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Two long, two short     Clarence Wight's recollections of his grandfather John      Teddy Roosevelt stops in Gibbon Nebraska    Everett Maroon's book   Edgevill Boat Ride   Glen Wight obituary   Viking Hand    Mother in Cogswell   Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories 2   Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories part 3    Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories part 4   Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories part 5  new


Two long, two short
– a poem by Mildred Houghtaling
(I remember being told this story many times as a child – sometimes by Aunt Mildred)

As I lie here beside dear Shawn
I hear a train whistle; it's nearly dawn.
Two long, two short, so loud, so clear;
Two long, two short, it seems so near.

There seems to be more trains in town
Ever since the flood with bridges down.
Two long, two short, they seem to call;
It's just a train whistle... that's all.

Years ago, when I played with my brother,
We never had to look for Mother,
Just listened. We could hear her sing.
Fond memories... what joy they bring.

When I turned two and Wayne was three
We settled in a new country.
We left behind our phone's old ring;
Two long, two short we couldn't bring.

In Canada we were not alone,
Aunts and Uncles and a new phone.
We've long forgotten that new ring;
It didn't mean a blessed thing.

Our aunts would ring and ring and ring
And Mother would blissfully work and sing.
Our uncles would try their masculine skill;
All efforts proved to be void and nil.

Dear Aunt Lottie, in desperation, hit
On a new idea they didn't get.
Two long, two short, she rang just once
And Mother answered (she was no dunce).

Our ring was officially changed next day;
Two long, two short, was there to stay.
And when Marjorie moved to Lang,
Two long, two short, when her phone rang.

My Mother. I know she is gone
But I feel her presence and hear her song.
Two long, two short. The train seems near
And the past is near, and dear, and clear.


Clarence Wight's recollections of his grandfather John
The first ancestral Wight of whom we have record was Thomas who came over from England and with his wife Lydia and settled at Dedham Massachusetts some time prior to 1640. There he became a prominent, well-to-do citizen and our line of his descendants continued to live there, generation after generation, until the final decade of the 18th century, the 1790s, when it was represented by William W. Wight of the 7th generation of Massachusetts Wights. His father, of the 6th generation, was one of the minute men at the time of Paul Revere's famous ride. I don't know whether he was in the battle of Lexington. The first wife of Wm. W. Wight died leaving him with two motherless young daughters. He then married Polly Griswold and emigrated to Canada. His daughters grew up there and probably we have distant cousins among their descendants but no means of finding or identifying them as such. During the War of 1812 Wm. W. Wight was a member of the Quebec Home Guard. It is not likely that the Home Guard came into contact with any battle action. It was while living in Canada that Willard and John of the 8th generation were added to the family circle, the latter during the summer of 1809. When John was about eigth years the family moved to Perry, Erie County, Ohio. Part of the journey was by boat. A man who had been hired to help with the rowing became ill and died on their hands. Having no means of communication with doctor, clergy or mortician, they landed, dug a grave and buried him. That was probably Grandfather's first contact with fatality, an unforgettable experience.
Grandfather was past ten years old when he got his first pair of shoes. His father dragged up a sawlog about four inches in diameter and told him, “When you saw that log up into stove lengths you can be measured for a pair of shoes.” He probably kept warm sawing but his bare feet on frosty ground wouldn't likely be too warm.
When a young man he worked as a member of the crew of a lake steamer. Wood was the fuel used, bought by the cord measure. At one wood yard there was a pile containing a huge chunk almost too heavy for one man to lift and probably too large to go in the furnace door. His chunk was passed up by the crews time after time and of course measured up and sold again and again. One member of the crew was something of a laughing stock on account of not being “too bright”. He managed to lift the huge chunk and tug it aboard to the amusement of the crew. Addressing the skipper he said, “There capain if you can't burn that, better throw it overboard.”
Grandfather chose for himself an excellent wife in the person of Sarah Ann Ballard who became his congenial and faithful helpmate for about forty years. In due course they had three sons. My father, William Kimball Wight was born Feb. 25, 1833, Lucien about two or three years later and Reuben during the 1840s. Grandmother was a faithful member of the Methodist Church and while Grandfather was not a church member he was well qualified by character to have been an acceptable one. He was devoted to his wife and shared with her in financial support of the church and in church attendance. One of the theories of the Methodist Church at that time was that dancing was sinful or at least of evil tendency. When one of the boys had a notion of going to a dance he realized that would be no point in asking his mother's permission so asked his father. It was characteristic of Grandfather to encourage the lad to make his own correct decision. He pointed out the sort of people that attended dances which at that time were restricted to a crowd of spiritually neglected delinquents. Asked if he really wanted to go in that kind of company the boy of course said no.
Grandfather followed the trade then called carpenter and joiner and became a skilled cabinet maker, builder and building mover. He was once employed to make the window and door casing for a church. He never received pay for that job and while he had not intended to make so substantial a contribution, he necessarily had to let it go as such.
At that time the winter weather of northern Ohio was too cold for comfortable work. Grandfather found  employment by going south by river boat to Natchez Mississippi where the city was being built. The river boats were infested by professional gamblers who were always on the lookout for easy marks. In order to get rid of one of them Grandfather finally agreed to play a game for a dollar. Very likely the game was “old sledge”, the southern name for seven-up. Of course Grandfather won the first game and collected. “How about another game?” “All right on the same terms.” that game the gambler won and made claim. Grandfather declined payment on the grounds that he had been playing “for a dollar” as payment for playing and not as stakes so each claimed the other owed him a dollar and the gambler didn't annoy him afterward. Sometimes poker games with sky limit involved very high stakes. On one occasion a player lacked the money he needed to make or call a certain bet. Not being allowed to take his cards away from the game he called the ship's carpenter and had the cards nailed face down on the table. He then went to the purser and got the funds he needed. The jackpot was a fortune of many thousands.
In those days tomatoes were called love apples and were popularly regarded as being unfit food, even poisonous. At Natchez, a lecturer trying to correct this misapprehension, made the offer of all the tomatoes anyone could eat for a picayune. “Picayune” is a Spanish expression then in use in the South. It meant a small coin, perhaps a five cent piece. One volunteer, probably a collaborator, accepted the offer and began eating. After he had downed several the lecturer said, “If you'll stop eating now you may have back your picayune. The demonstration showed that tomatoes are both edible and palatable.
While living in Ohio Grandfather once had a severe bout with typhoid fever. After he had passed the crisis of the attack the doctor advised him to take whiskey or brandy to build up his strength. Being a teetotaler by practice and strictly temperate by principle, he said he didn't want any whiskey or brandy. The doctor explained that it was his practice to prescribe it at that stage of typhoid. Grandfather replied, “If that's you practice you may as well make out your bill. I think there's enough money around the house to pay it and if I'm to die I'll die sober.” His principles in regard to slavery were equally strong. Once on a boat trip a pro-slavery southerner exclaimed, “You talk like a damned abolitionist.” At that Grandfather became emphatic. He said, “If I thought there was one hair in my head in favor of slavery I'd go home and have my wife tear it out by the roots and burn it up. That's what I think of slavery.” When the Civil War came on he said that if his boys didn't enlist he would. He was past draft age but probably would have been accepted. However both Father and Uncle Lucien enlisted. Reuben was too young. By that time the family had moved to Kewanee Ill. Later they moved to Cambridge Illinois.
Grandfather's parents lived with him. His father, a retired black-smith died in 1862. His mother and his wife were both dead by the early 1870s. He chose for his second wife a widow who was the sister of his first wife and whom our family members knew as Aunt Emmeline. She died in 1887. By that time our family had moved to Nebraska. Father went to Cambridge Illinois to her funeral. When he came back Grandfather came with him and lived with us thereafter. He proved himself useful in fixing up the house, repairing farm implements etc. He had his tools in a shop near the house. Some of his furniture, including his bookcase and Seth Thomas clock, he had in his own room.
Once when Mrs. Bessor, a former Cambridge resident then living in Kearney Nebr, was at our house to a meal, she asked whom he planned to vote for in the presidential election coming in that fall. He said, “for the same kind of a man I voted for 48 years ago.” Of course he meant Benjamin Harrison, grandson of the Whig candidate in1840, “Tippecanoe” Wm. Henry Harrison.
One Sunday morning he brought out his tools to continue work on a house repair job. Mother asked, “Why Father are you going to work on Sunday?” He replied, “Of course not. I didn't know this was Sunday”. As might be expected he sometimes felt a bit melancholy. Once I heard him say to Father, “When a man has no object in view he's pretty nearly a cipher.” Father replied that the object in life for anyone is to do that good they can. Grandfather said that he agreed as to a general object but he keenly felt the lack of a particular objective. One Sunday after having attended church and heard a preacher claim that conversion is only a stage of development from which one should go on to perfection through sanctification, he didn't go for that. He comment was, “I've had two of the best women that God ever made but neither of them was perfect.”
About New Year's Day of 1889 he had a cold. One evening Father spent some time in his room. They discussed current events and matters of home interest. Grandfather's mind was clear and his interest normally acute. Next morning, Jan. 3 1889, he had died in his sleep. Father accompanied his body to Cambridge Illinois for funeral and burial there.
Grandfather's formal education was very limited but by reading and self education he was an intelligent, well-posted man. For many years he was a subscriber to the Scientific American. He was known to have held and expressed the view that Christianity and the Bible influence were basic factors of civilization. His personal view of such mythological visions as a localized celestial heaven was expressed in a comment I once heard him make: “They sing about 'over there, over there' but 'Where' neither they now anyone else can tell.” He probably would have endorsed the sentiment, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
by Clarence Edward Wight (10th generation)


