Friday, December 24, 2010

Late 20's into my 30's

Late 20’s into my 30’s

    I had major  surgery when I was 28 years old.  I had an egg break in my ovary and the pain was horrible.  Dr. Gilbert operated and my recovery was easy.  That same year dale bought a boat and a 25 H P Evinrude motor.  We started to water ski and became fairly good at it.  Eddie rode the surf board and he liked to ride in the boat.  I learned how to drive the boat and pull Dale around the lake.  We used the cabin and water skied until Gail was born.  We went to Grand Lake with bob and Emily record and also to ten killer and the Salt Plains.  We were burned out on skiing after a while.  Too many good time friends liked to come out and use the cabin and us.

    My brother Richard was killed in an auto accident in May of 1957.  Five young men in 2 cars were killed near Willow river Minn.  Such a sad time.  I was grief stricken about that for a longtime.  Dick had been in Okla the year before and stayed with us for about 3 weeks.  We were the two youngest in the family and had a special relationship.  Need I say more.  I still cry when I think about it.  First Don and then Dick.

    Gail was born Oct 13 1959 and I did not go back to work after she was born.  She was a good baby and the apple of her father’s eye.  She had dark red hair and blue eyes and a very fair complexion.  I had to change my whole life around and make new friends and find other things to do.  I did start to sew more for Gail and myself but the quilt making was 10 more years down the line.

    Hugh went to Washington school after Gail was born and continued to do well in school.  Miss Hoffman the principal said to me that they expected him to be a hand full because he was so bright but he was a normal and well mannered child.  He started to play the Cello in 5th grade and then transferred to the double bass in the 7th grade.  He started piano lessons with Mrs. Chisholm.  I bought community concert tickets and exposed him to good music.  We also bought a piano and he took lessons for several years.  His last piano teacher Moe Anderson later became extremely successful in selling real estate and working for Merrill Lynch.

    I started bowling when Gail was about 2 years old and Hugh baby sat for me.  One day I made a lemon pie and put a piece in Dale’s lunch and left the rest on the table.  When I came home from bowling the whole pie was eaten.  So at 8:30 at night I just made another lemon pie.  Guess Gail and Hugh were full.

    When Gail was 5 and Hugh was 15 he would still baby sit for me.  He told her that if she didn’t bother him he would let her sit on the bed and listen to Beatle record while he studied.  When Gail started school she knew all the Beatle records.  Hugh rode his bike to Junior High part of the time.  He was in SMSG algebra in 9th grade and did very well in school.  Think he was in the 99th percentile on the Iowa test in Junior High…

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Danny comes to Ponca City

Danny comes to Ponca City

Our son Hugh had enlisted in the Peace corps in 1969, he then went to Brockport NY for his training and was sent to Peru in 1970.  He married a Peruvian girl named Betty Manrique Galvez and two children were born in this marriage.  Carolina in 1972 and Daniel in 1974.

Betty and the children came to the States in 1979 and stayed 4 months in our house until they could speak and understand English.  Hugh was in Saudi Arabia at this time working for Collins Radio and setting up the telephone system out in the desert.  Betty and the children then moved out of our house to a house of their own at 408 E Emporia.  Betty and Hugh divorced and Betty and the children returned to Peru in 1981.  Dale and I maintained a good relationship with Betty’s family.

My husband Dale and I traveled to Peru about 7 times between 1972 and 1989.  In 1989 the Shining Path Guerillas were very active in the countryside and smaller cities.  Their favorite tactic was to blow up the high line towers in the mountains and you never knew if you would have electricity or not.  The regular police also stopped you on the roads and examined everything in your car and purse using a sub machine gun to keep you from protesting.

Betty had called Hugh in the fall of 1989 and asked if he would like to have  Danny come to the States and live with Hugh and Sunday.  Carol was finishing High School so I and a friend went to Peru Dec 12th 1989 to see Carol graduate and to bring Danny back to the states.  Danny was 16 and Betty did not want him getting interested in the guerrilla movement. 

