Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
by Elizabeth Cooper Mike
"Is it time?" I asked. "Is it time, Mama?" I was sitting on a chair in the old kitchen. That's where my Mama sat me so I could keep clean. I rubbed my handkerchief over the toes of my shiny black shoes so they could keep clean, too. I got the handkerchief off my belt where Mama had tied it.
I always had a clean handkerchief when I dressed up, especially on Sunday. Mama would tie a penny in the corner so I could put it in the collection when our Sunday School teacher passed the basket. I was proud to give a penny every Sunday. Some kids forgot their pennies, but I never did. I knew it was for all the starving children in far-away lands.
Jack was in the other chair. Mama had tied him to the back of the chair with a dish towel because he was only two and wouldn't stay sitting. I was going on four, so I could sit for a long time though sometimes it was awfully hard.
But I knew that's what Mama wanted me to do. Peggy was a crawler. On the floor all the time and trying to reach everything. So Mama had her in the high chair. We were all dressed up waiting for Daddy to come in from the barn and drive us to St. Paul to see Nana and Papa. That was 80 miles away. It was hard to wait. I asked Mama again, "Is it time, Mama? Is it time to go?"
Then Daddy came in and I thought we were ready to go, 'cause Mama said, "Hurry and get ready, Bailey. We're waiting."
But Daddy said, Mike Eskers came down just now. He needs my help fixing his new pigs. He's never done that before." I thought of how when Daddy fixed our pigs, he said, "Elizabeth, go in the house now," and I went, but I could still hear the pigs squealing out behind the barn. What did "fixing" mean, I wondered?
Mama looked kind of mad. She said, "It's darned funny every man around here seems to need you to hold their hand all the time. You knew I wanted to leave this morning."
"Mike's waiting," Daddy said. He laughed and tried to put his arms around Mama. "I'll be back in a jiffy and then we'll go. It's still early." And Daddy scooted out the back door like he didn't want to hear anything more Mama had to say.
And Mama had something more to say. She said, "Darn that man! He makes me so mad!"
We waited a long, long time. Mama went out to the Model-T several times and walked around it like she was thinking. She sat in the front seat and jiggled the levers by the steering wheel. She stuck the crank in a hole in the front of the car and turned it over once. She unscrewed the cap on the radiator and poured in some water. Then she took the front seat out of the car and looked down the hole there. I knew that was the gas tank. I guess she wanted to see how much gas was in the car. I was watching from the doorway and I thought Mama's getting ready to drive the car.
To be continued in two weeks.
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Founded in 1886, the Kimball community will be celebrating its quasquicentennial in 2011. Much has happened these 125 years, though looking back always makes one think it went fast. Enjoy the year with us, reminiscing. In fact, do you have something to share? Items of interest to Kimball area history would be much appreciated. Just call or send to us at the phones, e-mail or address at the end of this column. We will forever be grateful!
As we gathered our thoughts for this first 2011 "History Matters" column, we might call another "Turning Point," this is a particularly exciting time to be involved in the cause of historic preservation. The ongoing economic challenges, plus heightened public awareness, makes what we preservationists do to be more important and more relevant, than ever. Older buildings and communities are our business. In ways that can conserve energy, we can, at the same time, save older properties' tax dollars. The holiday season is past, and more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible and in this spirit we say, simply but sincerely, thank you. Most of you play an important part in preserving Kimball's history through donations of membership, finances, family stories, photos, many of these column stories and active roles in this historical society.
Today in history: In 1794, President Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union. (The number of stripes was later reduced to 13 again.)
Let's look at the decade we are entering. Forbes magazine published a "News from the Future" report highlighting 2011, "World's seven-billionth child born in Cairo and a flying car goes on sale for $200,000.
Every two weeks, there's another story here for you, so watch. And there will be many special events all year long. For more information, new or renewal memberships, donations mentioned above, commemorative souvenirs, contact the Kimball Area Historical Society at Box 100, Kimball MN 55353, or phone (320) 398-5743, or 5250, or e-mail
Next board meeting is Feb. 19, next program meeting is Feb. 22.
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Welcome to History 2011