Friday, June 29, 2007

Busy busy busy

Haven’t had much time for blogging this week.
Tomorrow I go on a trail ride with my saddle club. We are going to a friend’s place on the Missouri River east of Tekamah.
I don’t have to work on the 4th, but Wednesday is my usual day off anyway, so maybe I should sneak off and go riding on some other day, just to make up for it. I shouldn’t be blogging about it, I think Joani actually visits here occasionally.
My quartet sings this Sunday at church and I always look forward to that.
Anyway – have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here is my friend Joani and her new horse - a nice little filly named Jesse.
Jesse is perfect for her: very quiet natured and not very tall. A good match.
Shhhhh – if you’re really quiet while you’re looking at this picture, you can hear strains of “In the Mood” and the sound of dancing feet shuffling in the sawdust on the floor of the old hall.

This is a picture of the Bertha, Nebraska Dance Hall. It is located at almost the geographic center of Burt County Nebraska. Bertha is a tiny community consisting of the Dance Hall and two or three farm places. There used to be a schoolhouse about a mile north of the dance hall, but it’s all gone and the site is overgrown with weeds and cluttered with junk.
I don’t know how long the Dance Hall has been there, but I was doing some historical research and stumbled across an ad in a 1927 issue of the Burt County Herald that there was going to be a revival there with an internationally famous guest speaker who specialized in Prophecy.
Lawrence Welk and his band played at the Bertha Dance Hall many times. And it’s where my mom and dad first got together as a couple, through Dad’s cousin and Mom’s best friend: Tom Coneally and Marybelle Roscoe. Tom and Marybelle eventually married and remained close friends with my folks all their lives.
Myrna once told me she drank her first beer parked on the road outside the Dance Hall. Maybe she can elaborate on that experience.
While I was standing on the road taking this picture, one of the residents of one of the houses came out and got into her vehicle and left. She kept an eye on me, though and waited politely until it was obvious I was done taking the photo, before she drove into my line of sight. She gave us a friendly wave. I’m guessing this kind of thing happens to her a lot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

From the top: Jacob on board
Jacob and Kendra
Jaydee & Sue

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Skyler taking the reins.

Shae: The CUTEST cowgirl in the Western Hemisphere!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here is an essay by my Aunt Grace that I picked up at last Sunday's reunion.

Memories of Joel and Almina Gatewood
By Grace Gatewood Smith written 4/15/2007

Since I am one of the oldest of the grandchildren of the Joel Gatewoods and was close to my Grandmother Almina Gatewood, I’ll try to write a few things that I can remember about her.
Grandma Gatewood was real short in stature and was a twin. She was raised by someone other than her parents I never knew nor heard much about her background. She had a sister Jane and a couple of brothers, I believe. She was a staunch Republican and was opposed to drinking, she would go around the community working for people and helping others, especially the sick. She made her headquarters and spent a lot of time at our home (Thornton “TW” and Agnes Gatewood) after Grandpa Joel died September 21, 1919 at the age of 77 years and 9 months. She was a faithful member of the Eastern Star and my dad took her to their meetings. Almina and my mother Agnes got along great. Agnes always called her “Mother Gatewood.” Grandma was helpful, always peeled the potatoes, and oh! Ever so thin so there was no waste. She always washed the dishes, too.
Grandma Gatewood and I used to pick up the corn cobs from the pig pen to burn in the cook stove. We prided ourselves on how many gunny sacks we could store ahead for a rainy day. Our mode of operation was to place a long cob rolled up in one side of the sack, dragging it along as we walked filling the sack one or two at a time. I also was Grandma’s bed partner and she snored a little. She was an avid reader and would read half the night by the light of a kerosene lamp. I loved her very much.
Grandma was always ready to go when the car went somewhere. One of her friends was Mrs. Myles Rogers, mother of Neal Rogers who lived near Divide Center between Decatur and Lyons. I often rode along when my dad took her to the Rogers to visit. The Donohues of Decatur, who ran a bakery, were also good friends. Mrs. Donahue suffered from lung trouble. She accompanied Grandma to Wyoming to see my Aunt Bess Harris in Binford, Wyoming. (Bess was Almina’s daughter). It was summer time and it was hoped the lighter air would benefit her lung problems. While there, Mrs. Donohue suffered a hemorrhage and passed away. Aunt Bess lived in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains so a doctor could not be summoned quickly enough to save her.
The Telliferos, whose daughter was Mrs. Mary Neary, was a place she visited. Jim and Mary Lambert were also her great friends. They ran a grocery store and on Saturday nights, about closing time, our family enjoyed crackers and cheese in the back of the store with them.
Grandma always talked about wanting to go to the Old Soldiers Home in Grand Island. When she finally went there she only lived a short time and died March 3, 1929 at the age of 77 years and 7 months. I was 14 and I remember going to the funeral in Decatur. One of her friends, Ina Lambert, sang at the funeral.
Since I was only five when Grandpa Joel Gatewood died I have few memories of him. His body was brought to our home to lie in state before burial. He was visiting his daughter Mary Dillon in Scottsbluff when he passed away.
Joel was a tall man with dark hair, later he had a long white beard as his picture with the Civil War Veterans shows. He was a Mason, Woodman and a Civil Was Veteran serving with the 51st Regiment Indiana Volunteers Infantry. Our family had his sword but lost it when our house burned down Oh, how I wish it could have been saved! I know he ran the ferry boat between Decatur and Onawa, Iowa. My dad told of swimming a team of horses to shore on the night the ferry sank, November 16, 1908. That must have been something as the old Missouri was a treacherous river.
I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It’s a Gatewood thing