Betty met us at the airport and we then went to a friends apartment close to the old market.  We had to be careful with our purses and we watched very carefully getting in and out of the car.  We did stay one day in Lima and went into the central part of the city.  We encountered tear gas and a large marching group of people.  We rushed inside a store so as not to be seen.

The following day we drove to Huancayo Peru where my grandchildren lived.  Huancayo is located about 180 miles from Lima over the first range of mountains then down into the Mantero valley.  It is a city of about 100,000 people.  We left Lima and started up the mountain.  We reach an elevation of 16000 feet in 80 miles of travel.  Then we drop down to the Mantero Valley which has an elevation of 12000 feet.  The road was partly gravel at that time and there is a lot of traffic on the road.  The trucks look like our gravel trucks and are loaded with produce from the high jungle.  These trucks are carrying oranges, bananas, avocados and other tropical fruit. These trucks also bring lumber, other vegetables, grain and potatoes to Lima.  There are 5000 different variety’s of potatoes in the International Potato Institute in Lima.  Peru’s Quecha  Indians developed most of the vegetables we use in Western Civilization. You can go to the market in any small village in Peru and see many different vegetables that we are unfamiliar with in the states.

We arrived in Huancayo and did attend Carol’s graduation ceremony.  We did not go out at night.  We watched on local TV the  funeral  of a high city official.  He had been murdered by the Shining Path Guerrilla's.  It was an uneasy time in Huancayo and I was glad when we returned to Lima to fly home.

The plane lifted off the runway and I could breath easy again.  Danny went to Baltimore for a couple of weeks and then came to live with us in Ponca City for 5 months and attended Po-Hi.  The first thing he wanted was a flashlight and I bought one for him.  I got curious about why he wanted a flashlight.  Well he found the tunnel under 7th St that goes all the way to Poplar and had been exploring it.  Think he found some bats in it and we had to warn him about being in that tunnel.

We bought as mountain bike for him sometime in April or May and he enjoyed riding it.  We were so sorry that we hadn’t bought the bike when he arrived here.  The 5 months went by real fast and then we took him to Baltimore to live with his Father and Sunday.  He was able to be accepted into the Baltimore School of Arts and stayed in Baltimore 2 years with his Father and Sunday.

While in Baltimore he entered a contest and won a prize on a picture and on a collage that he had made.  He had been drawing and painting since he was a small child.  He stayed in Baltimore with his Father for 2 years and then went back to Peru as conditions were better then.  He entered college at San Marcos and studied there for 3 years.  

Danny's sister, Carolina attended college in Lima and her major was Marine Biology.  She later came to the States with her husband Jaime and recently earned her Doctorate from the University of California at Irvine, in Marine Biology

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dee's Trip to Alaska - 1961

Trip to Alaska

In 1961 Dale, Hugh and I went on a trip to Alaska.  Dale had bought a pickup camper and started selling campers in the day time.  He had a 4 week vacation at this time and we started on this trip.

Sat July 22 1961.  Left at 1030 a m. drove through to Des Moines and stopped at a closed filling station.  Gail real good.

Sun July 23.  Arrived at Dorothy’s.  Daisy Don and kids came down for dinner and spent the day visiting.  Gail liked everyone.

Mon July 24.  Left Dorothy’s about 11.  Took Dale W with us.  Drove to Northfield across to Canon Falls to Hastings and then up the St Croix  river to Taylors Falls and into Grantsburg Wis.  Got to the folks about 630 p.m.

Tues July 25.  Left the folks at 840 a.m., drove to International falls and went through customs.  Crossed the Rainey river on a railroad bridge.  I drove for about an hour and stopped at Nestor Falls the first resort for gas.  Dale took over and we lots of beaver and deer.  Got to Kenora about 730 p.m. and ate supper.  Drove through the woods for 250 miles.  Got to Winnipeg about 11 p.m.  People still up walking around.  Looked like a real interesting city.  Parked the camper at at truck weighing station and it rained about 4 a.m.   

Wed July 26.  Left Winnipeg at 730 a.m. but I stayed in bed until 930 a.m.  Hit prairie country after leaving Winnipeg and was quite flat all the way to Regina.  Regina sits in the middle of the prairie.  Had some pretty building and a big oil refinery.  Also doing some road building there.  Sun set at 9 p.m.

