Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Delmar's Story

Thanks to all who stopped by to join in last Wednesday!

Here's hoping some of you, my faithful readers, might join me in posting a story with a picture for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.  The challenge is to post a picture on your blog, then write a short story or a poem about the picture as a writing exercise.  When you have your story written, you can link up for others to read.  Feel free to also add your picture and story to another link of your choice. The link up is on my WWW page here. This is #32!

I've posted a picture of my dad on a previous blog, way back when, but I wanted to share with you a little of his story as told to me a few years before he died. Delmar was the only son, second child born to Kate and John.

Some excerpts from Delmar's story:

I started school at the old grade school in town. The janitor told all of us kids that there was a "paddling machine" in the basement of the school, and we were all afraid. I have memories of driving the horse and buckboard into town to my grandparents' when I could barely see over the sides. The horses knew the way home, so they would always get me there safely.

When I attended the country school near our home, I would start the fire and empty the ashes in the winter time for the teacher. 

My sister Florence used to read me the book Peter Rabbit when I was very small, and I had the whole thing memorized. I loved that story. One spring, we had a hen and ten to twelve chicks. I tried to teach them to drink, but I drowned them instead. I didn't ever get in too much trouble, as I was the baby in the family.

I drove my neighbor's tractor when I was only seven years old. We were still using horses at home. The tractor had iron wheels, and pulled a five-bottom plow. I also drove his truck to haul grain to town, and drove my dad's car when I was nine. Our first car was a Buick.

Years later, during the Depression, workers began to build the highway east of the farm. Mother and Dad took in workers to earn some extra money. There would be four or five men staying at the house, using some of the rooms upstairs in the old farmhouse, and eating with us. Mother also made lunches for them and washed their clothes. I remember one of the workers once showed me the effects of venereal disease he had caught, and it scared me to death!

I remember a poem one of them recited, but I don't know the author.

Beside a western water tank
On a cold November day,
Beside an open boxcar
A dying hobo lay.

His partner stood beside him
With a low and bended head,
And listened to the last words 
This dying hobo said.

"I'm going to a better land,
Where everything is bright;
Where beefsteak grows on bushes 
And you sleep out every night.

Where you do not have to work at all,
Or even change your socks,
And little streams of whiskey
Come tricklin' through the rocks.

Oh, tell my girl in Denver,
With her no more I'll roam,
'Cause now I've caught a westbound train,
And now I'm going home."

(That was the way Daddy remembered it, but I did find the poem on the Internet and have linked it here. Just a slight variation from what he remembered! There is also a song.)

We weren't rich, but we weren't poor. Times were rough during the Depression. You made do with what you had. Dad would give me $5 to go on a date, but I didn't date until I was a senior in High School.

I'll share more of his story with you at a later time. What a great guy, my Daddy. Hope you have enjoyed some of his story. Now it's your turn. Do you have a picture that reminds you of a story, maybe a bit more original than mine today? Now's your chance to write your story and link back to share with others at my Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.

Linda Kay

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