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Thursday, July 2, 2009

A note on the Census and other stuff

I was just making some corrections to the 1920 and 1930 census for the family site. The whole dern family had been left off the 1920 census. Can't tell you why, but it was probably because of the moving around, or the takers may have missed the little town entirely, or nobody was home when they called, if they called in those days. I don't know where the basic work came from, whether it was submitted by someone, the actual census reports, or some other place, but the 1930 was partly accurate. They only missed two or three of us.

I tell you, we lived so far back in the country in those days that even the coyotes would miss our place when they came to pay a call. I'm just telling you this on hearsay, since I wasn't around yet. But they used to tell me to get to our place, you could catch a train, ride a bus, hop on a horse and ride 'til he was worn out, walk another twenty miles, swing through the trees, climb a mountain or two and there it was. Going to the store was always an experience not to be forgotten, it was a five-day trip up until they put in a new store at the cross roads only two days away. By the time you reached the old homestead, you had to turn around and go back to buy something that was consumed on the trip, say a 100-lb sack of potatoes. If you didn't have any money, tough luck, you might be able to charge it, or not, or you went without, the usual result.
My father was a deputy sheriff in this one-horse town and he owned the one horse. Most people had one leg shorter than the other from walking on the hillsides. When they planted corn on a piece of level ground, it would grow at an angle, thinking it was on a side of the hill. Digging potatoes you would find them all at a downhill angle crosswise to the plant due to the pull of gravity. And even the horse had two legs on one side shorter than the other. It took an experienced rider to stay in the saddle when traveling on level ground.

Too bad the town is no longer there. It wasn't destroyed by an earthquake or anything like that.
The citizens just left, and the town crumbled apart and slid down the hillside. If you want some good old lumber, all you have to do is find it, but it's probably buried in the dirt and rocks by now.

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