I have a picture of David, Julius, and Bill in front of the River House.
We moved to the River Bottom in 1937. It had an old two-story house, with three bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom down. The living room and dining room were combined, with a big kitchen. The barn housed thirty to forty cows. There was 180-200 acres of fields and pasture.
David was the oldest, then me, Julius, and Bill. The last one was a girl, Nancy. David was bigger and more helpful for Dad outside so I ended up helping Ma in the house a lot. That’s where I learned to cook.
We had hired men, or Ma’s brothers, around quite a bit. Ma instilled in us, early on, that if there wasn’t enough bacon, or something like that, to go around, “That’s for the men.” She would tell us right up front, and we didn’t fuss about it.
That’s about the same time frame when she said, “If I put something on your plate, you better try it.” She usually just put a small spoonful on your plate for you to try. If you made a fuss about it, you got a big spoonful, and you were probably at the table a lot longer than you wanted to be.
In spite of how it sounds, Ma had a pretty good sense of humor. One of Dad’s cousins, Cletus said he wanted a dozen eggs for breakfast one morning. Ma laughed and just started cooking a bunch of eggs. She cooked about a dozen at a time. When she set the first platter on the table, Cletus took it and dumped all the eggs on his plate. She just laughed and cooked some more.