1883 in Duluth, Minnesota, an enterprising young man named Henry Bridgeman began peddling fresh milk house to house from a goat cart. Through persistence, hard work, quality products, and a little luck, his business grew into the largest dairy concern in the Midwest.

Land O Lakes The organization was incorporated on July 8, 1921, as the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association. In 1924, the association decided to expand its butter market, and a search was made for an appropriate brand name and trademark. A contest was announced to choose a name. To tie in with the golden color of butter, $500 in gold was offered as prize money. Two contestants, Mrs. E.B. Foss and Mr. George L. Swift, offered the winning name — Land O'Lakes, a tribute to Minnesota's thousands of sparkling lakes. The name became so popular that in 1926 the association changed its corporate name to Land O'Lakes Creameries, Inc.

There are two definitions one needs to know:

Pasteurize: Which was heating the milk to get the germs out was discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1864

Homogenize: Which was mixing it up, (meaning the fat, or cream is mixed in and there is no separation). Although it was first done in 1899, people still liked to have the butterfat. They used the butterfat for other processes and therefore didn’t become the norm for several decades. Somewhere along the line, there was a switch over.

By the time we got to elementary school milk at a penny a bottle, was available in the mid morning, it was pasteurized and homogenized. It was delivered in wire baskets and passed out by milk monitors. Milk monitors were chosen for a period of time, it was their job to go get the milk and walk between the desk rows. The bottles had silver with lettering caps and the straws were paper. Later, on Fridays, chocolate was offered. The milk was rarely ice cold. Mother paid for my milk for the year. Some paid by the week. Some didn’t have money for milk at all and there weren’t programs for that at the time.

Some class members had the rare gift of screwing off the cap with a flat hand, then smoothing it with their fingers. This group generally kept their milk tops in a stack in their desks. Another group poked their pencil into the center of the paper lid; another group drank their milk one letter at a time. B- R- I- D- G- E- M- A- N.
In the late fifties, the high school built a new cafeteria. Milk breaks were 15 minutes long and you went to the cafeteria and did self serve out of a tank link unit. One used a paper cup. The milk break meant getting out of class. There was no control over who got out or who drank milk. It appeared only the most honest of students stayed in class if they did not have money on the books . Obviously my brother and I both had milk passes. He may have even drank it. Someone wiser than I know what happened to the program.

We tried the milk delivery concept when Rachel was little. Most of the milk got left in the box outside the door and the ants would get it before we did. We stopped the program. In her elementary school, the milk came in paper cartons. Sometimes the milk, delivered in the morning, sat in the hall until afternoon.

Tom says the Johnson family were great milk drinkers and in order to conserve, they mixed whole with powdered milk. He and his sons drank several gallons a week. The milk container was always on the table at meal time. Now, he is down to less than two gallons a week; hardly enough to have a cow. And if I had to drink that much, I would have a cow!

Moo to you.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Let's Go to the Movies!

Before television and even after television, our family went to movies. I learned about Abbott and Lou Costello, the Keystone Kops, Bob Hope, and Danny Kaye at the movies with my parents.

We went to adult -like films. Certainly Dial M for Murder and Marty were not movies for 10 year olds. During the golden era of 3-D we went to The House of Wax, (1953) at the Avalon. Even with glasses OFF it was very scary.

In 1956, Sandy C had a birthday party, The Bad Seed was playing at the Avalon. The idea was to have her mother give us the money in front of the Falls Theater and we would walk over to the Avalon and watch this movie about a child our age who was a serial killer. But Mrs. C bought our tickets and we were obligated to watch, perhaps, a western flick or comedy at the Falls.

The Falls Theater had more family oriented movies in the fifties; Friendly Persuasion and Around the World in 80 Days, both released in 1956 come to mind. But the Falls was also the place for Sci-fi such as the Blob, starring Steve McQueen, and the Godzilla movies with Raymond Burr. It was a great place to go on Sunday afternoon. Many of us groaned together watching Elvis Presley star in Love Me Tender. None of us could believe THE KING, who had made many recordings we all sang and danced to, play the part in a Civil War drama and he didn’t even have top billing!

I didn’t see as many movies as I told my parents I was going to but then there were others who never told them they went to movies at all! One of the movies I remember going to with friends was, Ben Hur and during intermission, someone called me 41 because that was the slave's name.

On Saturday afternoons starting in about first grade, Mother would drop me off at the Falls for the cowboy matinee with a quarter which bought the ticket and a treat. I loved going to the movies! As a teen, the movie price was 60 cents.

One always turned around to see who was in the crying room. It was a room on the top level with a glass window. If your child was crying, you were expected to take your child out. I could never figure out why churches didn’t have this feature, or did they?

I would see a few movies in Minneapolis, one of them was The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball in 1954. Mother liked to go to the movies in the big city but Daddy would always fall asleep and start to snore. I did see a couple of movies in the cities with Tom, but I was more interested in him than in the movies.

