Last week was a hard week for long time neighbors. People that I have known nearly all my life…well since my parents moved to their farm in Carsonville township in 1952.
Ruby. What a gal, she celebrated her Christmas Eve birthday of 100 years and lived 16 days longer than that. She and her husband Bob owned the Texaco Station in Ponsford. Bob and I shared a dog one summer. A German Shepherd showed up at the farm, she would stay a few days and then be gone, a few days later she would show up again. I named her Princess. I snuck her food, but we had other dogs on the farm and didn’t need another. One day we stopped at the Texaco station and there she was…the mystery was solved…Bob couldn’t figure out where she (Patsy) went or why? We lived just over 4 miles away. Ruby always loved that old memory of the shared dog. Bob has been gone a long time (he died in 1999) and now sweet Ruby has joined him. Their lake place on the west side of Shell Lake was a great place to swim in the summer and we were always welcomed. Hot summer nights before air conditioning spent on their dock is a fond memory for me as a kid. Last summer Ruby invited me to her birthday party and so when it rolled around I went…she was so happy to see the good turn out for her birthday. She made it to 100! She said she would and she did.
The old Texaco sign still marks the spot of the old station in Ponsford.
Jim. Jim died the day after Ruby. Since they were good friends that used to play cards together all the time it is fitting that he died the day after Ruby. They lived just a mile apart all their lives. Jim was 94. We used to have coffee with Jim and his wife Irene and talk about area history. Jim’s Grandpa Nunns family and Far Guy’s Great Grandfather Abbott family were neighbors up in Eramosa Township, Wellington County Ontario Canada. They all made the trip together to Eunice Township Becker County first in 1889 and shortly therafter settled in Carsonville Township. Jim used to say that his Grandpa was sickly and would have died in Canada, but the healing air of the pine boughs saved him here in Minnesota. ( Then he would wipe away a tear or two.) Jim used to say that there were many Indian mounded graves in the area…one was right along the road. He had lots of stories to tell. One story I will share; Jim had a pretty good looking Stallion. Our daughter Trica worked out a deal with him to have her horse “visit” the stallion for awhile….when asked what we owed for feed…he replied “The good Lord provided the rain and sunshine for a good pasture and there is no way I am charging you for that!”
Jim and his wife Irene were married for 72 years before she died in 2016. Up until that time they were constant companions. Their children took turns caring for them on the farm until 2015 when Irene needed extra help so they moved into assisted living and away from their farm.
In years past we would enjoy seeing a team hitched up to a sleigh or a wagon taking kids and grandkids for a ride the old fashioned way. “There goes Jim.”
Saying goodbye to really old friends is hard. Not many old timers around anymore. Soon we will be the old timers….maybe we are already.