Mom packed us all up when the baby was six weeks old and we drove to California. Little baby Raymond swinging in a canvas bed from the roof of our car. By that time we had a seven-passenger Studebaker.
Oh, the fun we had camping along the roadside, pitching a tent, getting out folding cots, washing in brooks – and always hungry. Poor Mom!
In those days you packed everything in the car or outside – we had running boards on each side of the car – then put a luggage gate on to hold the clothing, pots, pans, dishes, bedding, and food.
We were the first family in town to have a Victrola (hand crank.) I remember as a little girl, Pop buying it for Mom one Christmas and he had to bring it from the train station on a sleigh.
What fun we all had with the Victrola. I remember Mom & Pop rolling the rug up in the parlor weekends, then many friends and relatives would visit and dance.
We children would sit at the top of the stairs and watch.
Then on Sunday Mom would dress the six of us (not Pop) and go to Church. Pop would stay at home and read the funnies. Were we ever well-behaved – it’s true everyone said so – Mom and the six young ones would sit in a pew close to the front.
We went to Church until I was five or so, then Pop decided to travel. When I was seven years old a new baby was added (surprising he is 65 years old now.) I loved to hold him and I dropped him a few times.
I was born in a little town, (about 1500 at the time) Cheshire Massachusetts. It was in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains.
We children had so many happy times growing up. We could romp through the woods, up one mountain and come out the other side – two or three miles from home. It was safe as long as my oldest brother (nine) and sister (eight) were with us younger ones.
We would go picking wild blueberries and blackberries, Mom would can many many quarts. They were so good the following winter.
Pop was a mailman in town and I think he had a little 1924 or 26 Ford, not many cars in town in those days.
One day my eldest brother Wilmarth and some of the rest of us kids, I was too young to remember who – but I remember that we put my brother Floyd just a year younger than I, into a baby carriage. We all pushed the carriage up the hill then let it go. Down it went, across the lawn over the ledge and into the brook. It landed right side up with little brother still in it.
Isn’t God a great protector of little children!
My Pop could build houses and furniture and at Christmas, he would make little rocking chairs, rocking horses, dolls houses etc. One Christmas he made a very sturdy kiddy-kar. My brother and I carried it up in the barn and threw it out the hay loft door. We were just four and five years old.
I ask myself now, how did we ever get it up in the hay loft? And why?
I confess the truth sixty-eight years later for the first time. When I was six years old, I found a ring in my father’s dresser. It was a Masonic ring – I didn’t know that at the time. I took it and buried it in the dirt in the road. When Pop missed it he asked each one of us who took it. I never admitted that I did and I never found it. He died never knowing who took it.
I Eleanor Wells Isaacson had four sisters and three brothers all about one and one-half years apart. I used to have Pink Eye a lot so I can remember Pop pulling the teat on the cow to get fresh milk, then Mom would put the warm milk in my eye. What a cure!
(Note: Pink Eye is Conjunctivitis)
When I was about four – one winter’s day I saw a horse pulling a sleigh past the house and up the hill and away. In the sleigh, I just knew it was Santa Claus. I saw him with my own eyes! I told my brother. Oh, the joy of innocence.