Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Reprinted from Thursday, June 24, 1976, Tri-County News) Today has yesterday's memories, and yet, how seldom do we put meaning enough into today to make it worth tomorrow's memories? Has anyone ever said, "Well, what did you do yesterday?" only to find you searching for some recollection of a happening? Memories are not always deemed important by the youth whose thoughts only dwell on the future. But for those individuals whose age or health has limited the unpredictability of their futures, memories are constant companions. How fortunate for Harriet Lackey that she in her full lifetime was able to gather together a cherished storehouse of memories. For instance, there's the time she was driving the Model T and was told to "watch the brake", which she literally did, running right into a tree! Or the time she and Grover were going to st. Cloud and instructed the children not to go near the water, not to get into dad's tools, not to mess up the house, not to do this and that and that, etc. Upon returning home, they found Ken (11) all lathered up for a shave and saying penitently, "You didn't say not to do THIS!" Harriet's memories go back a long way because she was born March 17, 1893. When she was 5, she moved to Maine Prairie with her family and went to school there through the eighth grade. After completing high school and teacher's training in St. Cloud, Harriet taught at Mt. Hope, where she met and married Grover, the mail carrier from North Carolina. While he was involved in World War I, she continued to teach. She remembers teaching 44 children, grades one through eight in country school, where a good teacher had to be a strict one. She earned $64 a month and paid $15 of that for room and board. When Grover returned home, they began farming in Kimball and continued to do so for 32 years. The Lackey's raised seven children and participated in at least 50 family reunions - which were usually held at their farm because of its beautiful location and Harriet's delicious cooking. She planted a huge garden every spring and spent the winter admiring her storehouse of canned goods in the basement. What else stirs Harriet to reminisce? Well, things like: the surrey with the fringe on top, of which she was ashamed because the neighbors had cars; all the clothes she made from hand-me-downs during the years of the Depression; the 2-mile walk just to listen to the radio with ear phones; 50 years without electricity; ironing clothes for five girls with a flat iron; making baked beans and brown bread every Sunday; painting a beautiful picture of red roses; playing the piano and singing from the only one songbook the family owned; having her lifetime's braids cut (a million cross words would not have hurt her as much as Grover's response of simply "Well, Harriet ... "; getting her first typewriter at 72-years-old and teaching herself to type, Harriet now resides at the Dassel Nursing Home where she has been since suffering a stroke nine years ago. Her sister, Pearl Hilary, and her daughter, Evelyn Ellis, keep her posted on happenings around Kimball, but it's not the same for the lady who was once Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star, president of the legion auxiliary and ladies aide, and a member of the Church of Christ for the longest length of time. However, for one who is suddenly devoid of those and many other daily duties and concerns, Harriet has not lost any of her sense of humor and pleasant, cheerful nature. She never complains, even though her arthritic fingers are too bent to type or paint or bake brown bread. She really doesn't need to do all those things any more. She has a memory full, and we can only hope that when we reach Harriet's age, we too can find contentment and satisfaction in a life well lived. ********** We're defined by what we pass on to the next generation. That's why The Kimball Area Historical Society meetings, programs, exhibits and events, like the Orphan Train, are scheduled - to develop preserving and passing on what matters to the ones who matter most. ********** You're always welcome to join The Kimball Area Historical Society, a very reasonable, worthwhile investment in our community. Renewal of your membership is just as important and appreciated. More than anything else, membership strengthens the value of historic preservation in our area. ********** Our popular Keepsake Historical Society Cookbooks are available at Knaus Sausage, and we thank them for making these available all year. So, if you need a gift for you or others, keep it in mind. Also, the extraordinary Maine Prairie (Kimball's roots) booklet, note cards, trivet and coffee cups are available at our events and at The State Bank of Kimball on Main Street. We are grateful for their support to distribute these. All these are an excellent value and a great gift suggestion. Every item is an original, there's no other like them. When the supply is gone, they're gone. If any questions on genealogy, this column, our collection of photos and stories from everyone, please contact The Kimball Area Historical Society, Box 100, Kimball, Minn. 55353, (320) 398-5743 or (320) 398-5250. We're expecting "your" story. ********** What's New: Thanks to your support. If you want to see what we've been doing this year, do look over the south side historical windows and restored brickwork on the Kimball City Hall. And while you're at it, take a stroll through the city hall council chambers during business hours, for a peek at just a few of the wonderful latest histories and photos from several families who have responded to our cry for more. How about your's? Keep watching this column for the next
event you won't want to miss. ********** The richness of life lies in the memories we have forgotten.