Thurs  July 27.  Stayed in a roadside park about 20 miles from Saskatoon Sack. .Dale got up and started driving at 5 a.m.  Got up and fixed breakfast about 9 a.m.  Stopped in a Safeway Store in Lloydminister and got our groceries.  Called Dorothy and Gail was fine.  Arrived in Edmonton about 530 p.m.  Drove 100 miles beyond Edmonton and stopped at a roadside park.  Beautiful scenery.  Saw 2 deer cross the highway while I was driving.  Talked to some people from Emporia Ks.

Fri July 28.  Left roadside park about 10 a m.  been in a lot of forest country.  Lots of ducks on the ponds.  Came across the Smokey river about 1 p.m.  real high hill.  Got to Grand Prairie and doing wash here.  Dawson Creek 73 miles.  Got to Dawson Creek around 5 p.m. and decided to go on up the highway.  Beautiful farming country here.  Went to Ft St John crossed the Peace River bridge around M.P. 79, came on to Pink Mountain  camping grounds at M.P. 143.  Sun set around 930 p.m…Dark around 1045 p.m. Lots of wild flowers along the highway.

Sat July 29.  Left M.P. 143 areound10 a.m. drove on up and had a good dinner at a roadside café.  Got into Ft Nelson around 4 p.m. oil country up there and not a bad place.  Hit mountains about M.P.  345 and then the scenery starts.  Drove about 50 miles and really thought we were seeing things but then it keeps getting more interesting.  Got into the hot springs at Laird River about 1030 p. m.  went down washed my hair and took a bath.  Water was real hot.  We ran into a lot of dust yesterday.  Sure gets the camper dirty.  Lots of places to camp up here but they are a little bit messy.  Couldn’t see what time the sun set but it wasn’t dark at 1115 p. m.  don’t get up in the morning early enough to see what time it is daylight.  Saw a man painting the mountains at a pull off place.

Sun July 30.  Just piddled around all day, drove about 200 miles, camped at  M.P. 674 at Big Creek campground.  Eddie went swimming in a lake.  Dale and I chickened out, was to cold.

Mon July 31.  Got some fresh Lake trout at MP. 781 also some Indian moccasins for Dale, myself and Gail.  Drove on into Whitehorse and had a good meal.  We went and looked at the riverboats and the museum.  Also to the High School to see some movies and to a gift shop.  Camped at M.P. 967 at Mendenhall creek.

Tues Aug 1.  Drove down to Haines today.  Beautiful scenery.  We drove through a game preserve and saw lots of chipmunks, grouse and later two moose.  Nothing much at Haines and came on out and parked at customs 43 miles north of Haines.

Wed Aug 2.  Came on out but cloudy and rainy.  Eddie had his picture taken close to a snow bank.  Had lunch at Haines Jct.  We had a blow out at M.P. 1193.  Dale fixed the flat quite easily.  We drove on to Tok Jct where we went through customs and were greeted by a pretty blond who had just had an Alaska snort.  We got a hot shower for 50 cents and we camped at Lelas overnight.

Thur Aug 3.  Started for Anchorage about 715 a.m.  What a road, it was paved but was like a washboard.  Saw our first glazier at Tazalina and ate dinner at the Lodge.  We arrived at Anchorage around 730 p.m. and went to wash clothing.  Clean sheets tonight.  Had 4 loads of wash.  Talked to a girl from Odessa at the laundry.  We went downtown and it looked like the main street of Minneapolis in 1944.  Neon signs-wide open-excitement in the air.  Quite a place.

Fri Aug 4.  Got a new tire and sourdough pancakes.  Not so hot, we left Anchorage around 1 p.m. and drove to the Portage Glacier.  What a sight.  Blue and big.  It rained on us all day.  Tried to drive to Hope but the road was so bad so we came back and started to Soldatna.  Came through Kenai Natl. forest, we saw some moose and started to Homer but we camped 17 miles south of Soldatna.

