Horse and Buggy

Farm house where Lucy grew up. Gardner ND

Farm house where Lucy grew up.

From the time I knew Lucy until she left us in 2008 music was the important theme in her life. She was always part of the church choir and other activities. In this letter Lucy talks about riding to school in a horse-drawn buggy. Music plays a key role in the story. One of her earlier letters also described riding to school with her brother and sister, and this story adds to the drama.

There are so many comparisons we could make between today and ninety years ago. They had dirt roads, horse power, mud, boarders … my grand children have none of those challenges. As I write this, two of the grand kids are sitting on the couch playing with iPads. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

At least they seem to love music as much as Grandma Lucy did.

Lucy writes:

My folks always took in High School students during those depression years, if they couldn’t finish high school. After Alice + Lewellyn finished school whoever was staying with us would drive the horses. Now George Beardsley was that man. He would always remark about how spoiled we were. He came from a very poor humble home so living with us was a real treat for him.

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1929 Chandler

1929 Chandler

1929 Chandler

This was one of Grandma Fanny’s favorite stories. Grandpa Ted won this experience, even if he got sort of snookered in the process. My brothers and cousins all have versions of the story that differ in many details, but the result doesn’t change. Ted got a fancy new car.

Any time two people tell a story, or any time one person tells a story twice the story changes. It’s no different from the old childhood game of “Telephone” where one child tells a story to another child, who tells it to another child, and so on until the story is totally mangled. In Sunday School when I was about ten we played this game. I mangled the story more than anyone. Maybe the girl telling me the story didn’t speak loud enough? It couldn’t have been my fault.

In this story the Brown Fence Company moved to Chicago from Cleveland. Probably not important to the story, but it perfectly illustrates how stories change in telling.
Grandpa Guy Havelick


Grace Writes …

Mama told the story of how they got a new Chandler car in 1929.

There had always been “open range” before that so people had to either let their livestock wander where they wanted or herd them. As people farmed more of the land they needed to keep the animals out so it was then that the barbed wir fence was built so all the farmers started to fence their land.

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