I read recently there are a few drive in theaters being built again. The one in Thief River Falls, according to the sign, opened in 1952. There is a Drive In near Warren, MN that opens on Memorial Day. The first time I was at a drive in was in the spring of 1958 at which time the movie was Sitting Bull. The drive in was a social place to go. To pester people in cars that were NOT watching the movie. For my fifteenth birthday, we took the hunting bus to the drive in. Daddy drove the bus and then went and sat with Mother in the car while us girls snuck out of the bus and socialized. When the movie was over, we were running from all directions to beat Daddy back to the bus. Of course, we had to get out and direct the bus over the railroad tracks!

When the Pink Panther movies came out, the Granada Theater in Lawrence, offered free admission, rolls and orange juice to everyone who came in pajamas. There were a lot of us. The next film in the series, they only offered it to the first few…..oh darn.

When the children were little, we would take them to the matinee once a month when they had movies for $1.00. The entire neighborhood would be loaded up and one of the parents would take turns as the chaperon. Rachel loved movies, the last one we saw before her brother was born really touched her. When it was over, she started to cry. She didn’t want the movie to be over!

Now going to the movies are far and few between. The best thing to happen is if someone from out of town comes to visit and we go to a movie. Tom and I saw Phantom of the Opera in 2004. My cousin, Judy was here the summer before she died, we went to The Devil Wears Prada, (2006).

What does it cost to go to a movie now? Fargo has children like movies on Saturday afternoons for $2.50 (+ popcorn). Senior rate in the late afternoon is about $6.00. Instead of two theaters like when I was a kid, Fargo-Moorhead offers numerous screens. A very special place is the Fargo Theater which is downtown and has live performances as well as movies. And guess what is playing? Savages!! But not the same as The Savage from 1926.

Roll the film!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Five unknown guys at the movie, The Savage.
Lyceum Theater
This is the Lyceum, it has two addresses listed, one on Third Street and the other in the 200 block of North LaBree.
The Princess Theater was on this street on the same side as the Brummond Hotel which was on the corner.

This was called the armory. AND it was the opera house. The address was 123 Main Avenue North and it burned in 1933.

August 1906
S L Lamont Propr 204 La Bree Avenue North
Machine operator at the Bijou was Hans O Angell who boarded at 416 Knight Avenue South.
Automatic Vaudeville Show
Open every afternoon from 2 to 5 and every evening from 7-11. Admission 10 cents; children 5 cents
Entire change of program twice each week

January 1907
Bijou Theater Program
Soap Bubble Fairies
Children at Play
King Solomon’s Judgment
Stealing Tomatoes
Huntsman and the Lion
Illustrated Song: When the Robins sing in the maple trees

Imagine what it would be like to watch The Night Before Christmas as a silent film and how exciting it would be to watch Santa Claus feeding reindeer. The movie was produced by Thomas Edison!

May 1908
First known mention of Lyceum Theater
215 3rd st E
Miss Anna Cherveny roomed at 501 Riverside Avenue and was a musician at the Lyceum.
Also listed as 208 LaBree

September 1915
Third Theater to open. The Princess Theater

11 4 Falls Theater dedicated

The picture of the people standing in front of a theater was probably taken in 1926, as that is when the silent movie, SAVAGE starring Ben Lyon and May McAvoy was released. The information line states it may be the Lyceum Theater but the Lyceum was more of a stone look exterior. The brick front matches the Avalon better. Perhaps the picture wasn't even taken in Thief River Falls.

Be careful about dates one finds. Here are some examples regarding the open/close of the theaters in Thief River Falls.

59 Hi Drive-In CLOSED
? 1961-? 1975 (We know from a picture when they were taking the sign down that the theater opened in 1952--although I personally thought it was in 1958)

103 E. 3rd St.
? 1935-? 1980
520 seats
1940-1945 Baeur Bros
1950-1980 Home Theaters Co.

213 La Bree Ave N.
? 1940-? 1980 (we know the theater was dedicated in 1937)
747 seats
1940-1945 Baeur Bros
1950-1980 Home Theaters Co.

Galaxy Twin OPEN
15469 Us Highway 59 NE
? 1990-

? 1930 (we know the Lyceum was first mentioned in the newspaper in 1908)
Anderson & Anderson owned this theatre.

Opera House CLOSED
? 1940 (This was part of the armory building also served as the opera house, which burned to the ground in 1933)

Princess CLOSED
? 1930 ( We know the Princess was opened in 1915)
Anderson & Anderson owned this theatre.

I can not find information who owned the Lyceum, the Bijou, the Princess which were the first theaters in town. One of the pictures puts the Princess and the Lyceum in the same block on the east side of the 200 block of LaBree, (even numbers). Other sources state they were on Third Street. In the 1910 directory, it does NOT list Brummond as owning two theaters. It is certainly possible he sold them to someone else.

Don’t you wonder what those early theaters were like? Where they another business before and a new front put on to make it into a theater? Certainly they did not have the plush seats we know of in theaters today.

Many of us grew up with the Avalon and the Falls. Later, the Drive In was the social place to go. We will talk about that tomorrow and share pictures of them.

PS For those of you who were following the hotels and liveries in Thief River Falls, I did write to and received an email from Dale. He states the building his dad owned was NOT a part of the livery which was on that block in the early 1900's. Thanks, Dale.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Room at the Top

Let’s think about this…..if you came to Thief River Falls in the early 1900’s as a family, how did you get your luggage, probably trunks to the hotel? There were no cabs as we know them. How about the horse and wagon service as shown in the picture!