Sat Aug 5.  Went to Kenai and drove around Soldatna then on up the road and down to Seward.  We looked over the small boat harbor, brought some strawberries and parked out north of town.  Beautiful drive and Seward is a nice small city.

Sun Aug 6. We left Seward around noon and drove on into Anchorage.  We arrived in Anchorage around 6 p.m.  We ate supper at the airport café.  Really a good meal.  We couldn‘t make up our minds whether to stay and see if we had any mail or not, but decided to stay.  We had a tube put in our tire and went out to the International airport and saw 2 big jets take off.  Then we drove over and watched the seaplane land on a lake.  We saw about10 seaplane land.  We parked at a trailer court or alley don‘t  know which it was..

Mon Aug 7.  Fixed speedometer cable and had a letter from Dorothy.  Left Anchorage about 10 a.m. and drove to Palmer and about 13 miles out into the Mantanuska  Valley.  Lovely farms, looked like Minnesota or Wisconsin.  We came on up to Glenn Allen Jct. and at supper at M.P. 80 right at the edge of Worthington glacier.  Will see it better in the morning.

Tues Aug 8.  We drove down to Valdez and did some mountain driving, we went downhill for10 miles  We saw Bridal Vail Falls and went through a tunnel.  We saw the glacier at Valdez.  We had dinner and was more than you could eat for $1.85.  We came out and started up the road to McKinley  Park but we drove 12 miles and chickened out.  What a road, so we came to Donnelly camp ground and spent the night.

Wed Aug 9.  Drove into Fairbanks and looked around.  We went out to the college, through the museum and saw the stuffed animals.  Big Kodiak bear and Doll sheep.  Real interesting, went to the Chamber of Commerce and saw slides of Indo-China-Japan-Hong Kong and Australia.  Then went out and camped overnight.

Thurs Aug 10.  Washed clothes and started for Dawson city.  Arrived at Tetlin Jct. and drove 74 miles into the mountains.  What scenery.  We camped at a lodge and it rained.  Paid 66 cents a gallon for gasoline.

Fri Aug 11.  We drove on top of the mountains into Dawson City.  We managed to get our camper on a small ferry with another truck and we crossed the Yukon river to get into Dawson City.  There was not much to see but it looks like all the pictures of it.  Like a town of the late 1800’s.  There was an old paddle wheeler parked along the river.  The campers were still coming north to Alaska.

Sat Aug 12.  We drove to Whitehorse today.  It was flat country and not to interesting.  We ate supper at Whitehorse and drove in rain to John Jacksons at M.P. 731.

Sun Aug 13.  We went fishing and was the lake ever rough.  I had a bite but was not able to land the fish.  Ed got a pair of moccasins and Dale had some moose meat given to him.  Thought we could make it to the Hot Springs but were to tired.  Camped at Whirlpool Canyon M.P. 544.  Still scared from the boat ride.

Mon Aug 14.  We saw a forest fire at Laird River and came on to Summitt Mt. where had hanger welded on the spring on the truck.  We came to Ft Nelson and  supper.  We drove to M.P. 200 and stayed overnight.  Lots of dust, worse than before and lots of smoke in the air.

Tues Aug 15.  Came to Ft St John and washed and showered and stayed at Little Smokey River overnight.

Wed Aug 16.  Came on to Edmondton and drove 50 miles south of Saskatoon and parked just off the highway.  Had a flat and made 577 miles today.

Thur. Aug 17.  Had 4 more flats today.  We pulled off the highway and a man took Dale and I into Regina and got a new tire.  They came out 335 miles with their truck and fixed the tire.  I went shopping in Regina and bought some real nice bon china.  We drove beyond Minot North Dakota after flats were fixed.

Fri Aug 18.  Drove to the folks and were tired when we got there.  Saw Paul Bunyon at Bemidje.  Beautiful lake country.  Everybody all right.

