Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Center Lisle's Idea of a Snow Day--UPDATED!!

One more picture to add to the mix--Thank you to cousin Kathryn Wood Barron for these great pictures, and Mom for writing up a commentary to go with them:

We didn’t go to Center Lisle much in the winter, and these pictures demonstrate why!

This visit I don’t remember, I was four years old and probably half frozen! It looks as though we didn’t have enough warm coats to all go out together, or more probably, some coats were drying out in front of the oven, from the last wearing.

But take a look at the snow banks- yep, that’s Adin, and what a prince he was! Always ready to horse around! So what did they do with the roads in those days? I have papers showing that several owners of farms in sequence along the roads, banded together and were responsible for its upkeep in the summer, so I imagine it was the same for plowing in winter at least in the early 1900's.

Maybe Ronny Henderson who has charge of its Public Service Dept., knows when Lisle began to care for the roads, and how they plowed them. Byron had charge of his segment in the early years, and in those years it was done in winter with teams of horses, banded together. As many as twelve sometimes, my research has shown, and plowed with wooden boards fashioned in a V shape. A big innovation occurred when they tipped the V with iron!

When we did go down in the winter time, Daddy had to put the chains on the tires. Then as we drove, you’d hear the “rachety-rachety” sound when you hit cleared pavement! I do remember at least one time we were there when the side of the road looked like those pictures, and we used Adin’s old manure sled to ride down the hill in the pasture across the road from the barn.

Harold and I didn’t need that though, we each took a milk can cover, fit our selves in to it, and down we went! (Maybe Harold can still fit in one but no way I could!) Another time we were there for “sugaring off.” The Barrows and Bakers had a sugar camp together across the road from Grandma’s house and down to the left, about 200 feet. It was in a copse of sugar maples. I just remember the air near by smelled sugar sweet, and someone had to man (or woman) the shack twenty-four hours a day, as well as empty the pails hanging on the spouts. This must have been in the early 1930's, but not when these pictures were taken.

There was snow on the ground, but not big snow banks. It would have been, as you know, later towards spring, late February or March when the sap began to run. Someone ladled hot syrup in slim lines on a patch of clean snow, then gave us each a fork to pick up a strand. Sweet and good! Another treat, back at the house, was clean snow in a glass with a drop of vanilla added and milk poured over it! Snow cream! That we could have at home, whenever it snowed. And of course, at home, when big chunks of ice were available, out came the hand cranked freezer. Nothing tastes so good today, but maybe I’m just imagining that!

Picture One: The usual suspects?! Just added, see pictures below to try to decide who is in this picture
Picture Two: Adin doing a hand stand, Arnon, Ethel with baby Harold, Ruth, Lucille in front with Doris. Ma thinks Esther would have been inside with clothes drying?
Picture Three: Esther, Arnon, little one is CB (?), two children Aunt CB is not sure of, and Ethel holding Harold
Picture Four: Lloyd with Doris, CB sitting in snow, Arnon in center and Ruth holding Harold


Anonymous said...

I love that story! It reminds me of my childhood growing up on the 'farm'. We had chains on the tires every year. You needed them going up and down that hill. One year, 1958 or 59, it snowed so much the snow plow was snowed in at the farm. I think Chic Irish was the snow plow driver. The drifts were to the top of the barn across the road. I have not experienced New York winters for years, except almost 11 years ago when my Mom died. There was a blizzard the first day of calling hours. A lot of people didn't make it there because of that. My daughter Beth and her husband Allen drove there through the snow. It was really something.
Lots of love,

Tom Kinsella said...

Kathryn, thanks for the great pictures. They are wonderful! Same for the write-up, Ma.

I don't know whether it's global warming or bad luck or what, but I miss snow like that in the pictures. Down here in south Jersey we haven't had a ski-in-the-road blizzard in years. Just 3 inches so far this season. Not sure I want the shoveling any more, but some snow would be fun.

Pat said...

When I click on each picture so I can see them more closely, I keep seeing new things.

In the second picture, isn't that a dog scrunched on the snowpile next to Harold, and doesn't it look like it just licked him in the face?!

Or, my son Nick thinks it is a cat. Once he said that, I COULD see it as a cat.

Sort of like an optical illusion--the more you look....

Since it was seventy-seven years ago, unless we find someone's diary about the visit, complete with people and animals involved, not sure we will ever solve this mystery of who the extra children are, and who was the animal, if indeed I AM seeing one?

Tom Kinsella said...

Ha! I did the same thing you did, Pat. It's a dog -- a small winky dog -- no, it's a cat -- maybe it's just a cloth bag -- maybe it's a cold crazed rabbit. We'll have to ask Uncle Harold.

To Ma and Kathryn, if you want to, click on "Nickname" instead of "anonymous," then just type in your name. Don't worry about the URL slot. That's how I get my name to appear without having signed up for the blog.

Kathryn said...

Thanks Tom, I was wondering how to do that!
That would be a dog licking Harold's face. I have seen that dog in other pictures from the same album. Joyce has the album, but she loaned it to me once and I scanned the pictures. Joyce is very gracious and I really appreciate her. If any are wondering who she is, Joyce was Wendell's wife. Wendell was Phyllis' son, but was raised by our Grandma Lil. Your Aunt Lil. I really miss Wendell.