Dorothy Mickelson

by

Robert Mickelson

 

6th Grade 1994, Tri-County School, Karlstad,MN

 

My grandma moved to Minnesota from Iowa in 1932. She movedto Merine on St. Croix. She had two brothers who were in World War II. She married a man named Oscar Weldon Mickelson. He had meningitis. Hewas the first one in Minnesota to be treated with penicillin for meningitis. He worked in an iron mine in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In 1930, my grandmaand her family moved to Kerrick, Minnesota.

Her family used an outdoor chamber pot instead of an indoortoilet. The chore they hated the most was dumping out the chamber pot. They had to pump water for baths, dishes, and anything else that requiredwater. Her family had to talk face to face or else by mail due to lackof phones. During the war, her family has a harder time buying things becauseof rationing. Things were rationed by the month. Such things being rationedwere toasters, irons, and lights.

For farming, they had potatoes, chickens, and cows. Thecows were used for dairy and meat, but they never sold the meat. They did,however, use the meat and the milk. The chickens were used for both eggsand meat. Sometimes they would sell the eggs, but the meat they kept tothemselves.

My grandma had to walk to school until ninth grade. Whenshe did ride the bus, it could not pick them up when it was muddy or snowy. That meant they had to usually walk in the winter or in spring. In winter,sometimes they would get bobsled rides to school. When they got tar roads,they would almost always get bus rides to school. When her family livedin Merine, she had to walk about 3 - 4 miles to school. When they movedto Kerrick, she had to walk about a half a mile to school. In school, theyhad one teacher who taught 1 - 4 grades and another one who taught 5 - 8grades.

She thinks they had better discipline back then. Therewas no lunch program until one lady brought soup to school. Then they wouldeat their sandwiches and the school would serve them warm soup. In themorning after the pledge, the teacher would read a book for about a halfan hour. They did that instead of movies. When she was a senior, she wenton a class trip to the capital.

When my grandma had Christmas, they decorated trees withcherries and popcorn on string. When she was 15-16, she had Christmas lightson the tree. She was real excited about that. For fun, they would havebobsled and hay rides. She had snow fights and snow forts.

They played a lot of games that we play like hide-and-go-seek,tag, house, school, and baseball. She had sleigh ridges for fun. Everyyear they had a thing called Vaudeville. That was where people would puton shows on an outdoor platform. When it was winter, they would go southand perform. My grandma really liked that.

My grandma's first job was a bookkeeper for the R.E.A.Electric Company. Her job was to keep records. She also helped aroundthe farm by gathering eggs from the chickens and cooking for the family. A while ago, she was a school cook. She noticed that the food changedfrom meat and potatoes to hot dogs and pizza.

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