Sat Aug 19.  Drove to Dorothy’s and were anxious to see Gail.  She sure has changed in a month.  This is the Alaska trip that I took notes on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Life in my 30's

Life in my 30’s

Will talk a little bit about my life in the 30’s now.  Hugh was in 5th grade when Gail was born and I quit my job on the railroad.  I was busy with Gail and Hugh as he started  piano lessons and also started playing cello in the grade school orchestra.  Dale was going to work at 6 p.m. and home at 2 a.m. every morning.  He owned a couple of school buses and would get up and drive in the morning and come home and take a nap.

I started bowling when Gail was about 2 and sometimes bowled in the summer and would take her to the nursery at the lanes.  She came home with chicken pox one time and think she exposed all the children in the nursery.  I made different friends after quitting work on the railroad and begin to get involved with some volunteer work.  I enjoyed it up to a point but I did become to involved and didn’t have much time to myself.

I made most of Gail’s clothes and also quite a few for myself.  Dale become involved in selling pickup campers and he wasn’t home much.  Mr. Day and Dale did quite a lot of camper repair.  We also acquired the Ponca City Military bus business.  So we always had a little extra money to spend.  We had3 bus routes and the PMA business.

When Hugh was a Sophomore in college I went to work for the Rock Island railroad as a billing clerk.  This was in 1969 and I continued to work until my job was abolished 18 months later.  Dale’s job was also abolished at the same time.  We had 4 school bus routes and had almost finished building a new home at 442 Fairview.

I talked Dale into staying in Ponca City and told him I would learn how to drive a school bus.  This was in 1970 when I was 43 years old.  I had driven a large truck with a camper on it so I figured I could drive a school bus.  Driving the school bus wasn’t that difficult, it was keeping the kids halfway quiet and not moving around.  I developed a firm attitude and a loud voice.

The first morning I drove the bus we had a dense fog and I was scared out of my wits.  That evening one of the kids in the back seat opened the door and I had to stop the bus and close the door.  I really got strict with the kids and got them under control.  I drove the route for 2 years and then I begin to drive when someone called in sick and the I started doing activity trips to Enid, Stillwater, Ark city Winfield and Blackwell.  Mostly Jr. High football and Basketball.  I continued doing this until 1986 when we sold our buses to the school.

Gail was in the 5th grade when I started to drive the bus.  She rode the bus to Jr. High when I started driving activity trips and she sometimes had to go over on 14th St. and buy her supper at a hamburger place.  She also ate at the Taco Shop in grade school and she liked a Taco Burger.

I begin to sew for Gail when she was very small and I was very active in the community.  I was President of my bowling league, was social chairman of the Schubert Music club and was Spiritual Life Chairman of the Methodist’s Women Society and also program chairman of my church circle.  I caught myself coming and going every day.  One month I remember going to 28 meetings.  Needless to say I got out of most of it in a year or two.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Green Stamps and other prizes

Green Stamps and other prizes

During the great depression in the 1930’s and into the 40’s and 50’s and 60’ merchants gave away many prizes to get people to trade with them.  During the thirties I can remember my Mother buying oatmeal and she would get a cup or a saucer in the box of oatmeal.

I remember trading eggs for groceries and then depending on how many groceries you purchased you would get a dish with chickens  pictured on it.  My Mother traded with Wesley Bros in Hope Minn and think she got at least 4 sets of dishes.  She gave  me a complete set of dishes when I married Dale and I later gave them to Dale’s Mother as she needed them.

The depression glass which is so highly collectible was given away as prizes at movie theatres and also as you purchased groceries.  My mother must have collected that also as she gave me a pink set which included a large sauce bowl and 6 sauce dishes.  Needless to say  I used the set and they broke quite easily.  My sister Dorothy still has some of the depression dishes that she received as shower presents when she married in 1935.

Later on when I married green stamps were very popular.  A lot of merchants gave green stamps, the grocery store, the shoe store, service stations and almost every kind of business.  You got one green stamp I think for 10 cents of purchase.  You then had a green stamp book in which you pasted the green stamps.  There was a green stamp store in Ponca City and when you got enough books filled you could go down to the store and buy things with your stamps. 

