I was born in
My parents, O.D. and Nellie Mills were living in Parsons, KS in 1928 and 1929 where my father had a Chevrolet dealership with his brother Ralph. As economic times became worse, they had a harder and harder time collecting money due them for cars and repairs. So in 1929, sometime before the “Crash of ‘29”, they sold the dealership and my parents moved back to the family farm on Otter Creek. The farm was homesteaded in 1871 by my great grandparents (I don’t have good family history at hand).
According to my mother, recalled in later years; “After we moved to the farm in 1929 and the great depression hit, we didn’t have very much money but we didn’t need much.” “We grew our own vegetables and had livestock for food.” That would have included cows for milk, chickens for eggs, and pigs, cattle & chickens for meat.
I have already recalled a couple of my early memories on the blog, but a note from Velma (Fessler) Kare reminded me of more things that I remember about the farm from 1944-48.
Velma reminded me of my first dog, Skippy. Velma’s dad worked for my dad on the farm at that time and they lived nearby.
Quoting from Velma’s e-mail:
"The reason I remember your dog, is that dad came home one day and was telling mother and I that it began to rain and you were outside with your dog. Your dad told you that you better go to the house as it was beginning to rain, and you replied ‘Skippy will keep the sprinkles off’.”
Right after we got Skippy he decided to go back to Cedar Vale one day. I was about 4 years old and I followed the dog for about a mile, over to the county-line road, and then about 1/2 mile south towards Cedar Vale. The rural mail carrier found the dog and I at the top of the hill above the bridge, where we were both headed down the road to Cedar Vale. He returned us both safely home. If it were not for the fact that World War II was going on and gasoline rationing kept down the amount of traffic, I would probably have been hit by a car or pickup on the road.
I also remember another, older Collie-mix dog that we had that hated snakes. Every time that a snake came into the yard the dog would grab the snake behind the head and shake it violently, killing the snake. The dog had a deep, depressed scar on his left front shoulder that my mom said came from a snake bite, so that explained the hatred of snakes.
More chapters on Farm Life coming.... stay tuned. - 30 -