Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

Dad and Mom bought a farm east of Columbia

O.D. Meyers rode a mule all day from Bellflower to Columbia to save shipping expense when he and Nancy moved.

Iíve never heard where O.D. learned the tricks of the dairy trade: milking cows, straining, cooling and storing milk overnight in a cool cistern and delivering the milk to town customers in time for their breakfasts.

The customers listened for Dadís call, "M-i-l-k." at their kitchen doors and met him with kettles or pitchers; he poured the milk from a gallon "measuring cup" and walked on to the next customer.

The horse knew where the next customer lived and waited there until O.D. refilled his measuring cup.

It was demanding work but rewarding.

O.D. and Nancy Meyers prospered. We treasure a photograph that Mom snapped long ago of a shiny black horse hitched to a lightweight, four-wheel, covered milk wagon. Female relatives or customers stand around, dressed in white garments that barely missed the ground. With a magnifying glass, we can read "Dairy" and "Phone 897" on the wagon.

Physician Kampsmith delivered their first baby, named Jim. Sixteen months later, he made another house call and said, "Mrs. Meyers, this oneís a girl." Mom said, "Sue," for Dadís sister Susie and Momís sister Susan.

Nancy Henry Meyers was welcomed at Olivet Church because she played a piano and, with practice, taught herself to play Olivetís pump organ, which had sat silent for years.

One of my earliest memories is of Mom hitching the horse to the buggy and taking Jim and me with her to Olivet on Saturdays and Sundays. She was an accomplished pianist, but a pump organ required her pressing with first one foot and then the other while she played the keys with both hands and sang along with Sundayís hymns.

The church had both pump organ music and congregational singing three Sundays of the month, with the addition of "preaching" and more music on every fourth Sunday. I liked Momís practice days because she let me get down on the floor and push those big flat foot pedals with my hands as she played.

Dairy cows required feed and milking twice a day. Dad rarely went to church except for "protracted meetings" in which a guest minister came to Olivet for a solid week of night preaching. Dad arranged to attend more than one of the night meetings.

Of course, Mom not only attended every evening meeting, she prepared the music each week. On one of those evenings, the guest minister was begging people to join the congregation and said, "There are two men in this meeting who need to come forward tonight, or weíll keep these meetings going until they do."

Dad and his friend Jack seized the opportunity to end the meetings and get on with the pressing business of earning a living. They joined that night, and the meetings ended!

When automobiles came to the Ford showroom in downtown Columbia, Dad had saved enough money to buy a delivery truck and retire his faithful horse. Mr. Clinkscales didnít have a truck, but he could adapt a car with a special body for delivering around town.

The vehicle was one of a kind, and it served its purpose quite well. Dad enrolled in a four weeksí training of auto care and repair.


Click here to return to the index

 Subscribe in your RSS reader


Copyright © 1994-2010 Sue Gerard. All Rights Reserved. No text or images on this website may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author, except small quotations to be used in reviews.