Teddy Roosevelt stops in Gibbon Nebraska
I have very few acquaintances in Gibbon but a lot of memories, one of which recalls the time President Theodore Roosevelt made an unscheduled stop beside Mr. Buck's lumber yard. Nelson Ashburn was deputy postmaster at the time. I happened to hear him say to several of us that an idle railway engine just passing was a pilot engine ten minutes ahead of the president's special train. Quite a number of us went over by the track hoping to get a glimpse of the president's train and possibly of some of the important passengers. To our surprise and probably to that of the train's passengers, the engine crew availed themselves of the Gibbon water tank to replenish their tank. We all assembled at the rear of the train. The president and some members of his party came out on the rear platform and he shook hands with each of us. I still remember some of the things he said. Old Mr. Fisher was wearing a G.A.R. Hat. The president asked him what regiment he had served in. He said, “The 13th Massachusetts”. The president replied, “The 13th Massachusetts indeed” Just as though that was the outfit that won the war. The president said his vacation was the first he had had since being president and that it looked as though it might be the last. However he afterward went on others, at least one hunting trip to the southwest. My oldtime army comrade Wessel told me about seeing him in Oklahoma. - CE Wight
(Theodore Roosevelt was president 1901-1909 and was a war hero in the Spanish-American War)


Everett Maroon's book
Marjorie Johnson (once Marjorie Ruth Houghtaling, aunt Mildred's daughter) is my cousin. She has a son Everett Maroon and he has just written a book. I include here the first chapter and also a news clipping on his work.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Unintentional Time Traveler
maroon book I first jumped back in time on September 21, 1980, just a few weeks into high school, but nothing about how that day started was odd in any way. It’s not like the sun popped out of the sky and said, “Hey Jack, how about if you take a trip to a completely different era where nothing makes any sense to you?”
No, it was a regular day where I woke up from my incredibly annoying alarm clock, which of course alerted King, our Golden Retriever, that he should burst through my bedroom door and lick me all over the face until I was awake enough to push him off of me. He followed me down the hall like usual, standing behind me even when I whizzed into the toilet, lest I don’t know, he miss out on any of my fun. He and I didn’t even notice anymore that the sink was wrapped in rolled up towels, held in place by constantly unraveling, goopy duct tape. It had been that way since my parents had started letting me use the bathroom by myself.
I have epilepsy, see, which means that on an irregular basis I lose consciousness as the neurons in my brain decide to go on a bender and start firing like a bunch of kindergarteners who missed their Ritalin dose that day. As one can imagine, this gets in the way of conversations, walking, brushing one’s teeth, or anything else worth doing. But like the padding over the hard surfaces around the house, I’ve gotten used to having seizures, even if I’m not happy about them.
Sometimes—maybe half the time—the “episodes” gave me a tiny bit of warning, mostly by screwing with my sense of balance. The ground around me would abruptly shift diagonally, like a ship listing hard to one side. Or my own private earthquake. I mastered the art of quickly sitting down, before I would fall over into humiliating twitchiness. Before the darkness could collapse over me.
In the kitchen that day, my mother sat quietly at the round table my father and I had built the summer before. There was a glob of varnish on one side that I liked to feel when I ate my breakfast, because it was smooth and irregular, and the wood underneath was more yellow. As usual, Dad had folded the paper to the comics section and left it next to my cereal bowl. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I didn’t read those comics anymore. I’d moved on to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.
“What do you have after school today,” asked Mom, still staring out the window toward the poplar trees behind our house. They’d turned bright yellow, but hadn’t started littering the lawn yet. It would be my job to rake the leaves when they had fallen. Joy.
“Nothing. I mean, hanging out with Sanjay, but nothing else. Why?”
Jay lived across the street from me. He never teased me about my seizures, but we’d known each other since preschool. He was kind of an outcast, too, just because he was Indian. We had some stupid kids in our school district.
“There’s a new study at the hospital for children with epilepsy. I enrolled you in it.”
“A what?” I didn’t feel like any extra studying, so I hoped this wasn’t what she meant.
She turned to me.
“They’re experimenting with a new process to see if they can cure some cases of epilepsy.”
“A process” didn’t clear it up for me.
“Is it a new drug?” I was on my sixth different pill. Pill Number One gave me delusions that I was a doctor, even though I was still a toddler at the time. Mom had found me behind the living room sofa, cutting at myself with a razor blade, announcing I was doing “surgery.” Pill Number Three made my extremities feel mushy and heavy all the time. I tripped a lot back then. I was not a fan of Pill Number Three.
“No, it’s like they have a new way of looking at your brain waves, and changing them. Dr. Barett told me about it.”
Dr. Barett, my neurologist, was fresh out of some big name medical program, top of his class, said the nurses. He was nice but he seemed to like nerve cells more than people. I wasn’t surprised that this juicy new experiment to fix brain waves was his suggestion. I nodded, since Jay and I could hang out any time we wanted, and forgot about it until I came home from school, when Mom hustled me out the door, jingling her car keys in irritation, like they were a bell instead of a device used to ignite our Ford’s engine.
The first part of the study session was familiar to me, because every month since I could remember I’d sat in a similar oversized vinyl chair and let some nurse apply blobs of cold putty all over my head. The nurses smelled like soap and antiseptic. They took a long time to attach the long, thin wires all over my head, and unlike the nurses I had for my monthly checkup, these two women didn’t make any small talk with me while they worked. I wasn’t sure if I liked the quiet or not. Finally I was ready for all of the electricity in my brain to be scratched out by a machine that looked like one of those boxes that measured ground tremors. Then for half an hour I sat as still as a scared rat while they watched the patterns of my broken neurons.
