Question1: Have you ever gone back to see how the people are doing in that city since your time there?
Answer: There has never been an opportunity to return, though we have been able to learn a couple of things about the people with whom we had worked while there. The pastor and his family moved to work in Hawaii not long after this event. Though we had tried a couple of years later to contact another couple who had been instrumental in assisting us with all kinds of things, we could just never connect. We finally learned that they had moved. By the time we could try to find them in the Sacramento area, they had moved again to somewhere in Idaho. We were never able to connect with any of the disaster victims with whom we had had contact but had learned via the grapevine that some had left the area as soon as they were back on their feet again and others had been able to rebuild and find other jobs. Many of the businesses never recovered. We see the reports of such disasters for such a short time on the television news but forget that, for the people who lived through these things, it was a much longer struggle.
Question 2: When was the Old-Fashion Thanksgiving, Sojourner? You did not tell us how old you were but a home in the States without running water… well, it sounds like hundreds of years ago!
Answer: The time period of this story was the mid-1950’s. I did not specify my own age because this same story was, pretty much, repeated every Thanksgiving of my youth, even after I had left the Sears and Roebucks “pillows” behind and moved from those single-digit ages into larger numbers. My grandparents did not have running water in their farmhouse until Grandpa was about to retire. They had a nice mobile home moved onto their property and it was a very modern home for them… though Grandma still made her own bread and had a garden for their vegetables. Other farmhouses of this time period did have running water, though not all of them.
Question 3: Did your grandparents not have a dog? I mean, what working farm does not have a dog and maybe a cat to keep the mice away from the barn? Or did you not really care about dogs and cats when you were little so you never mentioned them in the story?
Answer: Ah, yes, the domestic animals… well I was trying to keep the story from running into too many pages! in fact my grandfather always had a dog! My first remembrance was a collie named, Bob, who was so gentle that he let my older sister sit on him and have their photo taken! He was a great ranch dog, too, but so good with us kids! He also had a cocker spaniel, I think he was, named Tuffy. He outlived Bob by a long ways and was such fun. A great rounder up of the cows and playmate for children! Cats? Now that was another matter! At one point my grandfather was feeding 104 cats! He just never met a cat that he didn’t want to take care of! Most of the time there were far fewer cats, though, but always more than one would have thought should be “needed”. Nevertheless, the cows provided enough milk for the cats/kittens to keep themselves plenty happy. Grandpa knew the names of all the cats and did they ever come running from all over when they saw him!
****Life 101...Coming Monday