Memories of Remsen # 2
by Helen Maass Bottjen
I was 8 years old during the winter of 1936. My younger sister was 5. I’m sure there were many days we didn’t have school. One day after a blizzard, they attempted to have school, but they decided the snow was too deep for the little ones to be able to walk through. They asked 2 neighbor boys to come with their horses and give us a ride. I remember hanging on for dear life as we were jostled around on the horse (no saddle, of course). I hung on tightly to the horse’s mane as it struggled in the deep snow.
It was not uncommon for the pasture, near the school, to flood in the spring of the year. Often it would freeze and provide a “skating pond” for us. How much fun we would have! No ice skates, of course! Looking back, I wonder how well 4-buckle overshoes would slide.
I remember one incident from my early years of grade school. My teacher was Dorothy Gaden, and she drove a Ford coupe. There were several boys in the upper grades and their passion was playing baseball. The school two miles west of ours [Remsen # 1] had the same situation. Somehow or another, they decided to play each other one afternoon. Dorothy loaded the boys in her car which had a “rumble seat” and took them to the other school; leaving the younger ones alone while she made the four-mile-round-trip. She came back to get us, and the greatest excitement for me was getting to ride in the rumble seat. I don’t even know who won the game! And, I can’t imagine the trouble she would have gotten into today for leaving us alone for that long!
The most important event of the school year was our Christmas program. My dad, who was the director at that time, would bring planks down to school and make a stage up in the front part of the school. They must have strung a wire high across the front of the stage as my mother brought sheets to make stage curtains. One year my teacher taught me how to play “Silent Night” on a guitar. We had a Christmas tree in our school and my uncle, Fred Seel, was always Santa Claus.
~Memories made during the 1930's and early 1940's.