I was only a kid, but every time his name was mentioned, it was Frankie, not Frank and he was my parent’s age. Always wondered but never asked; was this because he was born premature and spent his early days wrapped up in b;blankets on a tray placed on the open oven door of the kitchen wood stove? At least that’s the story every one talked about at the auction when he sold out.
At that auction, as an excited kid with 25 cents in his pocket, I bought a big old wooden clamp (above), yes I still have it; along with a coat rack the auctioneer threw in because no one wanted it.
Many times I had been to their farm with my father to help Frankie do things like put a ring in a bull’s nose. The kinds of jobs my father was good at, where you had to be fearless! Frankie’s wife, Anne, never seemed to be there at the farm. Years later she worked for my mother at the White Creek Store; she was a short lady, so when you saw her car coming down the road you’d have to look twice to see her peeking out through the steering wheel.
Who was always at the farm was Frankie’s mother Sadie, who made the BEST and BIGGEST molasses cookies; melt in your mouth molasses cookies that were the size of a dinner plate! To get one when we were there, along with a big tall glass of milk, I collected the eggs from the hen house.
I would go in the door to a hallway with doors on either side, my introduction to the chicken hotel with little rooms; some for baby chicks,pullets, the super layer group and ending with old hens, soon to be chicken and dumpies Sunday dinner. Oh yes, then that one door down at the end for feed storage; when opened to peek in, seeing that rat staring back at me that was big enough to put a saddle on. Okay, lets just say I offered to collect the eggs but never offered to feed ’em!
Old farm barns.. a childhood joy, so many places to explore while playing as well as many scary places just right for, this time of year, those unknowing neighbor kids!!!