I  have a nice card table and 4 chairs that I purchased with green stamps and it is probably  50 years old.  I had gone to an auction one day and brought home 4 oak chairs that I had bought for a dollar each.  One of our bus drivers wanted a couple of the chairs and she gave me a whole bunch of green stamp books for them.  I had some other green stamps books filled and I went to the store and was able to get a nice  oak butcher block table for Gail.  That was probably about 27 years ago.

Leonard’s grocery store gave away a prize every week for trading with them.  One time I won the weekly prize and it was a nice large set of Corning Ware.  I still use that almost every day and that was over 40 years ago that I won them. 

One of the drug stores here in town had a sign up sheet and they gave away a weekly prize.  You had to sign up the week  when the drawing was held.  Got people in the store shopping.  These a just a few of the things that were given away to get people to come in the stores and buy merchandise.  Really don’t see much of that anymore.   Probably the modern day coupons have taken the place of the give aways.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sewing Machines throughout my life.

I first started sewing when I was in 4 H club when I was 12 years old.  My Mother had a treadle Minnesota sewing machine that she had received as a wedding present from her father in 1912.  I started using that machine when I was 12 years old about the last of 1939.  My first project was an apron and I did all right with that.  My next project was a cotton dress that I had to make for a 4 H club project.  I made the dress with a little help from my Mother and then had to go to the County fair and model the dress.   Didn’t win anything on it.

My next project was in my freshman year in High School in Ellendale.  A lot of the girls didn’t know anything about sewing and I knew a little bit.  I made another cotton dress and think I got a B on it.  We had electric sewing machines at Ellendale and they were easy to work with.  I didn’t take any more Home Ec classes the rest of the way through High School.

After I had made those 2 dresses I was ready to tackle some more sewing.  I remember making a sharkskin plaid dress when I was in 10th grade and I made bound buttonholes all the way down the back of the dress.   Then in my Junior and Senior years in high School I would come home from working at the Burt’s and I would sit down and make a blouse over the week end.  The kids in school couldn’t tell that the blouse was homemade.  Was getting better at sewing.

I didn’t do much more sewing except keeping my clothing mended by hand the first 4 years that I worked on the railroad.  Dale and I were married in 1948 and he bought me a Domestic 153 sewing machine for Christmas the first year that we were married.  I made a skirt and I made a  most of the baby clothes for Hugh  the first year I was married.

I went back to work when Hugh was 8 weeks old and I didn’t do much sewing except sewing buttons on  and mending and altering some of my things.  When Hugh was about 2 years old I made him  several pairs of shorts out of slacks that Dale could not wear any more.  I did make a dress or two to wear to work and I had Mrs Smith’s mother help me put a zipper in. 

When Hugh was a little older I remember making him a nice pair of pajamas but I didn’t really have time to do much sewing for any of us.  I did make a throw out of old pants of Dale’s and took it out to the lake and someone took it.  That was my first attempt at doing some piece work.

After Gail was born in 1959 I started doing quite a lot of sewing for her and made a lot of her clothing after she started school. 

The next sewing machine that I purchased was a White Sewing machine and that was in 1970.  This machine was all metal and had a zig zag and had cams to make fancy stitches.  I really started a lot of sewing with that machine.  In about 1972 I joined Extension Homemakers and took at tailoring course that they offered.  Then I started making coats and slacks and skirts for Gail and myself.  Also was beginning to do some quilt piecing at that time. 

In 1982 I went to a Quilt Show and classes in Albuquerque New Mexico and that was when I saw the little Singer 221 sewing machines being used.  I had seen the first 221 sewing machine in 1947 but thought they were very small at that time.

I didn’t get real interested in the 221 machines until about 1992 when I saw Andy fields in Ark city at a quilt show with several machines and they were priced in the $400.00 range.  I already had one with a table that we had bought at an auction for $60.00...I came home from Ark City and said to Dale “I think there is a market for those little Singer sewing machines, why don’t we try to find some and resell them and see what happens”..