The second part of the study was different, longer, and involved the head of the study, a man with thick sideburns and gorilla hands, sending electrical signals to me to see if he could change how my brain responded. Once again I had to stay absolutely still the entire time, because I could ruin the test if I moved so much as a pinky toe. I tried to come up with all of the ways that staying perfectly still could benefit me, but after two minutes had only listed Buckingham Palace Guard and mime pretending to be dead.
I sat frozen for something like ten minutes, which was a sure-fire way to drive me crazy. Nothing like telling a guy to stay to make him need to move as much as possible. My left elbow started itching, and my right foot was in full pins-and-needles mode. The glob of putty above my left eye ever so slowly oozed down my forehead, or at least it felt that way. I tried to see the clock on the wall ahead of me, but with my glasses safely tucked away on the counter behind me, I couldn’t make out the position of the hands. It was just as well; knowing the time would probably have made me obsess about how much longer I’d be stuck in the chair. It was snot green to boot.
A metal click and then dull hum came over the PA, but I stayed still.
“How are you doing, hon,” asked Cindy, the lab technician. She had bright red hair not to be found in nature, and said everything through a smile. I liked her immediately.
My father had always said “Smile and they never know what you’re thinking.” So I worried I shouldn’t trust her, for all of her grinning. But since she’d asked me something, I answered her.
I hadn’t even spoken yet when the seismograph thing set up next to me went wild, scratching out thick, dark lines on the paper. Alerting the world: It’s alive!
“I’m okay. Itchy, and I think my right foot’s asleep.”
“Go ahead and scratch if it’s not your head, and shake your foot a little.”
I dug at my elbow through my shirt, which didn’t eliminate the itch well enough, but it would have to do. I couldn’t dig under my sleeve without upsetting the wires that trailed from all over my head. I pounded my foot on the floor, trying to startle it enough to wake up. Without thinking, I reached up to stop the glop on my head from getting in my eyes. I knew better than to touch anything other than the tip of my nose, but once I’d started moving itches popped up everywhere, screaming for attention, and I forgot myself.
“Oh, hang on there, bucko,” said the doctor, who’d come into the room from behind me. He put my hand down on the armrest. His touch was heavy and cold; his hand a hairy giant on top of mine.
“Don’t mess with the wires.”
I took a breath and relaxed, having heard this a million times before. He walked over to the machine, running his hand over his mutton chops. A long strand of connected paper had piled up in the basket next to the small monitor, and he bent low to snag the printout in the middle until he had a ribbon of it to examine. Cindy came out from the next room.
“There’s the abnormality,” I heard him say to her, pointing at the paper in a few places. “Let’s run one more test since he’s still hooked up, only this time I want to make a change to the stimulus.” They walked away, talking, and I was free to sneak in a scratch at whatever needed attention. At the moment, nothing bothered me. My body never cooperated. It didn’t demand much when I was allowed to deal with it.
The doctor was back at my side, talking loudly to me as if I had hearing problems, not a seizure disorder. He was a lot older than my regular doctor, with gray streaks clumping together at his temples. Cindy had said his work was the Rosetta Stone of neurology research, whatever that meant. I liked him enough. Nothing about rocks seemed cutting edge to me.
“Okay, Jack, we’re going to do just one more test. It’ll only take a few minutes.”
I nodded, sighed, and waited. A buzz zipped along my spine, which caused me to jerk a bit, and the machine roared.
I lost all sense of the room, the wires, the cold putty. In a flash of painful light I was on a hillside, in mid-step, running up a dirt trail, holding something in my hand. I wanted to know the shape of it, but couldn’t figure it out. I had the impression that I held it a lot. Something felt wrong with how I was running, too, as if the effort it normally took to lift my feet had been recalibrated.
“Do you notice anything,” asked the doctor through the microphone in the other room. I blinked, saw the pale green walls around me and the fuzzy metal clock on the far wall. I was back. But of course I hadn’t left.
“I saw something,” I said. With each passing second, I felt less sure about where I’d been.
“Can you describe it,” he asked, panting a little at the end of his question. It creeped me out.
I told him, feeling foolish, about the hill and the dirt path. A weird image came to me just then, that I had been wearing strange shoes. Leather moccasins, maybe. But I lived in these red Converse high tops. Why would I think of moccasins? Where did I even learn about moccasins?
He wrote down what I said, turning off his microphone partway through. I could see him through the observation glass, talking with Cindy. This would be a good time to know how to read lips, I thought. He stepped back into the room after a couple of minutes and told me I’d done a good job, clapping a hand on my shoulder. His palm took up all of the real estate I had there, but I sat there rigid. I wasn’t sure why I felt the need to be tough.
Cindy unhooked me from the machine; I was grateful to end transmitting all my brain waves to everyone in the room, even if people couldn’t exactly read my mind from the printout. She pulled over a tray on wheels, and dabbed a hand cloth into a steel bowl of warm water. She wiped most of the putty off of my scalp and temples in silence, no smiling anymore. I looked at a picture of Olympic swimmers on the wall in front of me. What the hell was this poster about, and why was it here, of all places? Were we supposed to aspire to athletic greatness even if we could have a seizure in the water?
The doctor walked over to my mother who was hunched over an issue of People in the waiting room. She looked up at him and waited for him to update her.
“Jack was great today,” he said, “and I’d like to see him next week if you can bring him in. I think we can isolate the source of his seizures.”
“Oh, really,” she asked, looking at me. “He’s such a good kid. It’s just terrible that he has to deal with these episodes. I’d hoped he’d outgrow them by high school.”
“Mom,” I said, in an attempt to get her to stop talking.
“It’s okay, Jack,” the doctor said, now grinning. It was clear he didn’t make facial expressions all that often. “I’m really glad we got you in this study.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I shrugged. But I was troubled.

