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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
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July 30, 2009     Tri-County News
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Thursday, July 30, 2009 fdYIl &apos;11 t tllg' Tri-County News* Kimball, MN -va,a,a I,11* I, dr Page 5 Kimball senior Dinin00q Compiled by the Kimball Area Historical Society Aug. 3-7 " Monday-Euchre, Blood Pres- ::: :::: ::::::  sures: Turkey a la king, baking unaway Tractor you today.' She reached back to give pasture and, as the wire tightened powder biscuit, peas and carrots, By Elizabeth Cooper Mike me a little slap on the hip. 'Let's pick it brought the tractor back." orange smiles, ice cream. From the pen of Elizabeth Coo- per Mike, Kimball Historical Soci- ety member, in her book "The Girl From Stickney Hill, Kimball Prairie, Minnesota" (Reprinted with permis- sion of the author.) "It roared away from us and we chased it. It made a big swing in the farmer's pasture and came roar- ing back and we ran like heck, away from it, back up on the road," said Rachael Ann. She was telling me the story of the dayViola Donnay's dad's tractor got loose and demonstrated it had a life of its own. Rachael Ann Cooper is my younger sister. She said, "All I could think of was what Daddy was going to say when I got home." I could hear her laughter over the phone as we talked. "It's funny now, think- ing back, but it wasn't funny then, she said. I couldn't stop thinking of Daddy and I wasn't even driving the tractor." So RachaelAnn told me her story, in her own words, during a long dis- tance telephone call recently. This is what she said: "It was a lazy, hot, summer day, a Sunday, and I was bored out of my skull, tired of reading, tired of lis- tening to the radio, tired of hearing Nancy Lee and David argue." "This boring old farm, I thought. I'm stuck out here in the sticks on a boring old farm with absolutely nothing to do. Sixteen years old with no glamour in my life, not even a Sunday afternoon date. I'll proba- bly be an old maid, I thought, living with my parents forever. I wished some of the boys would come around." "I took my glass of lemonade out on the porch and threw myself down in a chair, thinking, maybe I could write a few lines in my diary, but what did I have to write about? Cows and horses? No, I'll just sit here and waste away, I thought. I'll just be an old maid. I took a long swallow of lemonade and closed my eyes, thinking, I'll just die on this darned old farm without ever get- ting married." "Then up the road came Viola Donnay, chug chugging up the road on her dad's tractor, into our yard, and right up to the porch where I was sitting. 'Do you want to go for a ride?' she said." "I jumped off the porch, 'Do I ever!' I shouted. 'Give me a minute to tell the folks.' Muddy was lying down resting. Daddy was in the liv- ing room, alternately reading and nodding off into little naps. 'Go[ Go!' they both said, barely aware that I was leaving. They knew I was bored to death." "My parents had no concern about the driving ability of Viola. In those days every farm kid, boy or girl, knew how to drive thetractor, ride the horses, milk the cows, pitch hay, shock corn. What ever had to be done, they learned how, and some- times at a young age. Sixteen-year- old Viola had been driving the trac- tor for years." "I jumped up behind her, holding on to the back of the seat, legs apart for balance, saying, 'you saved my life!' She laughed. 'I mean it,' I said. I was bored out of my skull, think- ing this Sunday afternoon is what it's going to be like when I'm an old maid. Nancy will be married, Davy will be married, the folks will be sleeping and I'll be on the porch drinking lemonade." "We both laughed. Viola said, 'You'll probably be married before me. Maybe we'll find a husband for up Margie.' Her name was really Mar- garet. 'And we'll get DeEtta too. Then we'll take a nice ride. I don't have to be back until time for milking.'" "We chugged up the hill, then down the long dirt road, past the farm where Daddy and his brother and all his sisters grew up, the farm from which Grandpa Cooper, his father, when he was alive, escaped to Goodner Lake for fishing every chance he got. Muddy said Dad- dy's ancestors, the John Coopers, came to this country from England in 1720 and lived in Pennsylvania for many generations, but Grandpa Cooper's itchy feet moved the fam- ily around a lot, from Pennsylvania, in the late 1800s to Minnesota, then Mankato, Sedan and finally here, the farm we were now passing." "The tractor wheels kicked up little puffs of dust, which gathered in a big dust cloud trailing behind us, hanging in the still, hot, sum- mer air long after we passed." "Then we came to the cross- roads, to the Stickney Hill School, you know, the one-room, big, white building that could hold 60 kids in one room, where you went, and where all our brothers and sisters went, and even our mother and father, and aunts and uncles went to school." "Here at the crossroads we picked up Margie and DeEtta and they jumped up beside me, all three of us standing behind Viola, me hanging on to her seat and them hanging on to me. Viola asked, 'Which way?'" "We shouted, 'Stickney Hill. Up Stickney Hill, of course.' And Viola turned the tractor north at the mail- boxes and started up the long, big, old Stickney Hill which was tops for sledding in the winter, twisting and turning for the long ride down, to stop at the schoolhouse, the mail- boxes, and the crossroads view of nearby farms, the Meyers, the Eders, the lake Donnays, and the old Cooper farm." "We chugged along, four 16-year- old girls, singing and joking and laughing, until we came to the Pearl Lake Road where we turned right again and where we ran into trou- ble. And it was boy trouble." "A car full of boys started fol- lowing us, trying to pass us, hoot- ing and hollering, shouting things like, 'You're my baby.' Tll take the one on the right.' Tll take the red- headed one.' One of them said, 'There's Rachael!'" "I recognized some of them, pimples and all, from nearby Wat- kins. They didn't look much like husband material to me." "They got past