That was the start of our selling the 221 machines.  We went to garage sales around here and found a few and then we went to Texas and stopped at Canton and found some and then we started stopping at all the sewing machine shops looking for the 221 machines.  We stopped at Palestine Texas and  bought 18 of those machines at one time.  Dale said “How are we ever going to get rid of these machines?”    I subscribed to several quilting magazines at that time.  I put adds in about 5 quilting magazines and we begin getting calls with people wanting to buy the machines.  This was before the internet and we had lots of business.

I had my sister in Minnesota put adds in the newspapers  up there just before we would go up for vacation and we found machines there.  We had one friend in Minnesota that went to garage sales and she would buy one every time she had a chance.  We stopped at every sewing machine shop coming and going across the country and we found machines that way.

Dale had been diagnosed with cancer and we had to go to Baltimore to Johns Hopkins several times a year and we would put an add in the Baltimore Sun and I think over the years we picked up about 150 machines in the Baltimore area.  We always came back home with a van load of machines.   One time on the way back from Baltimore we came through Cookeville Tenn and they had a 68 table and a sewing machine together in a small repair shop.  We had 38 sewing machines in our van but we made room for the table and the machine.

We were very busy with our small business and the last year Dale lived in 1998 was the best business year we had.  We had calls from all over the country just about every day.  There were some avid collectors at that time and they were always on the lookout for new machines and accessories.

When Dale died in 1998 I had over 50 sewing machines on hand.  He had told me a few weeks before he died that if I didn’t want to mess with them to just throw them in the river.  He felt like he had had the fun selling and working on them and that it had prolonged his life by several years.  Dale had talked Nancy Johnson-Srebro into writing another book about the 221 machines and several of our machines and accessories are pictured in the book. (Editor note:  One of Gail's machines is also in the book, the Crinkle Singer Featherweight.)

While Dale was alive we went to quilt shows in the Oklahoma and Arkansas area  and we made a lot of contacts that way.  We always did quite well at the quilt shows.  Gail had come up with the idea of having a web page on the internet in 1995 and we got a lot of business that way.  She also came up with the idea about selling care packages and then I included a dust cover in some of the packages.  As of 2010 I have made over 1000 dust covers.

 I started cleaning up the machines that we had on hand and selling them one by one.  I bought a few more machines also and sold them.  It kept me quite busy wrapping the machines up and all.  I learned how to rewire the foot controls.  Dale had either purchased or had given to him at least 60 old foot controllers.  Mostly they were all right and all they needed was new wiring.  I still have a few left and fixed up a few in the last month.

Dale had bought out a bunch of parts from someone here in town and they were about 20 of the 221 bobbin cases in the box of parts.  The cases needed to be reconstructed and I looked at those cases for about a half a year and decided that I could fix them.  I had the parts to fix the bobbin cases and I fixed up 11 of them and sold them .  I also had about 20 of the wooden cases that needed repair and I order material and latches and locks to fix them.  I had a man fix them for me and sold the reconditioned cases.  They went real fast.

I still sell some parts and manuals and accessories and Gail still has the web site for the machines.  About 2000 I begin getting interested in other old singer machines and so off to the garage sales I went.  I picked up several 401 machines a 500, 403 404, 185, two 301’s, a Necchi, a couple of White machines, and several others.  Some I gave away and some I sold.  I have in my collection a couple of Wilcox and Gibbs ,a Singer 24, two Elna grasshoppers, a 66 treadle, a little worker, a Pfaff 362 , 1069 and my worker horse Pfaff 1471.

Over the years I have collected almost every Singer accessory that was manufactured.  I also have a nice collection of old Singer books and a lot of written material that goes with the accessories.  I collected a lot of that stuff over 30 years ago.  I like to look at every old sewing machine out there, so I go to garage sales and see what they have to offer and sometimes I buy a machine and sometimes I just look.  Most of the machines that I see just need a good oiling and grease job and off they spin.  Some people do not take care of their machines and others look good after 60 years of use.

At the present time I sell buttonholers and accessories and oil and lube and patchwork feet for the 221 machines.  I work on the buttonholers and test them out before I sell them and that is interesting. Gail has created a web site about the Singer Featherweight at

This has been an interesting hobby and I am out in the workshop every day doing something with the sewing machines.