The Farm - 1944-1947

While we still lived on the farm, I was outside playing and wondered off, all at once Mom realized she could not see me. She looked everywhere and is in a real panic, when she finally finds me taking a nap, laying down on the ground by the pig pen. I must have gone down to the pig pen to watch the baby pigs, and got tired and fell a sleep.

In Dec 1946, when they brought Loretta home from the hospital and I saw her for the first time. I said "take her back, I want my cat". Dad had put the cat outside before Mom and Loretta got there.

Mom would tell about when I was 2 or so, and she shelled peas, I would want to carry some around in a can, even thou I would not eat peas. One time I had my can of peas with me when she took me into a store and the storekeeper asked me what I had in the can. I answered "pea", he thought that was so funny that he kept asking so that everyone coming into the store could hear me say it. Mom was totally embrassed.

I didn't have any playmates because we stilled lived on the farm, so when I was about 3, I made up my own "imaginary" playmates that went everywhere with me. One day we were in the drug store at the ice cream counter to buy me some ice cream, Mom was pregant with Loretta and in a hurry. So I told her we had to get ice cream for all my playmates. She started to order, when she said she stopped and told me that only I could have ice cream.

Moved to Esmond - 1947

When Uncle Pete came home from WWII, he when to college at Bermidi State College in Bermidi, Minnesota. Grandpa and Grandma Schloss and Mom and Dad drove Uncle Pete to college, and we stayed in a motel. The rooms had indoor bathrooms, and each bathroom had these little soap bars that were just my size. I quickly un-wrapped our's and then ran over to Grandpa and Grandma's room next door and un-wrapped theirs.

While we were there, we went to see Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. It was right it town those days. Dad put me on his shoulders so I could try and touch Babe's nose.

Grandpa and Grandma Schloss and Mom and Dad made a trip to Butte, Montana to see Uncle Frank and Uncle Wendy. Mom would always tell the story about while we where there Uncle Frank was re-modeling an apartment house he owned. Dad was going to help him, but could not find a hammer that did not have a broken handle. And Mom said that Frank was so tight that he would not spend ten cents for a new handle so that Dad could help.

One winter we had a huge amount of snow late in the winter, think it was 1949 or 1950. And Dad had to shovel a path to the outhouse. The snow was way of my head in places from the blowing and drifting and very hard pack. So Dad dug Loretta and I a snow cave off to the side of the path, I will never forget how much fun that was.

On a nice Sunday afternoon, we would sometime go on a picnic and go fishing. Dad would bring a cream can with us so that he could bring the fish home and clean them at home to eat. One time (I must have been 5 or 6) we went all the way to Towner, North Dakota to fish from the swinging bridge. Dad had little yellow things that held some line and had a wooden float and hook on the end of the line. They were good from the bridge because we could just drop the hook in the water from the edge of the bridge. We had done this before, and Loretta and I would fish for awhile, get tired of it and then go play on the playground equipment, while Dad got to fish in peace. But this time it was very different. Dad put a worm on one of our lines and we dropped it in the water, and by the time he had a worm on the other ones hook, the first one had a bullhead that had to be removed. This kept up, and soon Dad told us to just drop the hook in the water with no worm. He must have been thinking that that would give him a chance to fish. But the fish were even biting on the bare hook. It was the best time fishing I ever had. We filled the cream can that day, Dad said over 50 bullheads, and he never got a chance to fish.

Strasburg School - 1949-1950

When Mom and Dad (in the winter), would go to the school for the week Loretta and I would stay in Esmond, with Grandpa and Grandma Homer Kelts. That way I could go to kindergarten in Esmond. Well the story goes according to Grandma, that the second day the teacher walked me home and told Grandma that to keep me home, that I could not go back to school. I seems that the first day she was trying to show everyone how to print their name, and I wrote mine in cursive (because Grandpa had showed me how), and then on the second day she was trying to get everyone to be able to could to ten, and when we got to ten, I just kept on going--apparently that disrupted the class too much.

All my memories of Grandpa was that he was sickly. He would eat cream of wheat every morning for breakfast, and milk toast (take milk, butter, salt and pepper heat in a pan to a boil, then add toast) for lunch. Can't remember what he ate for supper. And when the weather was nice he would walk around the edge of his yard, counting the number of times by using his cane to move a small stone from one pile to another pile as he passed the pile. I always thought is was great fun to walk with him, as he would tell me storys as we walked together. One day, I decided, it would be even more fun if I also moved one of his stones each time I pasted the pile of stones. After a few rounds he must have realized that the pile was moving to fast because he started watching me, and caught me moving a stone. That is the only time I ever saw Grandpa Kelts get upset with any one!

