Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rose's Story Continued

"Father decided he would try digging a well. It was in a draw where it was very rocky. The farther down he dug the more rocks we found. To us it was fun finding all those pretty rocks; however that was all he did find; even if he had dug through to China!

That first summer we raised some wheat and in the fall had a threshing crew at the farm. All the farmers' wives were very wonderful in bringing foodstuffs and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves even with all the work there was to be done. That was stored in one end of the house until Father bought some sacks.

Father and Mother were ardent and beautiful dancers and, of course, they had to take us along all riding in the wagon box on some straw. Those of you who have read 'The Virginian' will have a good picture of everybody's kids being packed on the floor of one room to bed, while the parents enjoyed the dancing.

I remember the old covered wagon in which we moved out from Alliance, a dilapidated tarp covering it about half way. There was more of "us kids" than furniture. Mother's feather beds, some quilts made from samples of goods for men's suits, as father used to have in the shop.

Remember we stopped that first day going out, at Tim O'Keefe's farm overnight. She had some old lace curtains on the windows which I thought were very wonderful.

Stanley, Lou, and I started to school that fall; we had three miles to walk. Didn't seem to think much about it as walking went. It wasn't Kindergarten stuff, it was first Grade. You had to be smart in those days. Father and Mother had taught us the "1-2-3's" and ABC's before we ever started to school, but they were in the Czech language."

I wish that there were more to this story, but am grateful to Rose for sharing these tidbits, which help us envision this family which had left Cleveland, Ohio, and found their way to far western Nebraska to homestead. Imagination can fill in some of the pieces, but the rest may be a mystery for years to come. We cannot imagine what came about that there was a divorce between Veronika and Frank, and that he went back to Omaha to ply his tailor trade making uniforms for conductors for the passenger trains that went back and forth across the continent. But we can imagine a family striving to establish a soddie and make good on a homestead, and the difficulties involved therein. I'm so glad that Rose included the little paragraph about her mother and father being beautiful dancers, and that they did find some enjoyment in their lives.

1 comment:

Judy said...

These writings by Rose do help us to place the family in the real world. Will we be able to do whatever it is that we need to do, should the need arise? There is strength to be gained in what has gone before us! Thank you, Elizabeth.