Smoking

Late last summer I had to pick up a loaner car at the repair shop. (That’s another long and expensive story.) Everyone complains about the heat on a day like that one. Jeff pulled the car to the door as I completed the paper work, and he left it running with the A/C on to start cooling down the interior. I was in a hurry that afternoon, so I ran out, hopped in the car … and paused. Something smelled funny.

I waited a moment. Not that bad, I thought. Another moment. Wait a minute! That’s left over cigarette stench! No, it couldn’t be. There are “No Smoking” stickers right there on the dash board. I’ve got to get home soon! The smell’s not that bad, right?

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Whistle while you garden

Jamestown ND 1954

Guy gardening

What a garden that was. The Pink House, as we called it, was on a lot along the river, on a short side street, along the alley. When I look at the city plat it’s clear that they had some trouble figuring out how to do that lot, ending up with about the same space that over a half dozen houses occupied across the alley. That left us room for a huge garden, just beyond the rabbit house.

Mom, Dad, and Grandma grew several kinds of vegetables in the garden, and I did love to help. The photo shows me pulling weeds, which I still enjoy doing today. My favorite vegetable in the garden was the kohlrabi. I’d pick one from the garden, pull off the leaves, and eat it right there in the back yard. Nobody I know likes them, so I haven’t tasted one in years.

Louie writes:

When we lived at 455 3rd street in Jamestown, we had a garden in which we raised some good vegetables.

Guy could take you through the garden after it started to come up and tell you the name of every vegie there. He was only about 3 years old then – but – if he was missing – the first place you looked for him was in the cucumber patch – he would eat them things right off the stem.

What I wanted to tell you about was one year the potatoes had some real big vines and that was a fair indication that under them there should be some big spuds. Continue reading

Earliest Memories

Eric Havelick, 1959, probably in New Mexico

Eric at the apartment in New Mexico

Eric writes:

What have I done with my life since August of 1957 …. my birthday.

I was born in Jamestown, North Dakota. I had a Mom, Dad, and two older brothers, Guy and Linn. When I was really young, we moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico where my Dad was stationed in the Army.

I don’t remember a thing about it.

All I know is my parents got a divorce and we moved back to Jamestown into my Grandma Fanny’s house. My mother was pregnant when they divorced and my younger brother Chris was born when we moved back to Jamestown. One of my first memories is of my mother changing Chris’ diaper.

From the pink house we moved to a bigger brown stucco house at 319 4th Avenue NE, in Jamestown. That is the first childhood home I remember.

— Eric H

My Life – in 1960

Guy at nine years old, in the New Mexico mountains.

Guy at nine years old, in the New Mexico mountains.

The other day a friend asked me how long I’ve been interested in writing. He had just been introduced to my blog and wanted to know the history. Writing has been in my blood from the beginning. The earliest documented example is from 1960, a homework project called My Life. I should have read that story before starting this blog.

The impetus for blogging was the stories my Grandmother had told us for years, and how each of us grand children and great grand children had different recollections of those stories. This blog would restore the “truth” of each story by recounting the stories as told by Fanny’s daughter. Truth is elusive.

Belva Bowen, one of my favorite teachers at Lincoln School in Jamestown, ND, gave my sixth grade class an assignment: Write the story of Your Life. Ms Bowen was ancient, probably near sixty with white hair and cotton print dresses. When I read the stories from 1960 it seems that todays recollections are flawed. Not by much, but it hasn’t been that long, and who would remember these stories any better than I? Perhaps I should be better at remembering those things. Nope.

Some of the items show interests that still hold my attention today. At two years old I sank my first plants. This week I’m making plans for moving hostas around in the yard. There are two pictures of meteorites in My Life. Astronomy still tickles my fancy, I follow news about asteroid and comet watching expeditions regularly. I never did learn how to play basketball, although I do enjoy watching a good game. Continue reading