Bob Collins of Southern Indiana and his father. Name of father or date of photo is unknown. Submitted by James Bullington
By Jennifer ThomApson
Editor, Good Old Days
The month of May, for me, brings a great surge of energy. Its easy to realize the origin of this energy. It begins with the steady, warm climate, and memories of what this time of year meant in my childhood.
May was busy! The school year was nearing an end, and there was so much to do on the farm! The garden needed tended daily, as did the livestock. Repairs were being done to the fencing and barn and outbuildings, and machinery was being prepared for the work that lie ahead in the fast approaching summer. And, of course, that was the time for spring cleaning. I have a very wise mother. She waited until my sister and I were out of school, so we could devote our time to help.
Which brings me to another great reason to celebrate in May: Mother’s Day. I’m very grateful that my mother did not have to go away to work every day. Her work was with her family, and to this day she remains entirely devoted. She not only raised my sister and I, but she took care of her aging parents and helped on their farm as well. And, as if she didn’t have enough to do, she tended to the needs of elderly neighbors, and, being a skilled carpenter, carried out most of the construction on our new home when it was being built.
She taught us what hard work is, and she taught us compassion and instilled in us a very strong sense of family and community. To me, that is what a mother is, an unwavering symbol of strength, endurance, generosity, and love. This Mother’s Day, don’t forget to show Mom how much she is appreciated! And Father’s Day is quickly approaching, so if you have a special story or memory of your father to share, you can post those on our message board or you may send us a letter, and well honor your Father in our June issue!
Wishing everyone a happy May,
It Happened This Month
200 Years Ago
May 18 Britain declares war on France, due to Napoleon Bonapartes continued meddling in the affairs of Italy and Switzerland.
May 25 Birthday of writer Ralph Waldo Emerson.
100 Years Ago
May 1 Birthday of Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author. He wrote Common Sense Book of Baby Care.
May 3 The first electric train makes its first run, beginning in Liverpool, connecting in Birkenhead, through the Mersey Railway Tunnel.
May 29 Birthday of comedian and actor, Leslie Townes Hope, known as Bob Hope.
75 Years Ago
May 11 The first schedule of regular TV programs starts in Schenectady, New York, on WGY-TV, three times a week.
May 23 Birthday of Rosemary Clooney, TV news anchor, singer, and actor; aunt of actor George Clooney.
May 28 Andrew Payne wins the Bunion Derby, crossing the finish at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He ran 3,422 miles in 84 days; his total time was 573 hours, 4 minutes and 34 seconds.
50 Years Ago
May 6 Birthday of British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
May 12 Dom DiMaggio, brother of Joe DiMaggio, retires from baseball after having been dropped by the Boston Red Sox.
May 15 Rocky Marciano, the worlds heavyweight boxing champion, knocks out Jersey Joe Walcott just 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the first round at Chicago Stadium.
This is also the birthday of George Brett, of the Kansas City Royals.
May 22- The presidential hideaway near Thurmont, Maryland, formally known as Shangri-La, is renamed Camp David for President Dwight D. Eisenhowers father and grandson.
May 28- Melody, a Walt Disney creation and an RKO picture, is the first 3-D (three dimensional) cartoon, and is premiered at Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California.
May, date uncertain-Edmond Hillary, a mountaineer from New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa guide, are the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
I’m very interested in the D.A. (Ducks Ass) haircut and about every aspect of Teddy Boys. I plan on growing my hair out to wear a Ducks Arse. Please send any information you can about styling it. Thank you.
...its called a bouffant, and its puffy hair on top, flipped out at the ends, with tons of hairspray.
In the December issue, someone asked how they stopped or slowed down a horse-drawn sleigh as they were going down a mountain.
This is a great question!
We had a sleigh, and it didn’t have any device for slowing down or stopping. You relied on the horse and driver to handle the situations. I don’t ever remember having a problem.
I have seen pictures of houses that had hand pumps for water INSIDE the house, sitting on a counter, possibly next to a sink, instead of simply using a dishpan. My question is: if they used a permanent type sink, how did they dispose of the used water, prior to the use of septic tanks and city sewer systems?
My aunts lived on the old homestead after my grandparents died. And they had a small hand pump mounted inside their house.
There was a windmill outside that pumped the water into a holding tank down in the basement. Then my aunts would pump it up from the holding tank, into a sink. The drain pipe from the sink simply took the dirty water out into the back yard. We just took the dirty water from a wash basin and threw it out into the yard. But we lived in the country, so I am not sure what people in the cities did with their water.
Putting Ice Away
By Jacob A. Schwartz
When we were young, we didn’t have any electricity. So, every winter that got cold enough to freeze the ice thick enough, we put it away in an ice house.
We liked to let the ice get as thick as possible. If we were lucky we could put it away when it was twelve inches thick, but it had to be a very cold winter.
When we lived in the northern part of Indiana, most of the time we had a cold winter, but after we moved to southern Indiana we had a cold winter just every now and then. When there was snow on the ice on the pond and the ice was thick enough to walk on, we had to go and shovel the snow off so the ice would freeze thicker. When the ice was as thick as we thought it would get that winter, we would take some axes and a cross cut saw, or an ice saw, and get started. We would take a team of horses and a wagon back to the pond. First, we would chop a hole in the ice and then we would start sawing with the saw. Some times two people would help each other to push and pull the saw up and down to cut the ice. We would cut the ice two feet wide and three feet long blocks. Then we used ice tongs to get it out of the water and pull it up the pond bank and laid it on the wagon. After we had the wagon loaded we took it up the ice house. We put a layer of eighteen inches of sawdust on the floor of the ice house, then between each layer of ice we put sawdust. It would take a couple of days to fill the ice house. Every child that was big enough to help would help. If it was a cold winter and the ice was pretty thick, we would have ice to use til September of that year, but if it wasn’t quite as thick it would last till August. That is the way we used to put ice away, before we had electricity.
Published in U S Legacies Magazine May 2003