Friday, January 20, 2017


Thurs., November 9, 1933 - The kids decided that we weren't enough to play football and we've played "Rubber Boots" today.  Mr. Behmer finished picking corn today.
Fri., November 10, 1933 - Warm today for a change.  Mrs. Behmer came after Charlotte Faye about 4:00.  Annie and the kids came a little after 4:00.  Annie put work on the board for me while I swept the floor.  I went to lodge tonite.  Minnie Andersen wasn't there so I had to be N.G.  We had cream puffs and cookies for lunch.  Howard brought me home.
Sat., November 11, 1933 - Sunshiny and warm today.  I helped Mom with the washing until 10:15, then got ready to go to Norfolk.  The train got here all right this time.  Got my new permanent right away; it was 3:00 when I was through.  Got Mom a new hat and myself a new red dress.  Met Edwin just as I was going to the bus depot and he said I could go home with him.  Got a library book for school tonite.  Then up to Schellenbergs.  They had a surprise party for Mr. and Mrs. Schellenberg for their 37th wedding anniversary.  We played Pitch and I won booby prize, a steel pan brush.  We were through with lunch about 11:30 and then Edwin, Florence and I went up to the party at Uncle Hans'.  We got there about 2 dances before intermission.  They danced until 2:30.  I had a good time.  We got home about 3:15.  Edwin stayed the rest of the night at our place.

Grandpa has been MIA for a little bit, but I wonder if he wasn't working on harvesting crops.

I am not sure from her handwriting if the game Grandma mentioned was "Rubber Boots" or "Rubber Boats".  In any event, I am not finding a game under either name.  I did find the following list of games supposedly played at country schools.  Courtesy of  (I think .ca indicates Canada, but close enough, right?  There are several instances of snow mentioned, so that fits.)

     Anti-I-Over: The object of the game is to throw a ball over the roof of the schoolhouse or woodshed, yelling “Anti-I-Over”. If a person on the opposite team on the other side of the building catches the ball, other teammates sneak around the building while the catcher tries to touch as many players from the other team with the ball, before they safely reach the half way mark. Tagged children are captured and become part of the opposite team. Teams change sides each time the ball is successfully caught. If the catcher drops the ball, he has to join the opposing team. The team that captures all the players wins.

     Being Measured: One child stands facing the wall of the woodshed. Other students take turns throwing snowballs at the ‘target’. The ideas is not to hit, but to come as close as possible to the person up against the wall, making a silhouette of snow around them showering them with shattered snowballs. Whoever misses and ‘hits’ the target has to take their place up against the wall and the former ’target’ has a chance to measure somebody.

     Bubble Gum Sports Cards: Children collected sports cards that came with bubble gum. Two children would stand about ten feet away from a wall. The person who flicked their card closest to the wall would win both cards.

     Cowboys & Indians or Cops & Robbers: The ‘Cowboys’, ‘Cops’ and ‘Robbers’ find pieces of wood to use as guns. The ‘Indians’ have pretend bows and arrows. Both sides hide in trees and hollow spots trying to ambush each other. When someone is ‘shot’, they generally fall down ‘dead’.

     Crack the Whip: This is usually played on skates. Students join hands to form a long line and skate in a circle. The person on the end has to skate faster and faster. When the whip is ‘cracked’, they usually go flying.

     Fox & Goose: The deep snow is trampled down to form a large circle. Two intersecting lines are drawn across the circle so that it resembles a wagon wheel with four spokes and a hub. The person in the middle is the Fox and the others are Geese. When the Fox catches one of the Geese, the goose is put in the middle of the ‘pen’. There are no tag backs so the next Fox has to find another prey.  Everyone has to stay on the wheel. The game is over when all the Geese are in the pen.

     Hop Scotch: A course is first drawn on pavement with chalk. The first player tosses a stone into the first square without touching a line or bouncing out. She hops on one foot through the course avoiding the square with the stone. If she’s successful completing the course, she tosses the stone into the second square and repeats the pattern. If she steps on a line, misses a square or loses balance, her turn ends and the second player begins. The first player to complete the course for every square wins.

     Marbles: In wintertime, a small hole is made in the snow. Two children try to flip their marble into the hole using their forefinger. The first to do so gets both marbles. In summertime, a circle is drawn in the sand. Players take turns trying to knock other players’ marbles out of the circle.

     Mother May I: The object is to get from the starting line to the finishing line first. Whoever is ‘Mother’ tells a player to take a certain number of giant steps or baby steps. The player has to say “Mother May I” before moving. If he forgets, he has to go back to the starting line. Cheating is allowed by sneaking ahead without getting caught by ‘Mother’. If the player is caught, he has to start over at the starting line.