us, then parked and let us chug by them. Several times they did this until Viola got a little rattled." "As they squeezed by one final time, we jumped for safety. Margie and DeEtta and I, we jumped off the tractor." "Viola tried to get control. She tried to turn the wheel sharp to keep from going in the ditch. Instead, the tractor lunged down on one wheel into the ditch, plowed through a fence and into a pasture and started going in circles." "As the tractor began its first cir- cle, Viola jumped to safety, too. The car full of boys sped away. They knew trouble when they saw it." "The fence was made of old weather-worn wooden posts strung together with wire. All the wires broke except the top one which became twisted around the exhaust pipe of the tractor, and as it loos- ened, the tractor roared into the "It was going in big circles and the old wooden fence posts were breaking off at the ground level and pinging up into the air every time the top wire tightened its hold." "We knew we had to get the trac- tor under control. When it made a circle away from us, we ran after it trying to get on. When it made a big circle back, toward us, we ran back on the road, four hysterical 16-year- old girls, crying and screaming." "Three times that monster trac- tor made a circle, when down the road in a pickup truck came a really mad farmer. He stopped in a cloud of dust and now he chased the trac- tor. But he knew enough to stand to one side when the tractor made for the road and jump on when the tractor made its circle back. He finally stopped the tractor, and we breathed a sigh of relief." "The tractor was okay, a few dents but okay. But the fence was a mess. Fence posts every which way for about two blocks. We were too scared to lie. We gave the still mad farmer our real names. Of course he knew our families." "It was a very long four miles home. I didn't have to worry about what I was going to tell Daddy, that mad farmer had already called with every last little detail and Daddy was waiting when I got home." "I knew I was never going to ride on the back of a tractor again, so my punishment was really noth- ing, when that was the very thing I was forbidden to ever do again. Of course, Daddy said he would probably have to pay for the farm- er's fence. But whether he ever did, I don't know and I didn't ask. I thought let sleeping dogs lie." Can't Miss Stops: Kimball Area Historical Society presents: "Cel- ebrating Kimball Memories." In about a week, Kimball Days will be in full swing! Hope it's on your cal- endar. Friday, Aug. 7, supper in the park happens and our ninth annual history exhibit at Kimball's his- toric city hall. Aug. 8 begins early at Audrey's Coffee Nook, 30 Main St. S. from 7 to 10 a.m., plus the all-day history exhibit 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 9, Open House last day at the restora- tion and history exhibit in city hall 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., prizes, souvenirs and more, all in air-conditioned comfort. Don't miss it. What's ahead? Sept. 22, a great family genealogy program at city hall. Oct. 27, special Armistice Day program at City Hall. Nov. 17, the annual Holiday Social at city hall. With a special grant deadline extension, Phase 5 donations and pledges for the city hall restora- tion may still be made towards fur- ther interior preservation. You need not be a society member to partici- pate. Your support is much appreci- ated and what a great lasting mem- ory you can leave. Remember your donation or pledge is doubled by a grant, pledges need not be paid until 2010, it's totally tax deductible, but if possible, we would love to hear from you byAug. 15. Thank you For information on the above, membership, city hall donations, items you have for this column or the permanent collection, or sim- ply questions you may have about us, contact the Kimball Area His- torical Society, Box 100, Kimball, MN 55353. Phone (320) 398-5743, or 398-5250, or e-mail <cnewman @meltel.net>. Discover history in Kimball Tuesday-Euchre: Beef tips in gravy, egg noodles, French cut green beans, peach slices, oatmeal raisin cookie. Wednesday-"Fall Prevention" education: Cook's Choice. Thursday: Ham salad sand- wich, cream of potato soup, fresh fruit, lemon bar. Friday-Bingo: Roast turkey, whipped potatoes w/gravy, corn, wheat bread, pudding. 1% milk is served with every meal. Menu is subject to change. Suggested contribution for per- sons 60+ and volunteers is $3.25, or what you can afford. Guests under 60 pay $6.50. REMINDER: When there is a choice of entree on the menu, you will receive the first one listed UNLESS you notify us. The cof- fee pot is on by 11:15 a.m. every Wednesday. For reservations, call Rosa- lea Hoeft (320) 398-2211 between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. the daybefore you plan on attending. Gift dining booklets are available at the Senior Dining Site and the State Bank of Kimball. This program is funded in part under a contract with the Central MN Council on Aging as part of the Older Americans Act Program. SeniorCitizenSmeet Kimball Senior Citizens met Monday, 20, at St. Anne's din- .../za,....,. July ing site. After lunch, the meeting Kimball Public Library Library Hours Monday 3-6 Wednesday 10-1 3-6 Thursday 1-8 Friday 10-1 3-6 Saturday 9-12 5 Main Street North, Kimball, MN 55353 320-398-3915 * www.griver.org was called to order by president Neil Hilary. The pledge of alle- giance was recited by all. Secretary Ann Hamilton read the minutes of the last meeting. The treasurer's report was read by treasurer Anita Hoefer. A short meeting was held. Three tables of "500" were played and winners were Larry Sheetz, first place, Neff Hilary, second place, door prize went to Alvina Schefers. Rita Sheetz served lunch. Mary Larson will serve at the next meeting Aug. 17. Benedicta Linn Served every Wednesday, 5-7:30! n/y $7 75 Children 10 & under $3 bey. & tax d Ball00'oom HWY 55, KIMBALL " 320"398-3965 Available for private parties, banquets, graduation parties, weddingl TaStiest chicken tOwn! Formy F'4ayland Hearth Marto PHARMACY Fast, Friendly and Convenient. A Pharmacist You Can Trust. 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