Stateline Travelers – Part 6 – Daisy Childhood Stories (1-18-2017) and Me (Part of the Series – “Stateline Travelers”)

Stateline Travelers – Part 6 –

Daisy Childhood Stories (1-18-2017)

and Me

(Part of the Series – “Stateline Travelers”)

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn – SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

Interview of my Mom – Donna Bennett Ruthe (Daisy) by Vicki Ruthe Hahn  1-18-2017


(Daisy jacket that I made my Mom for Christmas.)

So Daisy is feeling better this last month, thanks to my sisters helping her try out a gluten reduced diet.  My Mom says that she never was miserable, but that her stomach “isn’t cloudy now”.  And her mind seems to be less cloudy too.

That is a happiness for all of us; I have missed her being there for us.  Daisy still forgets words, & has dementia, but seems to be more herself than we have seen for awhile.  Daisy will be 86 on Monday, and has had several major medical issues in the last 5 years; one year going to all 3 City hospitals.  So we are grateful that she is still here, and doing OK.

Hint – Who knew reducing wheat would make such a huge difference?  It might not just be “aging” that affects our elders (or us!)  Continue pursuing any thing that can help us all keep the life-stories clear. 

And record (oral/in writing) your relative’s stories while you can.  By the way – technology changes and things get damaged/lost.  My (young) children accidentally recorded over my one audio tape interview of my Grandmother.  I have seen fire, floods/leaking, theft, lost – all destroy.  Please backup 3-2-1 Three ways – Two places – One offsite place. 

And update your media as it changes.  CD disc players are not available standard on new cars or desk/laptop computers now, etc.  

These stories I have heard parts of before, but not with as much clarity as Mom told me the other day:

Trip to Pennsylvania

We were driving from Polo IL to PA to go to my grandfather’s funeral. Mom, Dad, sisters Irma and June, and I were going.  Pauline was grown up with her own children, and the three boys were grown up also.

Dad had traded in our old yellow car for a large milk hauling truck.  He always like to be in business for himself.  He picked up large metal cans of milk from the area farmers and took them to the dairy.  He was short, but very strong to lift those cans.  We did not have a car, so instead of riding around town in the truck, we got to places in other ways.

For the trip, we had to rent a car from the local dealer.  As Mom (Grandma Katie Zartman) got into the green car, she looked at the window frame and exclaimed to Dad (Grandpa Ralph Bennett), “Ralph, look here.  It is painted green over yellow.  This is our old car!”

The Feisty Overnighter  

One night, at age 8 or 10 or 12, I stayed at my sister Pauline  Bennett (McCombs’)  house next door.  Her two daughters/ my nieces, Louise (one year older than me) and Barb (one year younger than me) were my playmates.

Dad (Ralph Bennett) and Mom (Katie Zartman) were going to stay late at a function with an organization that they belonged to.  It did some good in the town, helping people.  I don’t remember what it was called. (Vicki’s Note  – My Mom said that it was not the Odd Fellows – Grandpa Bennett had an “OOF” tattoo on his arm as a member of Odd Fellows.)

Barb and Louise shared a 3/4 size bed, and I slept across the foot of their bed.  The two of them kept kicking me, and wouldn’t stop when I repeatedly asked them to.  I got mad, got out of bed, picked up my doll (or maybe it was my clothes), and told them that I was going home.  My parents weren’t back yet, but I didn’t care. I was going to stand up for myself. (Vicki’s note – Mom is the youngest of seven siblings.)

Barb and Louise panicked and yelled for their Mom.  Pauline came running and told me that I couldn’t go home.  She said the front door was locked.  I said, “Oh yeah, I don’t care”.  And “POW!”, I broke out one of the little windows in the front door, reached through, and unlocked the door, and went home.  Pauline phoned my Mom and Dad.

(Vicki’s note – not sure how this reverse breakout could work logistically, but that is what Mom said.  This incident is even more striking because it is unusual for Mom to be angry or physically forceful in any way ever!  I got to see a different side of her.)

Uncle Edward McCombs

My Uncle Edward McCombs was my sister Pauline’s (Bennett) first husband (dying young in 1953), and Barb’s and Louise’s dad.  They lived next to my  Dad (Ralph Bennett) and Mom (Katie Zartman) in Polo Illinois, and then on the other side of the same street (highway) farther down coming into town.

He liked to work independently, and had bought a big truck like my Dad’s milk truck.  Ed used his truck to pick up 8 – 10 cows from area farmers, and truck them about once a week to the city (Chicago?) stockyards.



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