Connected Bloodlines

Country Life Revisited: Part 07: Transcription



Gm = Hazel Louise Miller Lowell

Gp = George John Lowell

J = Gerald Ray Lowell

M = Mitchell Scott Block

J: Boy, there’s some nice houses here out around the lake now.

Gm: Oh yeah, and right along the lake too there’s a lot of nice houses.

J: Yeah, that’s where Grandma and I had our swim after dark. When we picked chokecherries.

Gm: And boy did we catch heck.

J: Yup, we did.

Turn here again?

Gp: Let’s see, yah.

Gm: I wonder if they still have that Girl Scout camp up in there.

Gp: You know that Axtell Park Junior High? Well, it’s now Axtell Lyons. They donated this property to the Girl Scouts.

Gm: You know, could that be a tornado over there?

Gp: No.

J: No, there’s no funnel. It’s just the clouds drifting way down low.

Gm: It could make a funnel out of that cloud that’s down low there.

Boy the lake is high.

You know, I wonder if they got all of that glass out. At one time, there were so many broken bottles out there.

Gp: I’m surprised that they’re allowing people to swim in there.

Gm: Yeah, there’s usually gobs of people out here.

Gp: This on our left was this Uncle Louie's

farm home and he run the place across here. This was the roller rink.

Gm: Oh, they don’t have anything here now, do they.

Boy, we spent a lot of time roller skating there.

Gp: If you want to drive a little farther, well actually there’s nothing there but a boat house.

Gm: Well, it would be nice to go around.

Gp: It’s just a little ways.

Gm: This all used to be picnic places here.

Gp: Well, it’s been all filled in. This was rolling hills.

J: Now is this a state park, or anything like that?

Gp: This coming up here, not right here, but up a bit, there's a little bit of state park. There was some more political fandangos going on.

Gm: The man who built the stone house built a beautiful house along here.

Right here, turn in here.

Gp: Not here.

Gm: Oh no, not here.

Every time I open my mouth there’s something wrong.

Gp: This turn to your left here was nothing but a big slough. And this cousin’s husband [Robert William Walter], who built the stone house, he was quite a wheeler dealer and Harvey Scharn, who was a politician, they bought this ground right in here and they sold this slough to the state for a game conservation thing for something like $40-50,000 dollars when it was worth about $400-500.

Gp: There’s the boat house there.

Gm: There's an island out there.

Gp: There’s an island there. When I was a little kid my Dad used to come over here with the horses and the lumber wagon and drive through the water to get to that island and then he'd unhitch the horses and back the wagon down into the lake and we'd sit in there and fish. A lot of water over the bridge since all those old days.

Now if you look over to the left, you might see some of those houses. Most of them are kinda camouflaged by the trees and what have you. There are some pretty nice ones.

J: Yeah, it’s all gone now, where they had that old wood structure.

Gm: There was a big skating rink there.

When he first started that Jerry, you know where Cliff Cliff lived, and Edna used to live about a half a mile, a mile north of me and a half mile east and she used to meet me in the grove north of there and we'd walk over here to the roller rink.

Gp: We went out 41st so why don’t you make a left here and go back on old 16.

Okay, go ahead with your story, I’m sorry. I wanted to tell him.

J: This is Edna…?

Gp: Jess Adams' wife.

Gm: Yah. We used to walk over here in the afternoon and skate for 2-3 hours, learning how to skate. That’s how we learned to roller skate.

Gp: You see, as far as acquaintanceship, Edna and I, and even more so Grandma, go back farther than her husband.

Grandma and I and Edna and this friend from the Post Office used to double date way back before Jess even knew her.

J: So she was out here in the country too, then?

Gp: Yeah.

Gm: The year that she was a senior and I was a junior we did light housekeeping.

Gp: The only year that Grandma wasn't on the honor roll. [Laughter]

Gp: Oh, there’s the nicest restaurant up here in Hartford that...

Gm: Oh geez.

Gp: Has the cleanest floors.

Gm: Flies that you could almost…

Gp: You’d think flies…

Gm: I don’t know how we got into that.v

Gp: Oh, we were just out gallivantin’ around like we like to do and we stopped in there and had lunch.

There’s a nice restaurant down in Lennox, too.

Well, we got time.v

Now this is 42 instead of old Highway 16. A state highway.

J: Oh, am I supposed to be turning here?

Gp: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it used to be a federal highway 16, now it’s state highway 42.

J: I got mixed up, I thought I was turning too soon.

Gp: Right in this driveway coming up on the right Grandma and I had to leave our car one time, got caught in a blizzard, and had a ride into town with someone else. Remember that?

Gm: No, I don’t.

J: Shall we drive by the farm real quick like on our way home?

Gp: If you wish, if you wish.

Gm: Talkin’ about leaving your car, this winter that’s before I was married, before we was married…

Gp: About two miles from where we come up, go passed this one and then the next one...

J: In a mile? Okay.

Gp: Well you can turn on the first one and then we can angle around. Why don’t you turn on the first one.

J: The first one I hit?

Gp: Yeah, the first one you hit going south. Right up here a little bit.

J: Sorry, Grandma, you got interrupted.

M: Again!

Gm: What?

J: I interrupted Grandma.

Gp: Right here, Gerald.

