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MEN of EARLY OCONTO COUNTY

.John Lessor.

By John R. Larson
 

 Evelin Prust,  John Lessor amd Emma Truckey
 
Uncle John

John Lessor stayed with his sister Ema Truckey who was my mother's mother.  The first time I met him they had a green parrot and he got all the attention but when we moved down to Stiles in 1945 I got to know Uncle John because the parrot had died.

 Uncle John was a proud man.  Most of the time he dressed up in his black suit and some times wore a black hat.  He never laughed and rarely smiled.  I don't know any thing about his early life but I found out he had quite a few children that lived in Minnesota but as far as I know they never came to visit him.  He freighted little kids just by his presence.  He was happiest when he had a shot glass of whiskey in his hand and was telling sarcastic jokes.  I thought they were funny but my mother some times took the serious and was angry with him.  He didn't like the cars whizzing by on the highway.  He said they should have horses but when he had a chance to ride in a car he never refused.  I remember riding in the back seat of a car with him and he told one joke after another.

 When the trains used steam he would work for the railroad keeping water in elevated tank about a mile south of Stiles.  He had to make a fire in a boiler to run a pump that filled the tank.  He had no car so he would sleep in the boiler house and walk back and forth to Stiles and the Jct.

He told stories about sleeping in the boiler house and young couples coming out and parking.  He knew them all by name and they didn't know he was there.  It was his entertainment.  After he was to old to walk the distance any more Grandma's son Dave took over and soon after there were no more steam engines.

 I remember taking my mother over to see her mother and Uncle John.  I was sitting in the living room with John when an older couple drove up by the name of Belongia.  They came in and the first thing that Uncle John said to the fellow was, "when you get up to the Pearly Gates there will be a gray mare and a little red rooster waiting for you."  I wanted to know what that was all about.  When Belongia was a young lad he had the job of taking care of the horse barn at the lumber camp.  Most of the horses were out working in the woods but one day they left the gray mere in the stall and there were chickens running around it the barn also.  He noticed that when the mare had a bowel movement the rectum would open and close afterwards.  He happened to be at the right place when this happened and the little red rooster came by.  He grabbed the rooster by the neck and stuffed him in the horse's rectum and it closed around the rooster's head.  The gray mere lunged forward and went right though the side of the barn and disappeared with the rooster still in there. The gray mare and rooster went quite some distance and impaled themselves in a barb wire fence where they died.  When the crew came back to the camp they found the bodies and Belongia had some explaining to do.
 After while Uncle John became ill and grandma couldn't take care of him any more so he went to the nursing home.   My parents went to his funeral but I was in school and didn't attend.


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