     Pom Pom Pull Away: Children line up as in Red Rover. One child stays in the center and says, “Pom Pom Pull Away”. With this the children run to the other side. If a child is tagged, he/she must stay in the middle to help tag others. The first child tagged is ‘it’ for the next game.

     Red Light Green Light: The object is to get from the starting line at one corner of the school to the next corner as fast as the person who is ‘it’ says “Green light”. Players have to stop when ‘it’ says “Red light”. If players are caught moving, they have to start over at the starting line.

     Red Rover: Children form two teams facing each other holding hands. The captain of one team calls out “Red rover, red rover, I call.... (child’s name from opposing team) over. The child runs across the open space and tries to break through the enemy line. If he is successful in breaking through the line, he takes a prisoner and returns to the other team. If he fails to break through, he is taken prisoner and added to the other team.

     Scrub: This game is played like baseball with a minimum of six players. The first person to yell ”Scrub” is the first batter; the second the pitcher; the third the catcher; the fourth the infielder; and the fifth the outfielder. There are no teams and score is not kept. When the batter is out, he moves to the outfield and other players rotate positions. If the fielder catches a fly ball, he becomes the batter.

     Seven-Up: Seven players stand in the front of the classroom. When the leader says, “Heads down, thumbs up,” the rest of the children put their heads down on their desks with their thumbs up. The players each touch one person’s thumb and return to the front. When the leader says, “Heads up, stand up.” The children that have been touched guess once who touched them. If they guess right, they take that person’s place. If they don’t guess right, they put their heads down again and the game resumes.

     Skipping: Children have many chants as they skip normally, very fast (Pepper) or Double Dutch (two skipping ropes are turned together in opposite directions). Some chants are:

     I had a little car in 1958. Took it around the cor....(child ran around one person turning the rope and jumped back in) ...ner and slammed on the break (stopped rope between legs). The policeman caught me and put me in jail and all I had to drink was Ginger Ale. How many bottles did I drink? 1, 2, 3.... (pepper)

     Salute to the Captain, (child salutes while skipping)
     Bow to the Queen, (child bows while skipping)
     And turn your back on the Nazi submarine! (child turns around)

     Cinderella, dressed in yella, went upstairs to kiss a fella.
     By mistake she kissed a snake. How many doctors did it take?
     1! 2! 3! 4! (pepper)

     Tetherball: A large ball is attached to a rope and tied to the top of a tall pole. Two players try to hit the ball in opposite directions. The game ends when one player winds the ball all the way around the pole so that it is stopped by the rope.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I can only imagine

Mon., November 6, 1933 - Mrs. Behmer took us to school this morning.  I'm preparing to move my desk to the back of the room.  George and I got into a little disagreement today and I had to show him who was boss!  Esther and Merlin Benshoof were here this evening.  Mr. Jochens fixed the door this morning.
Tues., November 7, 1933 - I walked to school this morning.  My desk is in the back of the room.  I like it much better.  Bruce and Charlotte started reading in their Primers.  I played football (with a beanbag!) with the kids today.  It's rather strenuous exercise for an old "softy" like I.
Wed., November 8, 1933 - We played football again today, but with a football stuffed with clothes instead.  Mrs. Behmer came after Charlotte at 3:30 today.  After school I walked down to Walkers, had supper there, and went with the kids to town tonite when they practiced their play.

I wonder how much of a "boss" Grandma was at age 21 years.  I know when Dale made it to her class in late elementary or junior high, she was much feared.  I don't remember who it was, but when Dale came back to Winside and was being shown around to his classes, his guide warned him that Mrs. Iversen was "a real battle ax" or something like that.  And by then she was "old" at 60 years with plenty of teaching under her belt.  Of course, Dale told the young lad that Mrs. Iversen was his grandmother and that probably put no small amount of fear in his little heart.

A football stuffed with clothes?  I am confused.

Not sure when the photograph was taken, but those look like my fifth grade glasses and hair.  So, this is pretty close to the time of the battle ax remark.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Two movies in two days

Fri., November 3, 1933 - Up at 6:00 and at school by seven again this morning.  Yesterday and today are the first mornings I've walked to school this year.  Mrs. Behmer brings Charlotte later.  Annie and Ola came after me after supper.  We stopped at Charlie Jochens so I might get my check.  We were at Meta and Lyle's awhile, too.
Sat., November 4, 1933 - Mother sewed at Chas. Misfeldt's today.  I was going to Norfolk on the train today to cash my check, but the train was three hours late so I didn't get to go.  Mother and I went to the show tonite.  We saw "The Warrior's Husband", a picture  about the Amazon women of ancient times.  Howard was up home a few minutes after we got back from the show.  Got some new library books for school.
Sun., November 5, 1933 - I taught Mrs. Weible's class today.  Seven adults were confirmed today and taken into the church.  Alma and Gerald were down this afternoon while I was making candy and correcting examination papers.  Howard and I went to the show at Wayne tonite.  We saw Janet Gaynor in "Paddy", a good show.

