Grandmas of Humboldt

As a youngster fortunate enough to grow up in the small town of Humboldt, Minnesota, I was blessed with lots of Grandmas. Even though my own two real Grandmas were the best, I didn't get to see them as often as I could see the Grandmas of Humboldt. 

In a small town like Humboldt (Mayberry, NC from the Andy Griffith Show) people just seemed to naturally assume certain roles in life and it was just their inherent good and loving nature, which made it possible. It was always taken for granted especially by the children of Humboldt.

There was Mrs. Chester Heatherly who lived just a couple of houses from us. Right next to her was Grandma Margaret Rustad who always had fresh baked cookies and some good advice on life to go with them. Mrs. Muriel Easter and she, too, had such a natural Grandmotherly way that you couldn't help but feel she was yours to keep. 

As a very young boy I used to deliver groceries every Saturday for Jack and Edith McCallum. Edith always served date bars and Seven-Up. Later on, Jack taught me how to enjoy fresh boiled coffee, which Edith also made. I remember the aroma of the coffee to this day, which probably accounts for my love of good coffee.

Then there was Grandma (Fred) Bockwitz who Tom Brown and I would visit regularly especially when we needed some fresh cookies or some other treat. There was Grandma Rose Baldwin who had so many of her own grandchildren but always made room for you. Her grandson, and my good friend, Ron would very often bring me with him when he stopped by to visit her.

One of my special memories was that of Grandma (P.N.) Tri. I was fortunate enough to stay with her on several occasions when we had company and not enough beds at our house. She always made me feel so very special. Her house was not far from the school and we felt free to stop by and chat with her after school. Again, as Grandmas do, she always had a special homemade something for us.

I mowed lawns for people in Humboldt and out in the country, too. Mrs. Sylvan Miller was a very regular customer of mine and she would always reward me with a candy bar or two in addition to the $2.00 she paid me. Then there was Margaret Diamond who always served homemade lemonade from fresh lemon juice. On the hot days that I push mowed her entire yard out in the country, she always made lemonade for me.

I had a lot of Moms as well as Grandmas in Humboldt. There was Mrs. Ruby Finney, Mrs. Melvey Stewart (who wrote letters to me when I was in the service), and Mrs. Pearl Iten (who made my lunch for me when I worked at the pipeline), Mamie Jury (who always had some sort of a treat for us kids) and Mrs. Joyce Baldwin.

As I have mentioned before, Humboldt reminds me so very much of Mayberry, N.C. It was a community where people were genuinely concerned about the welfare and well being of their neighbors. We had some true characters like they had on the Andy Griffith show. It was, without a doubt, the best place in the world to grow up.

Dave Boatz, Perham, MN