maroon work

Program's point still ever sharp
Heart to Heart's syringe needle exchange has been operating since 1997. Everett Maroon, executive director of Blue Mountain Heart to Heart.
WALLA WALLA — Everett Maroon understands it’s a sticking point for people when they hear about Walla Walla’s needle exchange program. “It’s probably the most controversial program we do at Heart to Heart.” Maroon is executive director of Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, which does community outreach and education about AIDS, HIV and hepatitis C, and provides care for people in Walla Walla County living with the diseases. Heart to Heart’s syringe needle exchange has been operating here since 1997, trading one used needle for one clean needle to a client base of people using injectable drugs. That helps prevent the spread of disease through sharing syringes or other injection equipment.
“And protecting those folks means protecting the community,” Maroon said, especially given the “skyrocketing” of heroin use in Washington. When the needle exchange program was launched it was estimated it would handle about 3,500 needle trades a year. “In 2013, we did 113,905,” said Maroon.
The needle exchange, in particular, can frustrate people who don’t realize the overall significance of providing clean needles to drug users, he said. “There’s a line of thinking that this enables drug users to continue their dependency and ‘Why should taxpayers foot that bill?’”
The answer is in the numbers. Because the state has promoted and funded needle exchanges, only 8 percent or so of injectable drug users get HIV through needle use, according to Maroon. “The national average across all the states is about 25 percent,” he said. “That means we’ve done a really good job.” As well, two decades of data show that needle exchange programs don’t increase drug use. And eliminating such options don’t discourage it, either, he noted. “There’s no evidence people don’t use if they can’t find a clean syringe,” Maroon said.
With its robust needle exchange program, Washington has the fifth-lowest HIV rate in the country, according to Washington Syringe Service Programs, a network of 20 exchange programs run by health departments and community-based organizations. Infection with HIV — a precursor to AIDS — occurs through transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk. Eliminating syringe trade programs would mean drug users would have fewer avenues to find sterile syringes, Maroon said.
“Then they are sharing again,” he explained. “And if that happens, we really increase the risk that HIV can get a foothold in that community. And people are going to get sick.” In turn, that will use more health-care dollars for illness rather than prevention, Maroon said, quoting data from the state syringe service. “For every dollar spent on syringe exchange, $3 to $7 are saved on future HIV care.”
Nationally, syringe exchange programs save millions of dollars in medical costs without increasing drug use or crime, the state syringe service stated in a recent news release. “Viral hepatitis is estimated to be very high among injectors; 30 percent infection rates in young injectors, to 70-90 percent infection rates in injectors over (age) 30,” it stated.
Prevention has worked well in the Walla Walla Valley. Statistically, Walla Walla County should have another five or so HIV sufferers, but Blue Mountain Heart to Heart strives to keep clients in treatment and taking anti-viral medications. That minimized the effects of the illness on the community as a whole, Maroon said.
The agency has been receiving about $20,000 a year from Washington state for the needle exchange work, although that money is uncertain from year to year. “The rumor has been, unofficially, that syringe exchange funding will be cut for all portions of the state except King County,” Maroon said. “But it hasn’t happened yet.”
Heart to Heart was recently awarded a $28,000 grant from AIDS United to be spread over two years. Maroon said he and staff are able to keep costs in line with grant totals by watching how every dollar is spent. With the additional funding, plans are being made for outreach and education efforts. Maroon will meet with partner organizations and elected officials in Olympia to gather support and potential funding to keep the syringe exchange functioning as heroin use increases and unsafe sex continues to be a health threat, he said.
“No one walks into my office saying they always have safe sex. They come in and report they discovered their partner has been unfaithful, they report their partner has been using injectable drugs, or they haven’t been practicing safe sex and now they’re worried.”