Look at the lobby of the Hotel Northwestern. Check out the sign in desk. Look for the spittoons on the floor! It appears electric lighting was added after the building was built, look for the lamp above the check in desk and follow the tubing across the room. Are the two white items on the wall towels? Was the tilted mirror used for shaving? Is the pastry case big enough to recognize? Have you ever considered wall papering a ceiling?

Once you have arrived in the hotel and are in your room, do you think it would be as lavishly furnished as the one shown in the picture of the Brummond Hotel? Or do you think this suite is the permanent residence of the family shown? Was it the Brummond family? They owned the hotel, did they live there too? It certainly feels like a residence with the child and his toys and the pictures on the walls. Doesn't it almost seem like a well-to-do family with all the extra items like the tables? Note where the parlor stove is; in the arch way leading to another room.
It has been learned the Brummond's also owned two theaters. Let's see what we can find out about them and post it tomorrow!
Happy day to all!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hotels in Thief River Falls

Hotel Brummond is on the corner, this photograph was taken over the construction of the post office, which dates the picture in about 1933.
This is Horace Avenue and Third Street. The building with the open windows in your lower left corner is the Evelyn Hotel, later, it would be the site of the Pennington Hotel.
These gents with their cart are in front of the Hotel Northern. This is the Northwestern Hotel.

In thinking about the old hotels in Thief River Falls, Old Trunks is amazed at just how many there were. Although many of them were tossed up out of wood in a few weeks and burned in a matter of hours; nevertheless, the city had numerous places to stay.

In the downtown area we have already talked about the Ogahmah. In research, Old Trunks learned that means “Chief”. We also believe that the Ogahmah burned, although the article was an oral conversation and the person wasn’t quite sure. It is quite sure the Ogahmah was still standing in 1910 when the directory for the city was published.

Another hotel mentioned in the 100 block of north LaBree was the Brummond. It was on the northeast corner. Later, this same area would be the Stewart Hotel. I remember being in the lobby of this hotel as a child, as my brother’s friend's family owned the hotel. It may have changed hands numbers of time in between. In the early sixties, it was the Times office. Earlier it would also be called the Tveten Hotel. It would have apartments upstairs.

It isn’t quite clear if the Evelyn Hotel, which was on the corner of Horace and Third Street later became the Pennington Hotel or not. In some of the newspaper articles, it talks about the Pennington being the former Evelyn Hotel. It certainly looks the same.

The Pennington Hotel in the late fifties was really very pretty with its marble floor and heavy wood work. It did have a dining area, then called a coffee shop on the west side and a barber shop. The entire grand building was demolished for a parking lot.

There were little wooden hotels that grew out of necessity. Not as grand as the ones mentioned but none the less, housed traveling salesman. If one looks at the hotels in a city directory, one also notes that people boarded in hotels.

Hotel Central 303 4th St. East. This would be close to Trinity Church on the north side.

Park Hotel 301 Atlantic ave North. This appears to be the closest hotel to the Soo Line, it was a block west on the corner. To give you an idea of just where that was, think about standing in the Piggly Wiggly, (now a liquor store), and looking north.

Hotel West 314 Main ave Just in from the corner where the Times is now

The Northwestern Hotel was on LaBree in the 300 block. It was behind what is now called the Northern State Bank.

HOTEL STAVANGER 324 Duluth Avenue North

Telemarken Hotel was on Fourth and Knight. It later was a clinc run by Dr. Swedenburg.
Why were these hotels away from the center of the city? Was it because the liveries were in this area? The first livery was owned by Remmen's and was located at the corner of 3rd and Knight, there was also a boarding house there. This location is north of where Wenneberg's Welding was at one time. Was this the original building and did they shoe horses there? Shall I write to Dale?

The Falls Hotel was on the east side of the 100 block of LaBree, or the same side of the street as the Brummond. Some of you might remember the Fixit shop that was south of the hotel. It had rooms, did it have a lobby? There was a hotel where people roomed when I lived there called the Welch Hotel. It was down town on Third Street on the opposite side of the Pennington. I believe it was walk up only and was not listed in the 1910 directory.
As we work through the town in pictures, I will be honored to share a picture Soozi sent regarding the 200 block of north LaBree which includes the Falls Theater, Thanks, Soozi!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hotel Ogahmah 109 North LaBree

Ogahmah Hotel and Strand's Grocery West side of LaBree 100 block.
Where the popcorn and peanut wagon sit is where the post office would be built. Looking south, you see a cream store, just beyond that is the Ogahmah. This was taken before the post office was started.
Interior of the Ogahmah Hotel at 109 North LaBree
The exterior of Ogahmah Hotel at 109 LaBree Avenue North

As mentioned in the post script of yesterdays post, the picture offered of LaBree Avenue IS the 100 block of NORTH Labree; the correction has been made.

