Interview Part #7: Growing up

These were two of the very first interview questions and though I have lots to add to each of them, I am just going to put them out there as I gave them to Elisabeth. I may or may not elaborate on them in the future. If I could add a picture or two they would make lots more sense, but I don’t have uploading ability and at the time have no idea where the pictures are that I am thinking I should add. Maybe down the road. For now, just put some pictures in your head, sort of like I have to do with the voices every now and then. Are you scared yet. We are getting close to Halloween, HA!!

Tell me about the home you were raised in.

I spent the first years of my life on a farm five miles south of Artas, SD. My parents were what you call small grain farmers. My father grew everything from wheat and oats and a little barley to corn for silage and alfalfa for hay. One year he even grew a stand of flax. I remember how pretty that field was. It looked like you were looking at a large lake when it was in bloom. My uncle who was our hired man said if my dad would have combined that field it would have been worth so much money that year, but he wouldn’t do it because he was afraid to let it grow long enough to ripen that much. I think he just baled it up as hay. My parents also raised every kind of animal. We had two large silos on the farm and my father fed steers for slaughter for many years as his major animal crop. They even milked cows when I was very young. We also had cows, sheep, pigs and my mother raised chickens and even some ducks and geese. The money she made from the chickens bought us clothes for school. When I was in the sixth grade my dad bought a house in Herreid and we lived in town during the school year.


What kind of things did your parents do for work?

When I was younger my parents were farmers. My mother often had extra jobs. Before I was born she was a school teacher. Later she worked as a clerk for area livestock barns. She also worked in school as an aide and she worked for a program called Greater Missouri that did winterizing and such for people who couldn’t afford much. When most of us were grown and had moved away, she purchased the local café and operated that along with a catering business. My father was a farmer and did custom silage chopping. He also put up hay on shares for other farmers. We were always stacking and hauling bales home to the farm. He eventually quit farming, though he never sold the farm, and he had cattle for many years after he stopped planting. He purchased a hay mover and did that for many years. His last job was running his own fix it business. He was a fantastic welder and should have been an engineer with his mind. When he did the hay hauling, he actually built two of his own movers because he said the ones that were available for purchase were too flimsy.

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