Edgeville Boat Ride
I put this in one of the early First Cousin Letters.
This is an English assignment written by Clarence E Wight when a student at the University of Nebraska. It is dated Jan. 27 1898 and received a grade of A+, “This is a first-class story and well told”.
Edgeville Boat Ride
In the western part of Nebraska is a narrow river. Its steep banks are thickly covered with trees, which, though hiding its muddy waters make its winding course across the prairie plainly visible miles away. There is a mill-pond on this stream at Edgeville which was formerly a favorite boating resort of the young people of that place.
One day in summer several years ago, Charlie Andrews and Casper Wheeler, neighbors of mine in that town asked me to help them get a boating party. “Miss Chapin from Denver is visiting at our house”, Charlie said, “and she's all right, too. I'd like to get up something for her before she goes home. I think a ride in the Neptune would be the thing.” That evening, Ellen Phillipps and Elsie Walker were invited and the next day at three o'clock we assembled at the mill pond. The boat had, however, by some careless accident been allowed to drift over the dam. It had been discovered before going very far and someone had run it in behind a log that stuck back from the bank and secured it by throwing another log across behind it. In this ignominious position we found the Neptune.
Charlie thought we could drag it out of the water and carry it back to the pond. Caspar was for giving up the boat ride. We tried pulling the boat out of the water, when one of the boys got his feet wet and the other sat down it the river we decided to go for a horse and a rope. The girls interrupted this pan by suggesting that we take a boat ride below the dam. “The water is deep enough”. They argued, “and much cleaner and clearer than the pond.” Before anyone had time to oppose the plan or even to think, the girls were clambering aboard and of course the boys went too. We lifted the pole from behind the Neptune, backed the boat out and started it down stream. I took the larger oar and steered the boat, Caspar rowed, and Charlie pointed out the scenery to Miss Chapin.
In this way time passed rapidly and before we were aware it was nearly sunset. Ellen suggested that we start back but Miss Chapin implored. “Oh, don't lets go home yet,” and as no one wished to oppose her wishes we floated on. I had no idea how far we were from home till I saw almost opposite us the water tank to Frontiersville. “It won't do to go any further,” I said, “we're six miles from Edgevill in the straight line and the river is much further and up-stream.”
We quickly turned around but found as everyone does who tries it, that floating down-stream and rowing up-stream are somewhat different. After rowing what seemed like ten miles but what was probably about one, our oars began to strike bottom. This made easier rowing for a little while but before long our keel began grating in the mud, and then the frightful truth dawned upon us. The mill hands had closed the flume and the supply from above being cut off the river continued to grow shallower as the water flowed away till it was no longer navigable.
“What shall we do!”” anxiously inquired Miss Chapin. “Let's take a rest first thing. I'm about dead”, Caspar moaned.
But the water continued to grow shallower till when we attempted to get the boat to land we found it was completely stuck. We waded around the boat trying to move it but it was of no use. There was only one thing to do, carry the girls ashore and that is one of the things that's easier said than done. If anyone imagines for an instant that it's a pleasure to pick up a one hundred and twenty-five pound girl and carry her one hundred and twenty-five feet through mud above his ankles and water above his knees, I should like him to try it. Charlie wanted to divide the distance and each of us carry the girls one third of the way but I would not do that but picked up Ellen and started for the bank. All when well for the first few feet, but before the shore was reached I began to think that if Ellen was worth her weight in gold she was most painfully precious. Caspar's girl was not so heavy and he made the shore without much difficulty though not without great labor. It was now Charlie's turn to land Miss Chapin. Caspar offered to wager ice-cream for the whole company that Charlie would reach the shore all right. I promptly accepted his terms and the bet was made. The girls thought it shocking to bet on such a thing and Elsie especially went so far as to say that she would not eat any of the cream whoever had to buy it.
But we were soon to know who had to buy it for here came Charlie with Miss Chapin. When less than half way to the bank he had to set her down in the river while I lay on the bank and simply howled. To do the poor boy justice, I will day that I believe he would have reached the shore safely enough if Miss Chapin had not kept screaming all the time. Her lack of confidence was contagious; it rattled him.
She did not wait for Charlie but ran for the shore, falling down twice on the way. Her skirts floated out in a horizontal position which made her look like a water-lily. Caspar told her. I believe he actually meant it for a compliment but Miss Chapin made a horrible grimace in reply and told him to “mind his business”. When she reached the shore the girls had to help her land as she refused the proffered assistance of both Caspar and myself. We, however, had the pleasure of helping Charlie onto the bank and a more discouraged looking youth it has never been my lot to see. The richest sight of all, however, was Miss Chapin. I remarked that she looked like a drowned hen and that made her more angry than Caspar's intended complement.
The only house in sight was the section-house at Frontiersville two miles away and thither we turned our footsteps. It was dark before we reached there. The foreman's wife was a good natured Irish lady who promptly invited us in. While our wet clothes were drying she dressed Miss Chapin out in an old red and white plaid calico and the effect was simply irresistible. Caspar and I had to burst out laughing about every three minutes and she would look daggers at us.
The section foreman informed us that no train would stop at Frontiersville till noon the next day. “But if it would be any accommodation to you”, he added, “I'll take you home in the handcar for a dollar and a half.” We quickly paid him the money and he got the handcart ready. With two of the girls seated in front, their feet dangling, and the other sitting on the water-keg we toiled up the grade to Edgeville.
Ellen's folks were very anxious about her. As for my own relatives, the greatest disappointment among them was entertained by my brother because I did not get home in time to milk the cows.
The following evening, Charlie, Caspar and I met in the barber-shop and talked over the last day's adventure. Charlie says Miss Chapin expressed great disapprobation of Caspar's and my rude conduct. She soon returned to Denver and I have not seen her since. As for the Neptune, it probably floated down stream when the flume was opened. At any rate it has never been seen in Edgeville since.

When I was about 7, I stayed with Gramma and Grampa Wight in Yellowgrass and took my grade 2 there. It was at this time that Grampa read me the story about the boat ride.
His days in Yellowgrass were filled with:
  1. playing chess and checkers with a neighbour. (The neighbour wanted checker games and Grampa wanted chess games so they took turns.) He also played chess by mail with Calvin and Wayne, taught me to play and did the chess puzzle in the paper. He didn't make a good chess layer out of me, but I have always had great pleasure in watching others play.
  2. Gardening. It was a wonderful garden and he spent hours in it. The previous owner had been a great gardener and there were many plants that you don't see often on the prairie. He had a little tree that he was training and pruning to be as weird a shape as possible.
  3. Cooking. He made a great porridge with lots of different stuff in it. He always saved some to start the next batch and added something each day (flax one day, wheat the next, and then oats). He believed that soup and stew should be done this way, but Gramma didn't. He made salads from the garden and always told me that it would be good because he'd put a little dandelion and earthworm in it. The big deal was popcorn. Grampa conducted experiments and kept the results in a notebook. How much oil, how much heat, when the shaking started, how hard he shook was recorded along with a complete count of the 'old maids'.
  4. Playing gin rummy with me. We played for money, a penny a point. There was another notebook with the running total of what I owed him. If the total was ever in my favour, he paid me, put a line across the page and started a new reckoning. I had to learn how to handle the cards so that I could not be accused of cheating, sleeves up and never blocking sight of the cards with my hands. If I did it wrong Grampa would say, “I've seen a man shot for less than that.” We always played cards sitting in the middle of their bed.
  5. Writing letters. He corresponded with a lot of people – well, you all know that and how much he loved letters.