Let's talk about that block again, now that we know it isn't next to the river. Old Trunks offers pictures, once again. The two pictures are of the Ogahmah Hotel. For those of you who lived in Thief River Falls, this hotel was on the block where the post office is now. The post office address is 121 North LaBree. We can determine by the address of 109 that the hotel was not on the corner.
1893 Advertisement
AD Hotel Ogahmah First class special attention to hunting, fishing, and excursion parties. Rates, from $1.00 to $2.00 a day. West Side of LaBree
Livery and Feed Stable Special attention given to commercial travelers. Is that why the area to the south was fenced?
1894 News
A gramophone has been on exhibition at the Ogahmah the past week. The proprietor is minus the left arm and the right leg and the boys patronize the phone liberally. A sidewalk has been built in front of the hotel.
It appears white table cloths were standard on a day to day basis in the hotel's dining room. Can you magine how much time was taken to wash and iron them? When was the last time you ate somewhere that had white table cloths? Does your dining table have a table cloth?
Looks at the huge pattern in the wall paper. Is that typical of that era?
Look at that beautiful clock on the wall. Was it an eight day? What would you stand on to wind it?
It appears there is another dining room beyond the one the people are sitting on.
Did you see the hyacinth on the counter? This tells us the picture was taken in the spring.
What kind of music did those boys listen to on that gramophone? Or, how many of these 1890 songs do you know?
Break The News To Mother
Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built For Two)
Her Eyes Don't Shine Like Diamonds
A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight
In The Baggage Coach Ahead
Just Tell Them That You Saw Me
Little Annie Rooney
Mother Was A Lady
On The Banks Of The Wabash
Far Away
Say 'Au Revoir,'But Not 'Good-Bye
She May Have Seen Better Days
She Was Bred In Old Kentucky
The Streets Of Cairo
The Sunshine Of Paradise Valley
Take Back Your Gold
Those Wedding Bells Shall Not Ring Out
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
You're Not The Only Pebble On The Beach
Coax Me
After The Ball
The America Beautiful
The Band Played On
Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere
The Bowery
Gypsy Love Song
Hearts And Flowers
Hello, Ma Baby
I've Been Working On The Railroad
Kentucky Babe
Maple Leaf Rag
Musetta's Waltz (Quando Men Vo) from the opera Boheme
My Wild Irish Rose
'O Sole Mio
Oh, Promise Me
The Red River Valley
The Rosary
She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain
Sidewalks Of New York
Stars And Stripes Forever
The Story Of The Rose
Sweet Rosie O'Grady
The Sweetest Story Ever Told
To A Wild Rose
When You Were Sweet Sixteen
The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo
You Tell Me Your Dream
Where Did You Get That Hat?
She Is More To Be Pitied Than Censured
Who Threw The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder
Asleep In The Deep
Throw Him Down McCloskey
The Cat Came Back
I Don't Want To Play In Your Yard
Sing along!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Are the Addresses Incorrect?

Looking North from South First - Addresses and buildings listed are:

Thoreson Second-Hand Store (101 South LaBree.)

Ogahmah Hotel (109 South LaBree)

The Brummond Hotel (116 South LaBree),

Morgan's (118 South LaBree),

Lieberman's (120 South LaBree)

If you have been a Thief River Falls resident, then you need to think about where this Second Hand Store was. Remembering that First Street, (or as it was called Bridge Street) is the street which separates north from south just as Main Avenue separates east from west.

That means the Second Hand Store and all the others mentioned where where the hospital and all the other medical buildings are now. Surprise you? Yes, me too. I was certain it was the block where the post office is, but that is NORTH LaBree. As a genealogist, it doesn't add up to me. Why would all of these buildings be right on top of the saw mill next to the river? Can I get this question answered?

If the addresses are correct, The Second Hand Store was on the west side, (uneven numbered) street as was the Ogahmah Hotel. The rest of the buildings mentioned, are on the east, or the even side, which is the address of the medical center.

Does it matter?

Does to me and to think I started out to visit about second hand shops!


I wrote to the source, she fixed it, it is SUPPOSED to be NORTH LABREE. That puts the Ogahmah Hotel in the present parking lot south of the present post office. When one finds something one questions, try to find someone who knows the answer or can fix the problem.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ENUFF Snuff!

Ad Says: An even mouthful of Climax Plug gives more satisfaction than a bulging mouthful of any other tobacco for the reason that Climax Plug is much the best!

Is the man using snuff OR did my ancestors just call it snuff? Snuff is a type of smokeless tobacco. There are several types, used in different ways, but traditionally it means Dry/European nasal snuff, which is inhaled or "snuffed" through the nose.

Chewing tobacco is a smokeless tobacco product. Chewing is one of the oldest ways of consuming tobacco leaves. Native Americans in both North and South America chewed the leaves of the plant, frequently mixed with the mineral lime.

Smokeless tobacco is prepared in three forms:

One to three high-quality leaves are braided and twisted into a rope while green, and then are cured in the same manner as other tobacco. Users cut a piece off the twist and chew it.

Is made by pressing together cured tobacco leaves in a sweet (often molasses-based) syrup. Originally this was done by hand, but since the second half of the 19th century leaves were pressed between large tin sheets.

