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From: Bill <>
Subject: [OHWOOD] Black Swamp Heritage, "Memory's Home", 27 June 2010,Vol 9 #26
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 18:41:34 -0500

Black Swamp Heritage Articles
eduda tsunogisdi
© Bill Oliver

27 June 2010
Vol 9 Issue: #26

ISBN: 1542-9474

Good Evening from the Black Swamp of NWoHIo,

"Memory's Home"

Tornadoes in my geographic area, causing great damage to individual
families, have given me impetus to further record memories about my
life. Well, the very thought of aging dementia, you know that mental
deterioration of organic or functional origin, has not entered my head.

These tornadoes, close to my home, didn't frighten me because of a fear
of physical harm to me, but rather the destruction of files of fifty
years plus of family history research and collecting.

I have a few "long ago" memories, when I was but a toddler. When I was
but a "tad of a lad", my Father's giant Father, would sit in his high
back stuffed "reading" chair, cross his legs, raise me up and put me on
the instep of his foot and "bounce" me up and down, listening to shrieks
of glee escaping from my lips. I can, hazily, remember it was always his
right leg. When I did that for my children I used my left leg.

A very distinct memory of the traumatic experience of contracting
scarlet fever when I was less than two years of age is still very
vividly with me. There were years of nightmares involving being hot,
hotter than anything, feeling this heat all throughout my body from head
to toes. The memory extends itself to the roughness of canvas which was
made for "bathinettes" in the early nineteen thirties. There was the
feeling of sliding down an incline of this canvass and it would get
progressively warmer as the friction between skin and canvass induced
heat. There were alternate hot and cool feelings on my skin as cold
water was rinsed over me, the "coolness" never lasting long enough to

After leaving Grandma Oliver's and Grandma Lester's homes to one of our
own, Dad rented a house just a couple of blocks from the Old Wayne
Street School where I would begin my formal public education. There we
had a fenced yard and from somewhere we gained a Dalmatian. There also I
had a Red Fire Engine to peddle around. My Dalmatian would crowd himself
behind the "driver" and ride along. Neighborhood kids teased the animal
too much and one day it nipped at me. Dad immediately got rid of the
animal as our pet.

Being of Scot-Irish decent on Dad's side, my luck was pretty good. Once
while at a park where they offered horseback rides to children, my Aunts
footed the bill for me to have a ride. There were no other children
riding at this time so the owner let me ride on and on and on, around
and around. Finally, apparently becoming "tired" of the activity, an
announcement came from my lips, "When this horse comes around again I
think I will say, ‘Whoa".

Before starting school, Grandma Lester would take me along on picnics,
along with Cousin Forrie, with Barb's Great Aunt Edie, with Barb and her
brother. Sunday drives in the country and picnics were much favored
activities. We often stopped at places like old country school houses
where there would be some playground equipment. Swings were usually
available. My muscles would push Barb and when she would get going
pretty good her pigtails would just happen to get pulled. Other favorite
picnic spots were cemeteries. There we would read stones and guess what
folks were like.

Before my eighth birthday we moved to a house right next to the entrance
to Libby High School football stadium. There every football Friday,
neighborhood kids would "police" the stands for "free" tickets to that
night's game. Before doing this cleanup work one Friday, I had been
instructed that supper would be early and it would be best not to be
late. Time was "lost" and my engrossment caused me to forget my supper
appointment. Dad came to get me and the lesson of other uses for a wide
Marine Corps leather belt was taught to my backside every stride up the
winding hill to home.

Then there was the time when again we lived just two blocks from school
that the family went out for an activity. When we returned there was a
"glow" through the window of a front bedroom. A housefire was rapidly
becoming a menace. In those days most folks heated their homes either
with wood or coal. The furnace for the duplex we lived in had a coal
furnace. Often a coal fire was "banked" to preserve coals to restart the
heating process. Somehow a live coal had lodged itself next to a wooden
support and started the fire which burned through the closet in that
front room and the trunk where my Mother kept all our papers, including
all the photographs the family owned. Mom kept those chared photos in a
tin box and since her passing I have carefully attempted to salvage
them. Somewhat successfully with modern computer software, some of the
pictures are taking shape.

I now come full circle with this article. The recent heavy storms awoke
the memories of Mom losing her "precious" pictures [her precious visual
memories]. The need to find a medium with which all my records and
pictures can be stored externally from my home is a necessity and must
happen before aging dementia succeeds with me.

e-la-Di-e-das-Di ha-WI NV-WA-do-hi-ya NV-WA-to-hi-ya-da.
(May you walk in peace and harmony)



"Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect and shape our
lives ..." Alexander McCall Smith, Dream Angus

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