A “good time was had by all!” at the 2007 reunion of the Descendants of Joel and Almina Gatewood at Platte River State Park near Lousville, Nebraska. There were a few more grey hairs than when we met in 2005, but that’s life on the green side of the grass.
Aunt Grace at 93 was the oldest attendee and Shae Johnston at age 3 was the youngest. Myrna got the prize for logging the most miles on her journey (or should I say odyssey?) to attend.

My cousin Paul D. (that’s what we always called him – I’m not trying to be vague about his name! Sharon, his wife calls him PD and the way she says it sounds like “Petey.” But I digress.) Paul D. related a new story to me. He recalled how my dad used to sit in a chair: we both remembered he always sat leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, and his fingers intertwined or one hand holding a cigarette, head down, looking at the floor – until he had something to say or something to laugh about. Then his head would come up until he finished talking or laughing and then he’d resume his usual position. It must have felt comfortable to him to sit that way.
Well, Grandpa TW had a brother named Eugene who moved away from Nebraska at a young age and spent the rest of his life in Minnesota. At some point, Paul D. and his family went to visit them and met his 3-4 sons. One of the sons, Paul D. said, not only looked a lot like Dad, but sat exactly like Dad did – leaning forward, elbows on the knees, head down looking at the floor. He also mentioned the other two brothers looked a lot like two of Great Grandpa Joel’s brothers; Isaac and Shannon. But it was the similar mannerisms between Dad and the cousin he’d never met that really impressed Paul D.

There were several second cousins who were unable to attend this year’s reunion due to baseball and softball games. I think our cousins Ray, Dale, and Joe would definitely understand that. The three brothers; sons of Joel Jr. and Lucille Gatewood, were locally famous as great baseball players in their younger years. Ray and Dale, now watching from Heaven, were probably following the progress of the baseball games instead of haunting the rest of us as we stuffed ourselves silly at the picnic!

I picked up several articles and such that I will be sharing here throughout the week. And pictures, too as soon as I can.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I saw the saddest sign in the world yesterday at the Arlington Country Market.
It said “Going out of business.”
This little store will be sorely missed. It’s probably one of the last non-supercenter grocery stores in the Midwest. The only thing you had to shop for when you went into the ACM was groceries: no auto parts, no fabrics, no prescription drugs, no alcohol, no jewelry and no clothing or electronics. I loved walking into that store with my $25 grocery list because I (usually) came out with $25 worth of groceries. Not so at the superstore down the road, especially if hubby comes along. We walk in with a $25 grocery list and come out with $125 worth of groceries, electronics, antifreeze, books, magazines, etc. etc.
And ACM has the nicest little luncheonette with a daily noon special (pan-fried chicken to die for every Friday) and lots of conversation.
The owner thought they’d be open until the end of July, so my grocery shopping and fried chicken Fridays are numbered now.
Another sign of the times - the end of an era.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Here is Extra Dividend and his pals: Grandpa Gatewood (with the cane) and Gayland Smith up. Uncle John is barely visible, but he is fifth from left. Gayland is LaDawn's Dad and Randy's First Cousin. Photo was taken April 2, 1964.