Gm: Oh that first winter that I taught out here, oh boy, did we have the snow. It seemed like we always went to town on Friday night. George always came down and got me on Friday night. I had a room that I kept the year around in town and he'd come out and get me Friday night and then he'd bring me back on Monday night. Well, this one Monday night it had snowed so much and rained and there was wind and stuff that we were always watching the wind and if it started to blow he'd take me home sooner. Well, it wasn't blowing in town and so we went to a show first and about 9:00 we started out, my garsh, we got about 3-4 miles out and the road was almost blowing shut. Just blowing a gale out there. So, I was afraid that he'd get stalled and wouldn’t get back.

Gp: That was the weekend following the one I had gotten stalled out here for three days.

Gm: I was afraid that he might lose his job if he got stalled again or somethin’. So I talked him into going back and turning around and going back to town and putting on the chains and I would go take the car myself and drive out. Well, I was going just fine until that road that we went down to the Wall Lake corner.

Gp: Not to interrupt, but this is the dump comin’ up here to the left, where the wires are going in there. Okay.

Gm: Well, anyhow, I got that far to the Wall Lake corner and here was a car right in the middle of the road stalled half snowed under so I backed, finally backed up to the corner and didn't have any overshoes or anything on and boy was it cold and had to get out and shovel to get the car going backwards and I backed up to the corner and turned around and came down. So, the north and south roads were fine. I came down to Dad's house there at 3 o'clock in the morning. Froze to death, oh God, I was cold. Woke Dad up and told him I’ve got to get over there to school. I thought I might end up there and lose my job. But, anyhow, the sled was up to the neighbors, so Cliff had to get up and take the horses, go up there, and get the sled and then come down and get me.

J: Got you over on the sled then?v

Gm: Yeah, he took me over there on the sled.

Gp: Is this a road, a crossroad here?

J: No.

Gm: We are on the right road, are we, George?

Gp: I don’t know, I thought we were.

Gm: I don’t think we are.

J: I think we’re a mile north.

Gp: Yup, we’re a mile west of where we should be. That’s all right. When you hit the county line, you turn.

J: Okay.

Gp: We should have gone…

J: That’s alright. We’ll give Mitchell the scenic route.

Here’s a crossroad here.

Gm: Yeah, here’s a crossroad.

I don’t know where we are, George.

Gp: Yeah, turn here.

J: Well, at least we know we’re going in the right direction.

We got to go this way and we got to go that way, right?

Gm: Yeah.

And all the way, you know we had those old plow horses and they wouldn’t do more than walk.

Gp: Yeah, we turned a mile too quick, Hazel.

Gm: Is that what we did?

Gp: Yeah.

J: They only wanted to plow, then, the plow horses?

Gm: Yeah, that’s what I was saying. We had some blankets and straw in there.

Gp: We could have gone on this. The next road going south, take that, Gerald.

J: Okay.

Gm: …and Cliff all the way over “If I could have come over here with my Ford, you're going to hear about it.” Well, then when we got to where the car was stuck in the road then he didn't say anymore. We got over to my rooming house; they were just eating breakfast. Oh, and did I get heck. “What in the world did you ever try to come out for last night?” Their roads were closed by noon.

Now here, where in the devil are we?

Gp: Well, Hazel, if we go here we’ll hit 41st street, I think. No we won’t either. We’ll hit the one north by the Mielkes and that.

M: Here’s that development of new houses that were along the road.

Gm: Oh yeah, George.

Gp: I know where we are.

Gm: We got to go south.

Gp: Yes. We got to go south.

Gm: Oh yeah, I know where we are now, George.

Gp: There's Kessler's [unable to confirm spelling] place up there and there’s where the old maids lived right across the road from there, see.v

Gm: A couple of old maids who farmed there.

Gp: Two girls, ladies, farmed this all by themselves.

Gm: Neither one of them had been married; they always dressed alike, exactly alike. We used to call them the twins.

Gp: Now we’ll come right down…we were on the right road to go by the dump before but this will take us down close by Jack's.

Gp: I was thinkin’ we was on 41st street.

J: 41st street, yeah.

Gp: We was on old 16.

Gm: Oh yeah, that’s right.

Right here’s where you turn.

J: Right here, right?

Gp: Come out here one time and brought Hazel home, I was driving and had three of them pushing to keep me going.

Gm: That's the time when we took my Dad to Fairmont. Elsie

was working there at the time and we went to visit her.

J: Elsie was living in Fairmont? What was she doing there?

Gm: Well, she was a working…

Gp: She was working in the Courthouse.

Gm: As a stenographer in the Court House and Al was County Agent there.

That’s where they met one another.

Gp: Now we go by where the schoolhouse used to be where your Grandma and I started our education.

J: The building no longer exists, right.

Gm: It’s a sandpit, where I used to go to school.

J: We’re really getting to see our country roads.

Gp: Right to the left up here, where that grader was, where we went to school it was a little farther south. There’s a sandpit there now. Standing right in here, where there is this vacant area.

Gm: What’s back in there, George?

J: Is it a house?

Gm: Holy cow!

Gp: That sandpit wasn't here when we went to school.

It was right about here now. It’s where the school house was.

J: Right here?

Gm: Yeah.

Gp: Where we went to school.

Gm: Well, I’ll be darned. I didn’t know all those houses, that building and that house were down there.

Gp: Holy mackerel! [Rain storm is passing overhead]