"Things I Remember"
Story by Mildred Stevenson-Chalker,
written September 15, 1968
When I was a very small girl we lived in Salina, Kansas
mother and Father, my sister, Iris, and myself. I remember
visits to my grandfather's farm near Hill City, where we had so
much fun. At that time Aunt Hazel and Uncle Elmer were there and
they would play 'hide and seek' with us - there were so many
delightful places to hide around the farm, especially just before
it began to be dark and bedtime for us.
One time Uncle Elmer sat me in his lap and taught me to
sing, "I ain't got nobody, I'm going back to the farm - and feed
the pigs and chickens - for I don't give a good gosh-darn".
Grandma Quint really got after him for teaching me "bad words".
And Uncle Elmer laughed!
Photo of Quint cousins,
BACK: Mildred Stevenson, Herland Loyd, Lavon Loyd, Iris Stevenson,
FRONT: Vera Morris and Edward Gilliland
Later on we moved back to Hill City where we had lots of
aunts, uncles and cousins, and there were always things to do.
Although we lived in town, we spent our summers on the farm at
Aunt Jennie's and Aunt Florence's. Aunt Jennie had a big three
story house - the third floor was our haven - there were stacks
of "Youth's Companions" Magazines to read, and all kinds of other
things that Aunt Jennie had accumulated through her years of
teaching. There were also clothes that we put on to play "dress-
up" - floppy hats and high button shoes. When our cousins,
Herlan and Lavon Loyd came to visit, too, Aunt Jennie had a house
full. I am sure we led her a merry chase.
At Aunt Florence's we "helped" with the harvest - I am
we were more of a hindrance than a help, but we loved it,
especially Aunt Florence's delicious fried chicken and fruit pie.
Uncle Arthur was so jolly and played croquet with us. He also
let us tag him around the farm and play in the hay loft, which
was filled with nice smelling hay. I once poked my finger into
the windmill and ran crying to Aunt Florence - the end of my
little finger was severed! Aunt Florence stuck it back on with
iodine and a bandage, and it healed nicely - no doctor could have
One summer we were invited to stay with Aunt Hazel and
Phil at Wallace, Kansas where he was as station agent with the
Union Pacific Railroad. Since they had no children of their own
yet, they really spoiled us, and we had a wonderful time. I
remember climbing up into the rafters of the freight shed, and
how scared Aunt Hazel was. She called Uncle Phil and he very
calmly "talked me down". He should really have given me a few
good smacks on the backside! Much later it was Uncle Phil who
taught me to drive a car. My father had tried, with no success
because he was impatient with me. Uncle Phil was very patient,
and one time when I was most certainly headed for the ditch, he
calmly put his hand on the wheel and said, "Just turn it this
way, gently". I did and everything was all right.
I remember Grandpa Quint as a stern, but very kind man.
am sure that his grandchildren just never knew what to make of
him. I recall my mother saying that they had all respected their
father, but that he was never on to "cuddle" them, and that,
perhaps, he was so busy with their livelihood that he left all
that sort of thing to their mother.
Grandpa owned a Model T Ford, of which he was very
One day I asked him if I might take the Ford and go for a ride.
He was listening to the radio, possibly with more attention than
to me, and he asked if I knew how to drive. Of course I said
that I could - I was not more than twelve years old. He gave met
permission and Iris and I asked some of our friends to go along.
We rounded the corner on Main Street on two wheels! My mother
was just coming out of a store.
Photo of Phil, Elmer, and Model T Coupe She ordered us to stop and
proceeded to spank me then and there! We left the car there and
Mother Marched over to tell Grandpa just what she thought of his
letting Iris and me take his car out. I never did know just how
the car got back to Grandpa's house, but I know I never again wa
behind the wheel.
I remember Uncle Elmer as a "gay young blade" with a
Ford and when he drove all the way to Colorado to court Aunt
Veva, we were so exited! It was fun to have a pretty new
These are only a few of the things I remember about my
childhood- there are many more. It was a happy one, despite the
fact that we hadn't much money. I Think my grandparents would be
happy that I am now living in Illinois, the state that was very
dear to their hearts.
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