It must have been earlier that summer, when Grandpa was shelling peas on the bench beside the house and I was inside bothering Grandma-and she told me to go outside so she could get her work done. When I went out, Grandpa said "Don't ever do anything to get Grandma upset!"

This school had no electricity, so for the school Christmas Program, Dad got some lights for the tree that used a 6 volt car battery to run, they had to have two batteries to make it thru the program.

Sanddale - 1950-1951

I had always had a lot of nose-bleds, and so before school started Mom took be to a doctor in Devils Lake to see what was wrong. The doctor wanted to canorise(sp?) a blood vessel in my nose that he thought was the problem. So Mom told me if I would be good and let the doctor do his thing I could have any box of color crayons for 1st grade that I wanted. So they went ahead and did it, and afterwards Mom and I went to the Ben Franklin store. There I saw a box of 48 crayons. I got them, but before I would let Mom pay for them, I had to count them to make sure that all 48 were their. She was so embarrassed!

Sanddale school was a one room school, about 4 miles northweast of Orrin, North Dakota. The school had no place for the teacher to live, and had no electricity or indoor plumbing. It had a very large coal stove to heat the school in one corner by the teachers desk. We would get very bad sand storms, so back that the sand would come in around the windows and cover every thing with dust. We could write out names on the desks in the dust each morning when the wind was blowing. It had a small barn out back for the horses that some of the families used to pull a sleigh or wagon with the students to school each day.

Mom and Dad had bought a little 15-16 foot homemade travel trailer and moved it beside the school for us to live in. At the time it was Mom, Dad, Loretta and I. We had a battery operated radio, that used two batteries, one battery was about the size of 4 one dozen egg cartons stacked on top of each other, the other about the size of a pint milk carton. We spent a lot of time over in the school house as there was more room.

Many evenings in the winter, one of the 4 families would invite us to dinner at their homes. One of the families, Mitzels(sp?), when it was cold and snowy, would come and get us with the horses and sleigh. That was fun because the sleigh was always toasty warm with all the buffalo robes they would have in the sleigh. Mrs. ---, would seem to always make some German food that I did not like, so I would sit and eat the homemade bread with butter and sugar. But then after dinner, we would often make homemade ice cream, the ice cream maker was a gallon syurp pail that we would sit and twist the handle until the ice cream was hard. Mrs. ---- would make the best homemade hot fudge topping to put on top of the ice cream. When it was poured on top of the cold ice cream it would become chewy, but not hard. I have tried many recipes over the last 60 years to try and duplicate that topping. Finally, while we were riding with another couple on the way home from a square dance, I told them about the fudge and Darlene said she had the recipe. And she did, here it is.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
You can add a pinch of salt to the rest of the ingredients
& bring to a rolling boil for one minute.
Then add one teaspoon vanilla & stir.
Spoon over Ice Cream & ENJOY!

Rosedale - 1951-1952

Smokey Lake - 1952-1953

Sandi was born on 26 Aug 1952, so Mom was not going to teach that year. I start my fourth grade in Esmond, in the old brick two story school building. Loretta started the first grade.

After about 5-6 weeks, Smokey Lake needed a replacement teacher so Mom took the 3 of us kids out there and started teaching, with Sandi in a basket beside her desk. Later that fall, Dad was laid off from the railroad and he came and took care of Sandi and did most of the cooking, etc. This was a great school building, it fun long cloak rooms that we loved to play in, and it had a little apartment for the teacher to live, a basement with a funace to heat the building. And it had electricity. The school was way out in the country, maybe 10-15 miles northwest of Orrin.

Grandma Mary A. Schloss passed away the end of November, she had been sick for awhile. We would come back to Esmond on weekends and stay with Grandpa, as he was very lonesome. Mom would do some cooking for him to eat the next week. Grandpa would make German potato salad on Friday (I loved that) for us to eat.

One weekend when we got there Grandpa wanted to know where Mom had gotten the great chocolate jelly that she had left in the fridge? Turns out, because Loretta and I would only drink chocolate milk, Mom had forgotten and left the can Hersery Chocolate Syrup in the fridge. And Grandpa and found it and thought it was thin jelly (they made their jelly thin like syrup) so used it on his toast all week.

Girard Lake - 1953-1954

Sanddale - 1954-1955

Sanddale - 1955-1956

Esmond School again - 1956-

One day as I was leaving school, the teacher said to Bernice Wolf, our neighbor down the street in the same grade, why don't you take your books home and study like Phil does. Bernice grabbed my zipped notebook folder and opened it. And dumped the contents on the floor. No text books dropped out only library books that I was taking home to read without checking out of the library, because you could only have one library book a week checked out.