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Old Chelsea Farmhouse

Story ID:5873
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1930
Person:Chelsea Kansas Kid's Old Farmhouse
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Old Chelsea Farmhouse

Yesterday- Chad

I thought that the farmhouse was such-a big house. Of course when you are a youngster everything looks big, the house was a two story with two bedrooms upstairs.

The front porch was used for a bedroom in the summer time when it was hot. There was a front bedroom a kitchen, living room and a parlor down stairs and the back porch.

We had an old wood cook stove. It was too hot in the summer time but felt good in the wintertime.

Mom would "render" lard in a big iron kettle on the stove in the fall when Dad would butcher a hog or two. My little brother and I would eat the pieces of meat that floated to the surface, called "cracklings. There was a reservoir filled with water and the stove would keep the water very warm.

Our bath water would come out of the reservoir and it really felt good in the wintertime. We had a big No. 3 wash tub that we put the water into. We put the tub close to the pot bellied stove to keep warm, and then we could soak and wash our bodies.

We had an ice box that we kept our milk and butter in, and dad would get ice from town.

Several years later we got a refrigerator that burned kerosene to keep everything cold and I couldn't figure why you build a fire under the refrigerator to make Ice cubes and to keep the unit cool. The thing worked very well.

The parlor was the only room that had a rug in it and that was where the piano was that I took lessons on. The music teacher would come out 11 miles to give me my lesson and charged us only .50 cents per lesson. She had a little Austin that she drove, tiniest car I had ever seen. Her name was Miss Baughman. Later on my little brother took lessons for a while but finally quit.

We had a battery-powered radio that we could get Jack Benny, Burns and Allen and Amos and Andy. Most of the time it was so bad with static that we could hardly hear it. The batteries were always going down and usually right in the middle of a program.

One evening while sleeping on the front porch, we were having one of the most wicked electrical storms that I had ever seen up to that time.

I was looking toward the south end of the porch where Mom and Dad were sleeping, about twenty feet away, and all at once Lightening struck the telephone pole in the front yard.

The electricity from the lightening bolt followed the telephone wire into the house and there was a big explosion over my Dad's head. I thought that he was gone but before I could think there came a cussing that you never heard and I knew that he was alive.

The line went through the wall to the phone and where it went through it exploded and spread black insulation from the phone wire all over Dad.

The only white place on the pillow was where Dad had been laying and he was covered with insulation.

When he turned on the gas lamp I thought that he was burned but it was only the insulation from the phone wire. His face was black his chest was black and every part of his body that was uncovered was black.

The phone had caught fire and was burning the curtains and Dad tore them down, took them out of the house into the front yard, and let them burn out. Whew we made it through another storm.

(Continued)