Back to the boat ride. Once Grampa was trying to explain to me how stories are written. You take real people and real events and you change them and mix them up until you have a story. To show me what he meant he got some old papers out of the closet and read me the story. Then he got very sad and then philosophical. He was fingering papers in the box. He told me that there are forks in people's lives. He could have been a writer; he could have been a lawyer and a supreme court judge in his old age. But instead he went to war in the Philippines and became a farmer. Who could say if he was better or worst off. I never expected to see that story again, but Marcia found it is her mother's things. Grampa had had his box of precious papers with him to his death.


Glen Lewis Wight Obituary
November 14, 1931 – April 14, 2014
It is with heavy hearts and great sorrow that we announce the passing of Glen Lewis Wight. Glen slipped peacefully away on Monday afternoon with family by his side and love in his heart. Glen and Loretta began their family and life together in Rosetown, SK, where they lived for the next 30 years. Glen owned and operated a GM Dealership for several years and then built a motel where he and his family lived and worked until 1980. In 1987, Glen and his wife moved back to their hometown of Regina, where they managed an apartment building until his retirement in 2006. Glen was an active and lifetime member of the Kinsmen Club/K40's. He volunteered his time graciously to all Kinsmen/K40 events and anything for "Saskatchewan Roughriders". Glen was also the Charter President of the Rosetown "Fu-fu Club", something that brought great enjoyment to his fellow "Fu-fu- ers" and family. Glen is survived by his loving wife, of almost 59 years, Loretta (Dawson) Wight; his sons, Bruce (Dianne), Garth (Jenni) and daughter, Brenda (Bill); grandchildren, Jason (Adine), Christal (Hitch), Chad (Laura), Shane, Cory, Ashley (Kyle), Chris, Milan and Curtis; great-grandchildren, Olivia, Ella, Tyreese, Axl, Emma, Julia, Damien and Madeline. He was predeceased by his father, William Harold Wight; mother, Mabel Elizabeth (Forsythe); sister, Elenore Young; brother, Bill Wight and beloved son, Scott Alexander Wight. He will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his family and many friends. A Service will be held in Celebration of Glen's Life at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Westminster United Church, 3025 13th Avenue, Regina, SK with Rev. D. Reine officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations in Glen's memory may be made to either the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation or the Canadian Arthritis Society or a charity of one's choice.
"In the arms of God, with Peace in his heart and angels on his arms the family wept as he moved on. Cherished will
be the memories of "PAPA".
~Milan Wight


Viking Hand
Grandfather (Clarence) Wight had curled little fingers in his old age. The pinkies finally almost touched his palms. Other members of the Wight family had/have this condition. I was looking at some emails in the Duggleby site (this is a family on the Barmby side, no relation to the Wights) and they were discussing a condition that seems to run in some of the Duggleby branches, called Vikings Hand. I looked up that condition and there was a photograph of granddad's hands. This bending of fingers in old age has a proper name, Dupreytren's disease. It is inherited and is found almost exclusively in people of North European, especially Scandinavian, stock. This Scandinavian inheritance is common in both Yorkshire and East Anglia, even in England in general, and so it would not be surprising if I had the gene from either side, but I most definitely have a chance of it from the Wight side. The condition is “autosomal dominant with variable penetrance”. That means first you only need one copy of the affected gene to get the condition, it is dominant. Second, each affected person usually has one parent with the affected gene. The chance of inheritance is 50% with one affected parent, 100% with two. But if you have the affected gene you may not show the condition, that has variable penetrance. For example for me to have inherited it from granddad, my mother would have to have had the affected gene, whether or not she showed the condition. It shows up more in men and at older ages.
Here is part of a paper on the condition discussing the Viking connection to Dupreytren Disease (DD):
In the year 865, “a great heathen army” of Vikings landed on England’s east coast; an earlier raid on the monastery of Lindisfarne prompted a cleric of the times to say, “Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race.” By the 10th century, 3 of England’s 4 kingdoms were dominated by the Vikings, who gradually converted to Christianity and settled in the conquered territories. The Viking age of exploration, trading, and colonization lasted nearly 300 years. They raided as far as Newfoundland to the west, the Mediterranean and its many ports to the south, and the Caspian Sea—by way of the rivers of Eastern Europe, such as the Volga and Dneiper—to the east. The areas bordering the North Sea were significantly colonized, with Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Holland, and Belgium being principally involved. Vikings were present in Scotland for nearly 500 years. They left behind many Scandinavian family and place names that replaced the original Gaelic. They also left behind DD, which has persisted in some areas to this day; in Scotland, for example, since the 15th century the flexed fingers of adult male bagpipers have been known as “the curse of the MacCrimmons.” In England, the Vikings who settled in the area of East Anglia became farmers, and to this day surnames derived from Scandinavian roots are common. My family name referred to those who settled on the flat lands of East Anglia. Like the Vikings, Flatt children were born with ash-blond hair, and many were blue eyed. This held true until ships of the Spanish Armada wrecked off the English coast in 1598. Survivors swam ashore and joined the local farmers; as a result, subsequent Flatt children were blond at birth but had jet-black hair by their teenaged years—as did I. The Flatts must have had strong genes, since neither my father nor I have had DD despite our Viking roots.
In his 1963 book, the Australian hand surgeon John Hueston wrote, “Dupuytren’s contracture is virtually confined to people of European descent”. Its highest incidence is recorded in Iceland. As expected, the incidence is also high in Scandinavia: 10.5% in Norwegian men. In a large 1962 review of published figures, P. F. Early arrayed the countries of European stock in order of incidence of DD: Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. He also commented that the incidence in Australia, Canada, England, and Wales was similar since their populations are of basically English stock, which may itself represent a diluted strain of Danish (Viking) stock. The incidence in Sweden is matched in Edinburg. In a study in the French port of Toulon, 60% of the general population had brown eyes and 40% had blue eyes, but 80% of inhabitants with DD had blue eyes. The latter individuals were traced to the families of Breton and Norman sailors in the city’s history. DD is relatively uncommon in Spain, Greece, and Italy, except for Greece and Italy’s northern Adriatic Coast, which was penetrated by a northern genetic invasion during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Greek and Roman literature contain no record of anything resembling DD. The Icelandic sagas of the 12th and 13th centuries describe a number of “miracle cures” recently discussed by Whaley and Elliot. Four cases are considered in detail, two of which could well have been DD. Whaley and Elliot found no evidence of DD in early Anglo-Saxon and Gaelic medical literature.

