Learning to Drive
When I was learning to drive, sometimes Dad would
let me drive. Once, coming back from church, I got
out of the back to open the gate and Dad got out and
into the back seat. Mom said, "Charlie, are you
going to let her drive?" and when Dad said, "Yes,"
she opened the door and started to get out to walk.
So, I did not get to drive. I did get to drive when
Garnet wanted to go to a party. He was not allowed
to go alone, so I had to go with him, as he was not
allowed to have the car on his own. Of course, we
would go our own way when we got there, but then
would be ready to go home together.
After I was married, I used to drive sometimes.
Once Bob was busy and asked, "Would I take the cream
in?" (to the Creamery in Eganville) and I said,
"Yes." When I got there, a cop was sitting on the
step of the creamery - he even helped me in with the
cream cans. When I got home, I said to Bob, "Thatís
it. Iím not driving again until I get my license."
When we went to Pembroke for the driving test, I had
to stop on a hill and the guy asked me how far to
stop from a fire hydrant. I said that I did not know
but that it was a good long piece. So he said,
"Thatís good enough," and I got my license.
I worked for 2 years and then for some reason went
home that summer. That was when Bob came along, as
his sister, Bella, was in the hospital for a goiter
operation and she would need a girl when she got
out. The Neitzels had sent him over to Dadís to see
if he could hire someone.
I worked for Bob for the summer and we feel in
love. He was living on a farm near Kellys Corners
with his sister, Bella. He worked the farm and she
looked after the house. She was an old maid, and a
crabby one at that. She did not like me because I
was German even though she was German herself! I had
no days off, as there was nowhere to go anyway -
home was 9 miles away, so too far to go. We went to
a few dances at neighborsí houses.
That winter I went back to Ottawa to work and
came home the next spring and was married in July.
After we decided to marry, Bob asked my fatherís
permission. I was able to buy my own wedding dress
and was married in my home church in Augsburg on a
Wednesday. At that time Wednesday was the day for
weddings. We had a supper after the marriage with a
good bunch of people there. Dad built a platform in
the wood shed for dancing. Alec Shauer played the
violin and a couple of others played an accordion
and a guitar. Roy Wilson, Bobís neighbor, got the
party going. At that time, it was customary for
people to pay to dance with the bride. They would
pay 10 cents to go once or twice around the floor.
The money would go to the newlyweds. We spent the
night at Dadís and slept in my bed. People played
tricks then, like they do now. Someone had put dried
peas in between the sheets, so Bob just flipped the
The next day we went to Bobís place. Bob had, at
that time, a hired hand named Herb, who had been
working in the hay all day. The four of us, Bella,
Herb, Bob and me, were sitting out in the evening
after the chores were all done. Bella said, "I
stripped your bed Rob (Bella called him Rob) and did
not get time to make it, so you can sleep with Herb
tonight, and she can sleep with me." After Bella had
gone to bed, Bob said, "I know where the sheets
are." So she did not get away with it.
After the wedding I dyed my wedding dress black,
so that I could get more use out of it. Modeling the
dress is Jennifer Rosien, my oldest