Monday, June 11, 2007

GPS Farming

The sod farm supervisor and I went to get a bite to eat on a recent rainy Friday in Arlington and sat with one of his old friends from way back. (Everyone in Arlington is one of his old friends from way back. I don’t think there is anyone in that town he doesn’t know.)
Anyway, this farmer was talking about his newest tractor. It comes with a GPS navigator and he said he can literally put it on cruise control and just sit there while the tractor does the driving. He has to make one pass manually to get it going and then he sets the on board computer to do the rest. He couldn’t believe how perfectly straight it stays to the first row he plants. And it works on curves and terraces, too. He says a bell goes off when he gets a few feet from the end row and he has to manually turn it around, but once the direction change is complete, the tractor takes over, lines itself up and continues the work. He said he got his whole 60 acres planted and wasn’t even tired at the end of the day. At this rate, it won’t be long before the whole job can be done by remote control from the living room!
He said he’d heard a story of a farmer who fell asleep and didn’t hear the bell go off, so he wound up bouncing through a ditch and onto a highway.

You probably think GPS navigation is something new to farming, but have you ever seen a draft team at work? I once visited and Amish community and we just sat on the road and watched them work. They can even get themselves turned around at the end of the row without a bell going off!

And that reminds me of a story I heard about an incident that took place during the blizzard of 1888. It seems a fellow who farmed near Lyons, NE went to town that morning on horseback and was still in town when the storm hit. Well, it happened that the mare he rode that day had been blind from birth, so he gave her her head and she got him home in the midst of the storm, when so many others got lost or stranded trying to see their way through the blinding snow. Talk about built in GPS! Horses have had it all along. And at no extra charge.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tomorrow is the Belmont, so this seemed like a good time to share this.

I was snowed in for two days in March of 2006 and here is the result:

So, what did you do while you were snowed in?
I spent the two days sewing on a project I have been working on for several years now. I call it “20th Century Champions” and it’s a depiction of the 11 Triple Crown winners of American Thoroughbred horse racing. No. I’m not kidding. Each block is a paper-pieced figure of the horse with the background being the colors of the silks worn by the jockey when they won the Triple Crown. It really did take me several years to track down the silks colors and the color of each horse, but once that was determined, the rest of the project was a breeze. (I’ve since learned that you can find the registered colors of a stable just by visiting – IF you want to do it the easy way) As I searched for information about the colors, I couldn’t help but learn more and more about each horse along the way.
As I assembled each block, I found myself developing new respect for each of theses champions. Like Sir Barton, the very first Triple Crown winner who accomplished the feat in1919. SA I pieced the rid and black striped for his background, I remembered that, after his racing career, Sir Barton served his country as a US Cavalry remount until his death in 1937. I decided I needed to add an American flag to his block.
And as I worked on the red polka dots of Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935), I was reminded that they are the only father and son duo to win the Triple Crown honors. An unprecedented and unrepeated feat. Omaha lived out his retirement years as a stud in Nebraska and was laid to rest at the old Aksarben race track. Sadly, all that’s left of his grave is a marker, which has been moved several times to make way for building projects.
War Admiral, with his black and yellow checks, recently became widely known as the ‘big shot’ who was brought down by the little guy in the movie Sea Biscuit, but he really deserves to be remembered more respectfully. His Triple Crown wins in 1937 included a stumble out of the blocks at the Belmont which left him with a gash in one of his front legs. He was so covered with blood at the finish line his owners feared for his life, but the cut was minor and this son of the great Man’O’War finished a stellar career with a record of 21 wins, 3 places and 1 show of 26 starts.
As Count Fleet (1943) came to life under my stitches, I remembered learning hat he is the middle man of three generations to win the Kentucky Derby, taking the Run for the Roses after his father Reigh Count and before his son Count Turf.
And then there was Assault who hailed from King Ranch in Texas. As a baby, Assault sustained a severe injury to his right front foot and was nearly euthanized. The scar tissue left him with a limp when he walked, but did not have any effect on his ability to run. If it ever pained him, he never showed it and was nicknamed “The Clubfooted Comet” following his Triple Crown victories in 1946.
Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948) share the devil blue and red background pieces as they both come from Calumet Farm and were both trained by the great Jim Fitzsimmons.
Since eight of these champions lived and won before I was even born, my only knowledge of them comes from books and newspaper articles. But as my blue and white checks went together for Secretariat’s background, I vividly recall watching on live TV as he took the Triple Crown when he won the Belmont by 31 lengths in 1973. He still holds the record for two of the three races.
Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978) are the only two Triple Crown champs to survive into the 21st Century. Affirmed died in 2001 and Seattle Slew died in 2002.
I hardly noticed the more than two feet of snow piling up outside as I stitched my personal memorial to these 11 American legends.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I received a National - no, an International Treasure in the mail yesterday.
Thank you, Gayland and Elaine!!
I'll be getting it scanned so I can post it here ASAP.
All of you Gatewood people will find it absolutely DELIGHTFUL!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The cell phone lady