Mother in Cogswell
Here is something mother wrote for the Feb 2003 First Cousin Letter:
I like to remember the summer of 1930 when Mother, Dad, Mildred, Calvin and I drove down to Cogswell to see Myrtle and Bernard on the farm. It was quite a trip. We had to pitch a tent and camp out. There were no motels in those days. When they came home, they left me behind to stay with Myrtle. She was pregnant and they thought she could use my help.
We sure had fun. Bernard was away threshing that fall so we looked after the pigs, looked after the garden, made pickles and we made wine. Myrtle had been against taking wine and beer to the field but she kind of relented. She made some wine out of berries. A German lady who lived upstairs taught her how and we kept our wine up there unbeknown to Bernard.
When it came time for it to be ready it was supposed to yield one gallon. We got three quarts, one pint and a cup full. Myrtle gave me the pint to take home. We rounded up some empty beer bottles and put a little of the wine in each of them. When Bernard got home late at night from harvesting and saw all the bottles with wine in them, he hit the ceiling – and we got the giggles. He wanted to know where the wine came from and Myrtle said his friends had come over and she didn't know who they were. He thought we were drunk.
Another night, Bernard took us to town to see a show and then he bought a watermelon. It weighed 20 pounds. We brought it home and ate it all.
The Sunday before I was to come home, we went to Sabina's but Sabina wasn't home. Nobody was home. We spent the afternoon at her house waiting for her. She had a case of prune plums she was going to can. We ate them. We hadn't had any dinner at noon and we were hungry. Myrtle and I had naps. When we woke up, we couldn't find Bernard. We looked and looked all over outside. He was sitting on the roof watching us hunt. Finally we heard him laughing.
We left Myrtle there so Sabina could take her to the hospital when it was time. Bernard drove to Enderland to catch the train back to Lang. He was so tired because he'd been threshing long hours, he could hardly stay awake. To keep from falling asleep at the wheel, he described the scenery to me. It was pitch black but he described the mountains, lakes and trees as though we were driving through the Alps.
When we got to Enderland, we stopped at the station to check on the train and then went for a cup of coffee. Before we'd finished the coffee we heard the train whistle so we ran for it and barely got back in time.
When I got back home to Lang, it was too late to go to school to start the year so I skipped school that winter. Later, when I moved from Knox School to Crocus Plains, there was no Grade 7 class so they put me into Grade 8. That put me back with the class I'd started with. When I went to Weyburn to take Grade 12, Jack Graham sat across the aisle from me. He'd lived next door when I was six years old. We'd gone to Grade one together.


Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories 2
Here is another part of Gaylord Wight's childhood memories from Evelyn Wight's record.
In the spring of 1910, I was going to #75 School near Gibbon, Nebraska. I was eight years old, Marjorie was about six and Myrtle five. The school was on the south and east sides of the road, taking out of the corner of our farm. Our house was south of there, a little over a quarter of a mile away.
We had a cornfield in the part of the form and the rows of corn ran east and west, not towards our house. The school building was situated east and west, with the door on the west end. There was no entryway; when you stepped in the door, you were right in the classroom. Behind the school, there was a coal bin, with an ash pile a little beyond that, the the outdoor toilets were on either side of the ash pile.
There were lots of nails in the ashes and, one day at the afternoon recess, some of us boys played with these nails, throwing them at the girls as they ran up and down the path to and from their toilet. We didn't hit any of the girls, but it was entertaining and they enjoyed it too. The traffic increased quite a lot up and down that path. When the bell rang, I was afraid to go into the school. The others went in, but by the time I got my mind made up to go in why, bless me, everybody else had settled down. So I sat on a box near the coal building to figure out what I should do.
Well, pretty soon the teacher, Miss Edith Walker, came migrating around the corner with a switch in her hand and I lit out for the cornfield. She couldn't catch me, so she gave that up and went back, only to reappear with the two biggest boys in the school, aged about 16. After they had a little conference the two boys lit out after me and I took off down the rows of corn toward the east. I went the full length of the cornfield, half a mile, and now the boys were farther behind me than they were when they started. Now when I reflect on it, I just question how diligently they tried to catch me, because they didn't even gain on me. There was some shrubbery over in the next farm from the cornfield, and I hid. The boys didn't find me, although they stayed around and pretended to hunt and hunt for me. My father's hired man, named Oggie, drove up from the east with a team of horses and an empty hayrack. When the boys saw a chance for a ride back to the school, they lost no time finding me, and we all rode up to the school. The children had all gone home by this time, but Miss Walker came out to the hayrack and I ran over to the other side. She went around, and I ran back to the first side and she could see she couldn't get me off there. Oggie and the two boys wouldn't help her get me off, they had brought me far enough, they thought, so she promised she wouldn't lick me if I would get off, so I got off. She must have given me a good talking-to and let me go home.
Marjorie and Myrtle were scared stiff of what might happen to Gaylord but nothing was said at home at all. Oggie hadn't said anything and neither had the girls. I remember after supper my mother spent some time picking sand burr out of my legs and wondering where I had been to get so many thorns. A few days later she met Miss Walker who said, “Mrs. Wight, I'm awful sorry for what happening the other day,” which was the first mother knew anything about it. So when I got home that time, mother asked me about it and I wasn't afraid to tell her. She was of quite an understanding nature and sympathetic too.

Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories part 3 
When we lived in the States, we lived on a quarter section of land where we grew corn and oats as main crops, and twelve acres of alfalfa for hay. My father and his brother, Guy, also had some bottom land down by the river where they grew alfalfa, too. We made three or four cuttings of alfalfa in one year.
The farming operation was largely of stock, with quite a herd of cattle and a lot of pigs. We had two windmills on the farm, one in the pasture and one in the garden near the house. We had two other wells that were sandpoints, located in the kitchen and the hog lot. Mother had a large flock of Plymouth Rock chickens and of course a big garden on the north side of the house. North of the garden an orchard of plum trees.
We had a pretty good barn, located southeast from the house, with a cement floor in it. I remember when the barn was being built three or four years before we came to Canada when I was about five. When the hay was loaded into the barn with slings, it was my job to lead the horse out the other end of the barn so the slings would hoist into the loft. When we stacked alfalfa in the field, it was cured and raked into windrows. Using buck rakes, or “bucks”, the men would get a buck full of hay and put it in a stacker to be elevated to the top of the stack.
One day I was running around there and stumbled on a pitchfork that was lying on the ground. I yelled and hollered and my Dad picked me up and ran a quarter of a mile to the house, with me in his arms, because my foot was bleeding pretty badly. It healed well but I still have the scar between my toes.
Once each season we had a steam engine with a sheller come to the farm to shell the corn. This steam engine was of great interest to me. It was owned by a man named Mr. Comstock who went from farm to farm shelling corn. One time a threshing machine outfit came to Pierce's, our neighbor to the south of us, and I was so interested in the steam engine that I wanted to go see it. I did go with my father for a little while but when he came home I had to come home. My mother set up a telescope in the porch to let me look at that steam engine. I guess I sat there by the hour.


Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories part 4
Years ago our farm in Nebraska had been occupied by my grandparents, William Kimball Wight and Mary Sophia Eastman. They had migrated from Cambridge, Illinois, in about 1883, where he had been running a creamery. My grandmother died of a stroke at the age of 58 in 1898, and my grandfather died in 1903. I believe Mrs. Fullmer, Uncle Lewie's mother-in-law, bought the farm from the estate and my father bought it from her. Grandpa Krewson helped to finance it for my father, and was paid back for it later. In 1910, some people named Gilts, from David City near Lincoln, bought the land from my father at $100/acre.
I can remember my father and Uncle Harold looking through the Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck catalogues purchasing different things they would need in Canada, mostly shop tools and small implements: things like the forge and the anvil, the vice, doubletrees and neck yokes, that I remember during my boyhood in Canada.
Uncle Harold had inherited an organ from his mother and it was situated for a time in our home in Gibbon. It was a foot pumping organ, the first instrument I learned to play. George Lukenbill, a neighbor of ours, was quite a jack-of-all-trades, and he came to our house at my mother's request to clean the reeds and fix it up. It was most interesting to me and was my first initiation into some of the work I later chose to take up as a profession. (Note: Gaylord was a piano tuner)
Well, Uncle Harold took that organ with him to Canada. Grandpa and Grandma Krewson, who lived two and a half miles away, also had an organ and they traded it to us for several hives of bees that mother had, and we took that organ to Canada for our home. I took lessons in Canada and practised on that organ.
In the spring of 1911, my father shipped two carloads of settler's effects to Canada, besides what he had shipped in 1910, before he took his family up there. On March 21st, Mother and the six children and Aunt Minnie took the train to Canada.
When my mother, Aunt Minnie, and the six children got off the train in Lang, Saskatchewan, on March 23, 1911, my father met the train with Frank and Fred, his prize team. By bob sleigh, we drove to Uncle Harold's and Aunt Lottie's for the first night in Canada. Uncle Harold and Aunt Lottie gave us a very wonderful welcome. They were a very happy couple and it was most regrettable that Aunt Lottie lived only three years after that.
The next day we took up temporary residence in Uncle Lucien's vacant house until the seeding on the farm two miles north of there had progressed to the point where one of the granaries was emptied. Aunt Minnie had returned to Nebraska and by and by we moved up to our farm, occupying a granary that measured 12' x 6'. For storage, two shelves were built, one foot above the other and about two feet in depth, clear around the entire perimeter of the granary. Mother did a wonderfully fine job looking after her family in that very confined space.
The farming operations consisted of additional breaking of ground with the engine, disking and seeding. We used a drill pulled by horses. There was a skeleton of a barn north of the house, built the previous fall, that sufficed until it was replaced with a good barn in 1920.
Soon another granary was emptied so it was moved close to the first one, and we lived in those two granaries all summer while the house was being built. The carpenter was named Mr. Hodgekiss, and he got 40 cents an hour. The hired hands, and there were five or six of them, were spared now and then to help do some of the rough lumber work and shingling, and so by fall we had the house built.


Evelyn's record of Gaylord Wight's memories part 5

The first summer we spent in Canada in 1911, I went to school at Crocus Plains, three and a half miles south and one half mile west of our farm. I would walk a mile and a quarter to the south of us to catch a ride with the Kinter girls. I would stand on the back of their buggy. I was in Grade 3. Our teacher, Mr. George Glover, lived in a tent attached to the east side of the school. He was well liked by the students. He played with the boys and coached them in baseball and was a kindly gentleman. He aspired to be a minister and indeed he bicycled each Sunday past our place to Danvers School south of Riceton to preach as a student minister. (Later he became ordained and preached the rest of his life.)
There was an organ in Crocus Plains School, and we sang hymns to the Kinter girls playing, “Count Your Blessing, Name Them One by One”. Mr Glover also taught us the Lord's Prayer. There was a map of Canada on the wall, showing western Canada as it was before 1905 outlining the various territories instead of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Of course it was out of date, but it was only out of date by six years.
In those days there was no summer vacation to speak of, but there were two or three months for vacation in the winter because of the climatic conditions of the country.
During my second year at Crocus Plains I drove the girls in a buggy pulled by “Fancy”, a light gray mare. Mr. Thompson was our teacher and the school board had a teacherage built for him. (Later on, in the First Great War, Mr. Thompson went overseas and lost his life in battle.)
Our water supply was brought to the school in a tin barrel which could be set up in a buggy. During recess or noon, someone would drive to Newson's for water and sometimes I took Fancy and the buggy and several boys to help. Towards the end of that year I got a cheque for 60 cents for three trips at 20 cents a piece. It was signed by Joe Howard, the secretary of the school board. I wasn't really expecting anything for that but was happy to get the cheque nevertheless.
The Crocus Plains school building served as a church for the community, served by the Presbyterian ministry from Lang. Aunt Lottie was one of the Sunday School teachers. On May 5, 1913, Knox School was opened a mile and a quarter away, where we attended school from then on. However, we continued to go to Crocus Plains for church and Sunday School.
We walked to Know School, except in the fall and in wintry weather when we would drive a horse and buggy. Everything was brand new in the school, including an up to date map of Canada showing the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta as they had been formed in 1905. Our teacher, Miss Latimer, was just out of normal school.
One day when Wayne was almost six, he came to school with us as a visitor. He was sitting quietly in his seat looking pretty, I suppose, because Miss Latimer said to him, “Wayne, if you don't quit looking so pretty, I'm going to kiss you!” Of course this was told at home and Mother asked him, “Wayne what did you do then?” He replied, “I just kept on lookin' the way I was.”
One evening Miss Latimer had a program in the school in which all the children contributed items of entertainment. I remember I play the organ.