Trula and I wanted to earn some money, so Mom ordered us some baby chicks. We raised them ourselves. so when we took care and raised them, we would dress and clean them and had a regular route in Herington to sell them at a dollar a piece.
I knew things were bad. I remember Dad one year got eight cents a bushel for wheat. He must have realized it, too. He decided to go into debt and buy Registered Hereford Cattle. I think that was Mom and Dad's first argument. Mom didn't believe in going into debt, but Dad made the right move. That's what saved us.
Percy had fun naming them after St. Louis Cardinal baseball players. He loved that team. After that, our barn had a sign "A.F. Wendt & Sons".
Mom was a strong woman. She came from a German family with twelve children. I helped her milk eight cows every morning and evening. She would drive a team of horses like a pro and shock wheat for the harvesters.
We were all baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church at a little chapel in Shadybrook, Kansas. We had a pony named Barney. Percy and I rode him to confirmation classes for two years. He finally went blind. But he knew when to stop if there was a fence or anything in the way. A lot of times we'd fall off because he would stop so suddenly.
I have to say my parents never hugged or kissed us. It was just understood that they loved us. I know they did. I think, however, that it affected some in our family2. As Dad became more prosperous, he would put half the money down on a new farm. This way, the three brothers would, when they were 21, have 160 acres of their own to farm.
As far as education, our parents didn't believe women should go to high school. Dad would say, "All you learn there is foolishness." They believed women should marry and become good wives to their husbands.
When I was 16, I got a job as a housekeeper for a couple in Abilene, Kansas. He was the County Clerk. They had a daughter named Gladys. I'll get to her later. After I had that job for 2 years, I heard of a job in Salina as a housekeeper for a doctor. His brother wanted one, too. I called my sister, Trula, and so we both got a job. We got $6.00 a week plus room and board. At that time, you could buy a nice outfit for $2.98. Trula and I use to dress alike.
There was a dance pavilion called the "Blue Pacific". Truly and I would go there to dance to the Big Bands. I remember Lawrence Welk, Les Brown, Stan Kenton, and more were all there.
In 1941, Gladys called me and wanted me to come to San Diego. I had saved my money for a year, so I was able to do so. Trula went to Kansas City to work at a defense plant. She was a real life "Rosie the Riveter". That's where she met her future husband, "Doc" Dimond.
I got a job as a housekeeper for the man who was the editor of the San Diego newspaper. I was only in San Diego a couple of months when WWII broke out.
The name of the family I worked for was "Hotchkiss". Because of the war, their daughter came to live with them. She had a baby girl, six months old, named "Molly".
2 I remember a story about Mom's oldest brother, Hugo. He went out on a date one night and my mother hid in the backseat. She really got in a lot of trouble.
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