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not wasting anything and I know they were able to live well on Mr. Wallace's small World
War I pension. They had a new stone house and I had a room of my own.
During February of 1938, all of us took a trip to South Dakota. Imagine taking a trip
in the dead of winter! It seems that Mrs. Wallace's mother had been visiting them, and wanted
to go back to her home in Vermillion, S.D. Not only did she want to go home, she also wanted
to take some furniture and personal belongings back with her. We struck out pulling a small
two-wheel trailer loaded with the grandmother's belongings. As we traveled north, it became
colder and colder. I had a sheepskin lined corduroy coat with a big collar on it to keep warm.
When we arrived in Vermillion the first night the most awful snowstorm took place during the
night. When we got up the next morning, we could not get out of the house except through a
second-story window. I had seen snow but nothing ever like this. Snow plows had to clear the
roads and finally we could venture home. As we passed through the northern states we would
see men and boys sawing ice in blocks and loading it on sleds to take to their icehouses. We
managed to have a flat on one of the tires on the trailer we were pulling. I got out to help Mr.
Mose fix it and literally nearly froze to death. I have never been so cold in all my life and my
corduroy jacket was nothing in that weather. When night came, we stayed in a hotel where I
guess the pipes were frozen as the guests beat on the pipes all night long trying to get the heat
going. I don't think I got warmed up until we got home and I slipped in my featherbed. It was
a great year!
I had my own bike, earned and banked, by having the candy concession in the doctor's
quarters at the hospital. Another one of my jobs was working in the kitchen and waiting tables
for the doctors and the nurses. After I joined the army, on furloughs to the Home, I would be
invited to eat in the dining room with the big shots. Many times we big boys would be Miss
Beall's chauffeur. She liked to go to Hot Springs to the horse races, and we did this also when
she had to go various places on business.
We had a live-in doctor and always about four medical students at the home. They
would play baseball with us whenever they could. We had various duties to perform. The
youngest ones had to polish the rungs of the stairs at the home. It was our job to mow the
grounds and care for the flower beds. I also worked in the laundry with Bessie. There was
plenty of laundry as the sheets were changed every week. Floors were waxed every Saturday
and shoes were polished. The home was cleaned every day.
I was working as an orderly in the hospital when Sister Kenney came from Australia to
promote her method of treating children who were crippled with polio. This was before the
Salk vaccine. Other patients the hospital treated were burn victims from all over the state and,
of course, they got the best medical care available.
When some of us boys became teenagers, we were allowed to go to the country where
we found the perfect swimming hole. One occasion when we were skinny-dipping, some girls
stole our clothes we had left on the bank. The only way we could get them back was to come
out of the creek! Boy, they dropped those clothes and ran. Then there was the time Miss Beall
rented a U-Haul truck and took a big bunch of us about 25 miles from Little Rock to a river.
Three of us, one of them being me, decided we had to go up the river a piece to take a smoke.
We, of course, lingered over our smokes, and in the meantime Miss Beall got ready to go. She
loaded everybody up and left us! She had cautioned us that we were never to smoke in front of
the little ones so she knew what we were up to. She figured she would teach us a lesson and
we'd have to walk home in our swimsuits. We finally decided to strike out since there was no
other way home. We were walking dejectedly along thinking about our 24 mile walk. I was
looking down, and what do you think I saw -- the nicest ten dollar bill! It was enough to buy
us a bus ticket from the driver of a bus going to Little Rock. Miss Beall was surprised to see
Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed May 24, 2013.