Last Sunday in church, just when Pastor was getting to the really good stuff in his sermon, a cell phone went off about three rows behind me. No big deal. It happens. We don’t make an announcement to ask folk to turn off their pagers and stuff and I understand how easy it is to forget that sort of thing, but what happened next was reprehensible: the woman answered and carried on a 10 minute conversation with her caller! Out loud! Making no attempt to even keep her voice down! Right after, “Hello,” she said, “I thought you were coming to church today.” I thought at first it might be an emergency, but then, apparently in answer to a question, she continued with what her plans were for the rest of the day: going to eat at Fernando’s, drop off one of the kids at a friend’s house, get some groceries. If the call had gone on much longer, I’m sure I could be ghost writing her autobiography! Those of us in her vicinity at first looked at each other in disbelief, then some of us had to suppress some giggles. A couple of Dana basketball players who were sitting in front of me turned around and looked straight at her, neither smiling nor disapproving, but I hoped their attention on her would alert her to the distraction she was making. Then one of them whipped out his phone and mimed a conversation. That didn’t even slow her down. She seemed to be quite literally in her own little world with no regard for where she was and who she might be bothering.
I’ve seen people like her in restaurants. They are ignoring the person or persons they are with and mentally they are with the person on the other end of the cell phone call. Thankfully, my husband is not one of them. If he were, his cell phone would end up sticking out of his nose as he thumbed a ride home.
I understand emergencies, both personal and business, and issues come up that need attention, but my goodness, in church?

Monday, June 04, 2007

For Brooke
Potato Casserole #1
1 ½ bags frozen Southern style hash browns
1 stick butter
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream/mushroom soup
½ cup finely chopped onion (or to taste)
1 ½ to 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a saucepan, melt the butter into the cream soup and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in sour cream.
In the pan, layer as follows: potatoes, a sprinkle of onions, cheeses, sauce. Repeat layers, ending with potatoes. Bake uncovered 45 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown around the edges.

Potato casserole #2
6-8 medium raw potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
one 4 oz can chopped green chilis
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 can cream-style corn
1 ½ cup grated Mexican 4-cheese mix
¼ cup chopped green onions (scallions)
2 cups buttermilk

In a greased 9 x 13 pan, spread a layer of half the potato slices. Sprinkle with green chilis and onions. Spread the cream corn over all. Top with the remaining potato slices. Pour buttermilk over all. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 1 hour, or longer until potatoes are soft. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheeses and return to oven until cheese melts. Sprinkle with green onions.

For low fat/low carb recipes, eat something else.
Happy Birthday, Sebastian!

As you happily work your way towards your next birthday, remember: Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.

Friday, June 01, 2007


La Dawn did a great job of converting British Pounds to dollars and metrics to imperial. See her price comparison chart on her blog. You’ll find the link to it at left – The Clare-Panton Family Adventures (in case you’re new here). I found it fascinating. Thanks La Dawn!