Is a loose leaf chewing tobacco (sometimes referred to as "chew" or "chaw"), was originally the excess of plug manufacturing. It's sweetened like plug tobacco, but sold loose in bags .

From a med 1860's article:
The chewing of tobacco was well-nigh universal. This habit had been widespread among the agricultural population of America both North and South before the war. Soldiers had found the quid a solace in the field and continued to revolve it in their mouths upon returning to their homes. Out of doors where his life was principally led the chewer spat upon his lands without offence to other men, and his homes and public buildings were supplied with spittoons. Brown and yellow parabolas were projected to right and left toward these receivers, but very often without the careful aim which made for cleanly living. Even the pews of fashionable churches were likely to contain these familiar conveniences. The large numbers of Southern men, and these were of the better class (officers in the Confederate army and planters, worth $20,000 or more, and barred from general amnesty) who presented themselves for the pardon of President Johnson, while they sat awaiting his pleasure in the ante-room at the White House, covered its floor with pools and rivulets of their spittle. An observant traveller in the South in 1865 said that in his belief seven-tenths of all persons above the age of twelve years, both male and female, used tobacco in some form. Women could be seen at the doors of their cabins in their bare feet, in their dirty one-piece cotton garments, their chairs tipped back, smoking pipes made of corn cobs into which were fitted reed stems or goose quills. Boys of eight or nine years of age and half-grown girls smoked. Women and girls "dipped" in their houses, on their porches, in the public parlors of hotels and in the streets.

Twist: Brands include Skoal.
Keep between cheek and gum - don't chew - its long lasting flavor gives you discreet tobacco satisfaction without expectorating. When the taste is gone, the pellet is easily removed. Skoal comes in a tin and also in something called the Skoal Bandit, which is like a mini tea bag, you can get rid of all the leaves cleanly.

Plug: Days Work and Cannon ball
Comes in plugs in a case of 15 ranging from 38 to 48 dollars.

Scrap: Popular brands are Red Man, Levi Garrett, Beechnut, and Mail Pouch. Loose leaf chewing tobacco can also be dipped.
Comes in packages and range in price from 22 dollars to forty, with Redman being the most expensive and a brand called Starr being the least.

It appears to come down to if you want to put in the loose or bite off the plug. Either way, unless you are a die hard, you are going to have to spit out of the juice somewhere.

Did your ancestors spit it out the door or did they have a coffee can in the house? Did their shirt have tobacco stains? How about tell tale brown marks around their mouth? Did they have an image of a tin can marked in their pants from "carrying".

Grandpa Benhard was a user. His khaki pants had the 'mark'. He had a coffee can in the house. He would 'chew' when he played cards, reach over and down and spit in the can.

The last user I knew was a man at the nursing home. He walked around the interior of the building carrying a paper cup. He was a thin man; you could see the bump in his cheek. He must not have used CLIMAX.

(What's the use of chewing snoose and spitting out the juice!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Home Ec and Cooking

Yes, for certain, home EC was offered for three years; grades seven, eight, and nine.

A reach for a year book from Thief River Falls picked, at random, the 1959 Prowler offers photos. The mission statement reads:

Future Homemakers strive to promote appreciation of joys, satisfaction, and the importance of homemaking and to develop an interest in community life. They are hoping send some of their members to the state convention in March and a summer camp. The money for the projects will be raised through bake sales and dues.

Anyone who has one year of home economics or is now enrolled in home economics may join the group. Meetings are held twice a month. One is these is a business meeting and the other is a program.

It appears there were a few students in the organization that were also 1962 graduates. I am hopeful these ladies' did learn something from meeting together and went on to be truly great seamstresses and cooks.

The yearbook states that Mrs. Pound was teaching ninth grade Home EC and Advanced Home EC.

Old Trunks doesn't remember much about two years of Home EC. A few things come to mind.

1. We were required to peel and section oranges and display them on a plate. We were NOT allowed to break the membrane and remove the seeds. THEN HOW??? How do you get the seeds out of a section of an orange without breaking the membrane? Did she teach us or was we suppose to know?

2. We made cookies. We had Home EC last period. Most of the kids in the group I was in were farm kids; we had to catch the bus. The bus driver would not be waiting because we were making cookies. I do believe, in this case, she did tell us how much batter to use for each cookie. But we doubled up and made monster size cookies to get things done, cleaned up, and make the bus. When she walked around and judged the cookies, she said ours were too big. I remember telling her we were farm kids, people who were doing the harvesting wanted a big cookie. We didn't get an F but we probably didn't get an A either. If there had been a jelly roll pan, we may have opted for bars!

What else did we do in Home EC? Darned if I know. I suspect we did a lot of reading about grooming, healthy foods, and attitudes. Maybe we talked about marriage and raising children. We were never certain if our teacher's husband ran off or died, we just know she was raising a male child alone. I came away with this concept:

"At the end of the day, husband is tired from a hard day at work. Put on a clean apron, fresh lipstick, and greet him at the door while supper is ready to put on the table".