Here are the two movie plots and some trivia:

The Warrior's Husband, a comedy (from  The Broadway play of the year before is considered as one of the breakthrough roles of Katharine Hepburn. The film version was made with an entirely different cast and music.

In Pontus, the land of the Amazons, the gender roles and natures are completely reversed. Women are the strong sex, thanks to the sacred girdle of the goddess Diana (Roman names are used). It is in the care of queen Hippolyta and her sister Antiope, the commander of the female armed forces. The men stay at home and take care of the children. Only Sapiens, the new husband of queen Hippolyta, advocates men's rights.

Just like the relationships are reversed, so too are the Greeks for the Amazons a legendary race that probably doesn't exist, instead of the other way around. This is about to change when two Greeks come to court to announce that Hercules needs to get the girdle of Diana to complete his twelve labours. In reality, Hercules may not be much of a threat, but his friend Theseus certainly is. Meanwhile, Sapiens, using his male wiles, is secretly trying to wreck the Amazon's defense from within. Eventually he manages to capture Hercules, and let him escape with the girdle. Without it, the Amazons lose the battle and relations go back to normal.

Hmmmm.  I am hoping the plot summary doesn't do the movie or the play justice because it really does not sound like much of a comedy.

Paddy (from a 1933 New York Times review):  That mischievous but lovable colleen, Paddy Adair, of Gertrude Page's novel, "Paddy the Next Best Thing," is now to be seen in all her prankish moods on the screen of the Radio City Music Hall. Janet Gaynor plays this rĂ´le and it is one of the best she has had during her motion picture career. Another advantage enjoyed by this production is the casting of Warner Baxter, who was teamed with Miss Gaynor in a version of "Daddy Long Legs," in the leading male part.

Thousands of persons were on hand to witness the first showing of this film yesterday morning and how they laughed at Paddy's successful strategy and her disregard for the truth when it suited her purposes! It is a simple little Irish romance in which the comedy is gentle and natural. All the incidents are set forth in an effortless fashion and the Hollywood conception of scenes of the Emerald Isle are extraordinarily good.

Miss Gaynor puts her heart into her work and she laughs and pouts prettily. The lines she speaks were written by Edwin Burke, who was responsible for the dialogue of "Bad Girl." Soon after Paddy is introduced, the little boat in which she is sailing capsizes and the smiling colleen is left, as she expresses it, "standing in a puddle." She is rescued by Lawrence Blake (Mr. Baxter), who, be it known, is on his way to the Adair home to propose to Paddy's sister, Eileen. It is not long afterward that Paddy looks upon Blake as an ogre, for she knows that Eileen is in love with Jack Breen, and only has consented to marry Blake because he is wealthy and can help her impecunious father.

Paddy therefore undertakes to break the engagement between Eileen and Blake and, in one of the scenes, she naively tries to see how close two pairs of lips—her own and those of the handsome Blake—can come to each other without kissing. She soon discovers and is warmly embraced by Blake. Eileen, who is presumed to know nothing of Paddy's plotting, is none too pleased, but, being a loyal daughter, she continues to stand by her promise to become Blake's wife.

Be that as it may, everybody in the audience knows that Paddy, and not Eileen, will eventually become Blake's bride. Thus, it is clear that everybody will be happy, for Eileen can wed Jack Breen.

Among the many ingratiating episodes is one in which Blake and Paddy are beheld in a railway coach. Blake has arranged that Paddy has no time for breakfast when she leaves Dublin and he also sees to it that her purse is empty. Moreover, he takes a place in the same compartment with Paddy and, after inviting her to partake of some food, an offer which is refused, he orders a table with appetizing dishes brought to him Paddy is famished, but she will not humble herself by accepting a morsel from the artful Mr. Blake. He pretends later to be asleep and, as the waiter has not removed the table. Paddy stealthily steals a chop from a plate and pecks at it, with her face partly covered by her overcoat. Blake, however, misses very little of all this.

Mr. Baxter performs very nicely. Walter Connolly is excellent as Paddy's father, Major Adair. Joseph Kerrigan is capable as one of the Major's creditors.

At the opening exhibition the sound of the voices was far from clear, but this defect was remedied in subsequent screenings of the production.

Another hmmmmm -- I need to go look up the meaning of impecunious.