More Misoula - #6


When I was a girl we had tramps who came to the back door begging for food. If they were given some they would make a mark on the sidewalk so the next tramp would know he would be given food.

When we lived in Defiance, Ohio, Mother sent me to the woodshed for something and there was a tramp in there. I just got what I had gone for and went back to the house. This was at night.

Our groceries, milk and ice were delivered to us by horse and wagon. The grocer would stop by for his order. The ice man had huge chunks of ice he would chip to the size for our ice chest. In the meantime his wagon would be surrounded by all of us children grabbing for chips. When we first moved into Bagley Avenue in 1933, there was an old ice chest inside the basement door and icemen were still delivering ice. I remember once Verna choked on a hunk of ice. Wilbur picked her up by the heels and pounded her back.

I think in another chapter I told about crawling under the table and eating Ivory Soap. While I was pregnant I didn't crave any particular food, I just wanted to smell Ivory soap suds.

I always loved my little sister, but didn't like to have her borrow my clothes without asking.

Once she wore one of my dresses and scorched it in Eileen Houlahan's cooking class - or was it at Hamilton? And I looked and looked for a favorite string of beads my friend Ruth Young had given me. The mystery was solved when I saw a picture of Myrtle and there were the beads around her neck.

When I was a girl an organ grinder would come around with a monkey. While the man played his instrument, the monkey, on a rope, would walk around the crowd holding out a cup for money. Mother was always afraid I would be abducted. I miss them.

And when I was little all my friends went barefoot. If I took off my shoes, I'd get spanked. Mother was from the east and back there nice children never went barefoot. By the time Myrtle came along she had become accustomed to western ways.

For years we bought Dutch cheese from Mrs. Wilbrodt at the east end of Vine Street and from Walterskirchens's on Higgins Ave. During the first World War the name was changed to cottage cheese. Because Walterskirchens were of German ancestry they had to close their store. Cottage cheese is still cottage cheese.

June 2007 Comment by Viola: I remember the day Verna choked on the ice. You can tell she wasn't very old since Dad could pick her up by the heels and she was nowhere near touching the ground.