The idea of healthy eating was a mute issue; Mother cooked and offered a balanced diet. I didn't need to read books and study nutrition. Segmenting oranges and making cookies was not my idea of learning to cook. I didn't cook at home, nor did I need to. I decided I would learn when I needed to and I have and can offer you an excellent meal for even the most discerning palette offered on a functional feng shui room with a beautifully set table.

As young teens, we needed to learn about life. Home EC could have been the best of classes. It could have offered us real meat for the times and uncovered those hush-hush subjects of the 1950's. It could have enlightened us; the teacher could have been a best friend.

Instead, the classes were based on old books with an old concept teacher. The mission statement to "promote appreciation of joys, satisfaction" did not appear to exist. It is a painful memory for me for the teacher to make a case against my best friend for wearing ill fitting clothes. She had no right to attack her in public for having a baggy skirt and comment on her hips and butt being too prominent to wear that sort of skirt. And on the next day, when the second half of the style show happened, and I wore my friend's clothes, I was not docked for baggy and big butted. The only good thing that came out of it was AY and I would change clothes in the bathroom and she wore mine until mother wondering why the seat of the skirt was stretched out and forced me to quit exchanging. AY and her sister wore each other's clothes all the time, it is not certain just who's derriere's print it was. We just know that wool shapes around you.

I read a newsletter recently. It was from Thief River Falls. A former student talked about his favorite teachers. He did not have Home EC; the teachers he mentioned where respected for their teaching abilities, they made the subject come alive.

Pass the spatula.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sew SO

Wash on Monday

Iron on Tuesday

Sew on Wednesday

Market on Thursday

Clean on Friday

Bake on Saturday

Church on Sunday

My grand mother and my Mother had these towels. They were made from flour sacks. Flour sacks are now available in box stores AND even in grocery stores. We found a broken set in Mrs. Johnson's house in the late nineties. It is hard to know why some of the days were missing.

As a child, I wondered what people did if they needed to use Monday AND Tuesday on Monday. The answer is simple. These towels were used, hung up and used again after they dried. Most kitchens had a towel bar of some sort, most of them where three fingered.

Many girls had to hem and embroider a dish towel as a home economics project in seventh grade. And like all seventh graders, a piece of unbleached muslin was purchased along with floss and needles, and a hoop. The idea was to hand hem the towel and embroider the design, which, as I remember, was something furnished in class. A full set of patterns cost 10 cents; not a hard ship for the school system.

The teacher's name was Mrs. Pound. She wore a lot of black including her police matron shoes, had fat ankles, and wore red lipstick. She wasn't the kind of person you could get close to.

I am trying to remember if we were taught how to do the stitches. I think we must have because I was really good at making French Knots although the pattern, as I remember, did not call for them. I just know that taking a big muscle sort of person off the farm and putting her into a bitty stitch project did not go well. I am having images of the finished project; it was done with as big a stitch as I could make without her telling me to rip it out.

Home Ec appeared to be one semester of sewing and one semester of cooking. The second sewing project was to make an apron. It was to be made with checked gingham. My choice was black and white with red trim. The apron had pockets. I didn't have much interest in that either; Mother finished it and was not pleased she got a C+. After Phyllis ran the needle through her finger in class, I lost interest in hurting myself.

It must have been in eighth grade when we were to make an outfit. For some reason, my fabric was bought in Minneapolis. It was called Indian Cloth it frayed. It had weight to it, weight enough that the machine had to be reset. The skirt was sort of a mocha brown and the top was tan. The pattern was our own choice. I suppose the pattern was more complicated than it should have been.

As you remember, the Home Ec room had tables. We spread the fabric out on the table to cut it. Well, I had my top pattern cut out, which was under the skirt pattern. When I cut the skirt, I cut right through the top. This could be amended by Mrs. Pound by putting a pleat across the bust.

We were not allowed to take our work home. There was no grace here. Somehow I managed to get the garments finished and hoped it would hang together until after it was modeled.

Some of the girls in the class really did nice work. There garments really looked wearable. Mine? When I got home, I put it in the burn barrel and did not sew again until I was an adult. Nor have I embroidered dish towels or pillow cases.

Tomorrow: The cooking side of Home Ec class.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Grandpas are Learners

Think about territory.

Think about your own territory and just what ground you share.

Really share; freely without any reservation.

Think about where you sit at the table, in the living room, and which side of the bed you sleep on.

Think about what is OURS, YOURS, and MINE.

It may jam you up. That is a lot of thinking for a Monday morning.

Think about the learning tools you have in your house. Think about your own hobbies and equipment. Do others use the equipment? What if they are new to it? Would you encourage them to use it anyway? What it it was THEIR idea to use it?

Think about your own daily patterns; today, let's think about the computer as the subject matter. Does your daily routine include hoping on the net, reading newspapers and checking/writing email? What if someone else really needs to be on task with same computer for the weekend?

The need was real. Old Trunks was surprised at her reaction. When Tom came home on Friday night with a box full of disks belonging to a work partner and had a plan to download the music to the computer, then to the IPOD, it was the desk top computer he would need. The idea was to get specific music off each of the disks, use his $25 gift certificate from Christmas to download from ITunes, and to also buy a few more songs. It would take a major part of the weekend because there was a lot of research to do to find the songs he wanted. He was frustrated that he had poor directions.

