Friday, October 14, 2011

In Her Own Words - Aug 1916

     "Mama was a dressmaker and when she brought her sewing machine back from St. Paul it wasn't long before the women of the town and country contacted her to sew for them.  After the fall harvesting was over, Mama and I would go to town for about a week.  We would stay at Mrs. Williams, they had a big house.  I loved to go there -  they had four daughters.  Hazel was older than me, Violet was my age, Myrtle and Inez were younger but we all played together.  I always looked forward to these wonderful times.  Mama would sew for Mrs. Promery, the judge's wife, and Mrs. Lee who taught piano, her husband was the register of deeds.  Mrs. Haddad was from New York and she was very stylish.  Once she gave me some taffeta material for my doll, but Mama made a ribbon for my hair.  Mrs. Menzie had a daughter and when I played with her we always got ice cream, they had the drug store and ice cream parlour.  Mama sewed for everyone.  Hazel, Violet and I were very good friends.  Hazel and Violet used to send for sample products.  I suppose they had access to products because of their father's general store.  It was a wonderful thing to receive little sample bottles of cologne, powder, sachet and various food products.  The girls would give me their duplicates.  Mama would be paid for her work and it meant a lot to Mama.  Papa said that was her own money and she could spend it on anything she wanted.  We had just returned from town that year.  It was dinnertime and Papa, Mama and Grandpa and I were just finishing the noon meal when we got a telephone call for Mama.  It was Mrs. Cassel.  They had just received a telegram for Mama from St. Paul, Minnesota.  Mama's brother Frank had died.  He had been sick but was much better and Mama had decided she wouldn't go home to St. Paul that year.  I remember Papa saying we can get you to town for the morning train and Grandpa said, "What are you going to use for money?"  The finances were combined into one account and Grandpa had used quite a sum to send Grandma and his family back home to St. Paul.  Mama reminded Grandpa of the money she had earned sewing and he remarked that he thought it wasn't necessary for her to make the trip, but Papa said Lena (Mama) and Ethel were going.  So we left for St. Paul to attend the funeral of my mother's older brother, Frank.  We stayed until March.  It would be three years before we visited St. Paul again."

The above story is a continuation of memoirs written by Ethel Hymers Glewwe on her childhood in Saskatchewan, Canada.

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