The answer was to print out 72 pages so he understood what the IPOD was all about and to release energy into him free and clear, then get out of the way unless he had a need for discussion or a question. As the stand by person, I had the right to give him a back rub as he tensed over the desk for long periods of time.

What I was surprised at was I was not like a junk yard dog guarding a piece of equipment like it was my own, although I am first user. Nor did I stand like a physical therapist holding on to his belt as if he couldn't take the steps by himself. I expected some ripples, not outwardly but inwardly; it didn't happen.

While he worked on his project; I worked on mine. We were close enough to talk to one another, yet we were in our own space. Freedom

Grandpas are learners.

In this case, Grandma shared.

I am liking this.


Sunday, January 20, 2008


Snuggle right in feeling
Sunrises on the water
Long casts
Double Rainbows
Cloudy days and sunny thoughts
Tossing attic junk
Lasting values
Gramophones to IPODs
Cherry cheese cake
Custard pie
Roses and Daisies
Sexy music
The moon on the snow
Bread pudding
Birch logs
Unchained Melody
Memories of Max
Digital thermometers
Summer hats
Hamburgers at Patrick’s
Meetings at the airports
California umbrellas
Glasses that don’t pinch ones nose
Being camera shy
The tree in the swamp
Back rubs
Pork n kraut
Tilley hats
Supper baskets
Black squirrels
Frog songs
The rendezvous
Served coffee
Don’s car wash
Down pillows
Eel pout
Rag place mats
Gill rigged
Sun burning off the morning fog
Brownies with NO nuts
Hugs that say it all
Speak Easy
Queen bed, use half
Push poles
Backing into the garage
Ice fishing
Conversations at the table
Life jackets
Engraved ring
Mass buying
Loving you
He is a gift every day
Schools of fish
Jumpin’ bass
Knocking knees
Weather or not
Drifting off to sleep on his shoulder
Sofa snoozing
Ice out
Sun screen

Identify someone with precious memories. This one’s for Tom, who, today, is 66.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Funeral of Henry T Rye

Henry T Rye died on January 19 of 1960. This is a picture of him in his casket. Although it may seem disturbing, it is important to understand that for decades, photographing the person was common. Think about the people who could not attend the funeral; think about how people felt they needed a picture to remember the individual. The only time something like this spooked me was when I was watching the video of my own Mother's funeral and the camera panned and showed, for just a moment, an image of her in the casket; I wasn't expecting it.

We like to think about Henry T as a true patriarch of his large family. Although we have information about his brothers and sisters, it is Henry T who received the admiration of his family. For those who knew him, it is hard to believe it is 48 years since he died.
For those who are doing genealogy, remember that many people, such as Mr. Rye, died at home. Keep that in mind when you want to look up death certificates to order. During this era, that is, 1960, many of the New Solum residents were in the hospital in Pennington County were Thief River Falls is. Henry Rye died in Marshall County. At the Minnesota Historical Society web site, it is very rigid about the county. If you don't get a hit with one county, try another.
Another thing that was common during this time was most people who died in the winter where kept in storage at the Greenwood Cemetery vault until the ground thawed. Most likely this is what happened with Henry. The people at Greenwood assure me that with the equipment they have now, the burial happens all seasons.
When a person died in the winter, the funeral was held at the time of death and a grave side service might be held in the spring. My grand mother died in November and was buried then. But Daddy was held over until spring.
Let's hope Shirley can fill in the blanks. Shirley! We need you!

Friday, January 18, 2008

January Birthdays and Anniversaries

The new and improved Family Tree is NOT like the old, lovable, comfy as an old slipper Tree to me. I can't find a place where I can simply run a calendar. Although it is very, very stream lined, it isn't folksy, like the other. Let's hope I can find my way around it by the time February is here!

January Birthdays and Anniversaries

1. Jeannie Steinhauer (1944)
This is Walt and Alice Rye Steinhauer's daughter
To Kelsie and Jaeme; 1st Cousins, twice removed
Person in common: Henry T Rye
8. Ike Montana Chamberlain (1977)
This is Robert Chamberlain and Reta R Rye's son
To Kelsie and Jaeme he is second cousin once removed
Person in common: Henry T Rye
11. Gertrude Halmingrud Olson (1860)
To Kelsie and Jaeme, Gertrude is their third great grandmother
Common link is Gertrude
11. Walter Steinhauer and Ella Rye Anderson were married on this day

12. Harold Steinhauer (1943)
Son of Walter Steinhauer and Alice Rye
To Kelsie and Jaeme, first cousin, twice removed
Person in common: Henry T Rye
16. Reta Renee Rye Chamberlain (1956)
Daughter of Ralph Rye and Atropa Moncrief
To Kelsie and Jaeme, she is a first cousin twice removed
Person in common: Henry Rye
19. Aaron Rye (1980)
Aaron is the son of Lawrence Henry Rye and Teri Gordon, also listed as Nanette.
To Kelsie and Jaeme, he is their second cousin, once removed
25. Joesphine Lundberg
The third great grandmother of Jaeme

January is also a great month for the Johnson's. Tom was born on the 20th, his sister, MaryAnn on the 26th, and their mother, Erna, on the 30th.

Great Uncle Bennie

Uncle Bennie is the man is left and front with the white tie. Grandpa Benhard Ranum is in the back row right with the curly coat. Old Trunks does not know the identity of the other two gentleman.

Uncle Bennie was the fifth son of Knute and Siri Ranum. He was born in New Solum Township, Rosewood, Minnesota on October 10, 1982.

1899. Mentions Bennie Ranum. Bennie and friends were at some one's farm. The teenagers were playing with guns. Bennie's step nephew, Greenley, (a child of Karen Greenley who married Knute Ranum after both of their mates died), shot his friend.

January 1922
Rosewood News Mr. and Mrs. Benhard Ranum entertained 18 guests at a whist party. First prize went to Bennie Ranum which was a cockerel. Cards were played at four tables and lunch was served at midnight.

December 1922
Rosewood News Christmas Day supper guests at the Benhard Ranum home were Mr. and Mrs. James Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Dols, Chester and Delmar Dols, Bennie Ranum and for dinner last Tuesday in compliments of Mr. A Opseth, Mr. and Mrs. Westby, Even Anderson and Ingrid Nordhagen.

June 1923
Rosewood News Benhard and Bennie Ranum motored home from Northland last Sunday to spend the day with the home folks.

Winter 1926
Rosewood News Benhard and Bennie Ranum were the successful bidders for a $2000 contract of repair work on the school building in District 6, three miles northwest of Warren and will commence work there as soon as conditions permit.

May 1926
Rosewood News Benhard and Bennie Ranum left Monday for Warren where they will be employed.

January 1928
Benhard and Benny Ranum are employed at Thief River Falls this week building an addition to the O'Hara ice house. O'Hara was the father of Lorine, who married Otto, Bennie's half brother.

July 1928
Benny and Fred Ranum attended the state fair at Grand Forks last week.

January 1929
Benny Ranum returned home on Friday evening from Great Falls, Montana where he has spent the last month in an effort to secure carpentry employment. Ranum together with the Dahlin boys from Warren made the trip by car, and report no difficulty or snow on the way. It appears there is more snow here than for 900 miles west. Carpentry work however was not the best, and the cold weather also prevented the boys from making a longer stay there

Thanksgiving 1929
Mr. and Mrs. Benhard Ranum and Benny Ranum were entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Ranum in Warren at Thanksgiving.

April 1930
Benhard and Benny Ranum are in the employ of WW Prichard Jr. this week doing barn repair work east of Thief River Falls.

May 1930
Benhard and Benny Ranum are employed at Thief River Falls remodeling the seats of the fair grounds grandstand which they erected last summer.

June 1930
Benny and Benhard Ranum and Ted Thompson have been employed at the Radium the last week dismantling the cheese factor which has been purchased by a farmer there and will be remodeled into a dairy barn.

March 1947
Visitors at the Benhard Ranum home recently were Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ranum and children, Bennie Ranum, and Clarence Hall and Mitzi.

As we know from the story about the rhubarb, Bennie lived over a ditch/creek. We know that he moved his trailer to town, and either built a house or moved a house on to the property at the corner of 13th Street and Knight Avenue North.

We know that Bennie was, for the most part, a carpenter, as was his brother Benhard. We know that he never married.

Bennie was a quiet soul. Perhaps that is why Old Trunks doesn't know much about his early years. He may have been a guest at several holidays. We do know that, as the younger brother, he helped Benhard build several houses after Benhard and Julia moved to Thief River Falls.

What I do remember is his little house on Knight Avenue. I was one of those tag-a-long kids who always liked to go with my Dad. We would visit all sorts of places on Sunday mornings, including Bennie's house.

It wasn't until a discussion with my Sweet Thomas recently that I recognized the odor in the house at Bennie's; it was the smell of fuel oil!

The house had two rooms. If their was an indoor toilet, it would have been off the kitchen. One entered through a small built on porch directly into a simply furnished kitchen with a stove and refrigerator. There were no cabinets as we know them today. The bedroom was to the left of the kitchen. It appeared, as I remember, to be the same size as the kitchen. That is where we always found Bennie, resting on an open spring bed which was on a metal pipe-like frame. The bed was covered with a patch work quilt. His clothes, as I remember, were the same dark colors.

The walls, windows, and shades all had the same sort of sooty yellowed color. There were no chairs, Daddy would bring one in from the kitchen. A small table sat by the bed with a radio on it. Bennie would sit on the edge of the bed and talk to Daddy. We didn't stay long and there were no conversations in the car as we drove away.

It appeared to be the simplest form of existence of anywhere I had ever been. Is this what he wanted? Or was his frame of mind all that he needed?

Was Bennie always at holiday gatherings and no one remembered? Or did he just start coming to them later? In the early sixties, he attended Christmas at my grand parents house. He would sit quietly in a chair and said very little.

We know he was social with his family in his sort of way. We know he had friends.

Bennie died in September of 1978 in Thief River Falls, MN. He is buried at Rindal Cemetery near Rosewood. Of the eleven children born to Knute and Siri, now, only Johnnie was left.